Artist: Choir Of Young Believers
Title: Rhine Gold
Record Label: Ghostly International
All things Scandinavian are seeing something of an upsurge in popularity these days, its no longer just all about Ikea. With TV shows like The Killing and Borgen gaining critical acclaim and not to mention the huge appreciation shown for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and associated films/books, right now, Scandinavian entertainment can’t get much hotter. Injecting some coolant to said hotness is Choir Of Young Believers, as the music projected forth is a concoction of icy strings and static jolts of fuzz that all mesh together to create a snow blast of atmospheric dirge.
Choir Of Young Believers is headed up by chief protagonist, Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, who works alone for the majority of the time, but is known to rope in sessions musicians to add the layers of strings and percussion to give his music that all encompassing sound that has helped him receive awards in his native Denmark along with the odd number one single.
After a clutch of EPs, Jannis Noya Makrigiannis follows up his debut album, This Is For The White In Your Eyes, with his sophomore record, Rhine Gold. This latest output sees classical orchestration collide with contemporary arrangements as murky strings amalgamate with galloping drums and shoegaze style walls of sound. The album begins with ‘The Third Time’ which is an exercise in avant-garde pop built upon amble servings of static and noise. Makrigiannis’ voice conveys an angelic quality to the dismal musical arrangements. The following track, ‘Patricia’s Theme’ sees the traditional and modern interweave, creating the feeling of a space ship landing in the past, blasting its laser beams. The remaining collection of songs have appropriate titles, ‘Sedated’ and ‘Paralyse’ that speaks volumes for the experience this album communicates, basically, a bleak and detached one.
Third Rhine would work as a soundtrack, as the moody orchestration leans heavily on the theatrical, which would help set the scene for the increasingly morbidly popular crime thrillers that people are swooning over these days. However, as an LP to absorb in the home environment, it is purely background music. The bleak arrangements displace a human feel and illustrate the feeling of isolation and separation. Its music to accompany a good nights sleep or coma, sleep tight y’all.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams