The final Forwind release of 2019 sees the Swedish multi-instrumentalist Erik Levander join the roster with a dynamic speaker filling five tracker.
The album title 'Inåt', translating 'Inwards', refers to the introspectiveness of the compositions, drawing inspiration from personal struggles in everyday life. The track titles and music cycles point to another layer of context with the ongoing pattern in politics, and of people turning inward, being somewhat inescapable.
A more synth heavy release than 2018's 'Couesnon', Inåt still features a vibrant blend of digital, analog and acoustic sounds. The clarinet is present at times, but also traces of other acoustic sources, all put through their paces with everything from guitar pedals to digital processing utilised, as Erik twists them into some wonderful tones, trails and timbres.
The album opens with the dense and dramatic 'Oförankrad' (Unanchored). The album's theme of journeying inward is explored with a sense of expanse and adventure in a piece that brings to mind new horizons in science fiction as much as the travails of inquisitive introverts.
'Inåt' progresses with the tense 'Prövning' (Trial). The distortion and urgent pulsing make it the most taut and alarming piece on the album.
'År av tvivel' (Years of Doubt) almost entirely consists of heavily processed clarinet sounds. Dissonances, and timbres reminiscent of spectralism, make this Inåt's most harmonically unsettling.
'Tomhetens räckvidd' (Gamut of the Void) is a deep and emotive instrumental. Fans of electronics and electro-acoustics know all about the chase for those tones and combinations that seem to unlock something quite primal and ritualistic, providing a glimpse of something outside the humdrum. Erik combines electronics and woodwind with a restraint and panache that results in a beautiful and understated piece. Enchanting isolationism maybe...
'Celestografi' (Celestography) closes the album out with an epic that acts as a counterweight, a comparative drift into escapist relief. It's a huge piece brimming with real artistry and a kind of dark ecstasy. It might just work as a nod towards the importance of trying to keep perspective or simply a great opportunity to get lost in the albums billowing blow out.
The shadowy and enigmatic imagery comes courtesy of another talented artist making their first appearance on Forwind. Katharina Ira Allenberg studied photography at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. She lives and works in Berlin.