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obo - innhverfi (12inch vinyl lp)




$18.20

ARTIST // obo
LABEL // morr music (de)
CAT // morr133lp


  



LP version. Includes download code. Using a play on the Icelandic words for "suburbs" and "introvert" for its title, Innhverfi is the debut solo album from Sigur Ros' and Jonsi's touring keyboard player/percussionist Obo -- in his passport it says Ólafur Björn Ólafsson -- and although comprised of no more than seven compositions, it does run the gamut of suburban bliss turned upside-down: After the LP's minimalistic opener "Uthverfi," a track that melancholically opens up after a long, immensely dark and brooding intro, that ultimately offers some respite in the form of playful glockenspiel over layers of slow-moving sonic lava, the equally cinematic "Svartur galdur" leaves much room for Obo's trademark baritone: like a bespectacled puppeteer with fluffy hair, he seems to shuffle and rearrange home-recorded bits and lullaby-like DIY pieces in front of our very eyes, which can't help but follow, as we move deeper into the somewhat forlorn suburban landscape that has inspired this record. Imagine dark, wet streets, overcast little alleys, and suddenly a cat or a candle on a windowsill, breathing slowly. Elsewhere, "Gjallarhornin" -- all spoken words, piano, strings, vibraphone, rearranged like a whirlwind in slow-motion -- makes way for a hopeful oomph deferred and silent-movie era melodies, while "Stilla," an instrumental, commences like early Efterklang, but there's no gaudiness on the horizon: When the subtle electronics and percussions erupt in the end, it all feels just right -- if only for a brief moment. Finally, the subdued birdsong and jazz-inspired piano of "Fyrirbodi" underline that Ólafsson has worked on motion picture soundtracks in the past, and before it all ends, he even throws in a foot-stompin' alt-pop song of sorts. The last stop on this journey into the haunting underbelly of the suburban mind is "Gullregn": a creaking door that opens to unveil his own garden of forking paths, a place where one can still decide, shake things up, jump the fence and run, leave before it's too late. It's pure possibility, presented in a golden light. Although Innhverfi is his debut effort as a solo artist, Obo's musical handwriting has been all over the Icelandic map in recent years: A multi-instrumentalist and a wizard on percussions, he studied piano and later composition in various European cities and has performed and recorded with artists such as Sigur Ros, Jonsi, Emiliana Torrini, Storsveit Nix Noltes, slowblow, Benni Hemm Hemm, múm, Johann Johannsson, Ulfur Hansson and Valgeir Sigurdsson, to name a few. Though few will be able to understand the lyrics in his native Icelandic, one thing is certain: Innhverfi is the very antidote to the affliction and troubles it sketches out.


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