Hildur Gudnadóttir – Without Sinking – CD – Touch

This latest offering from Touch showcases the work of Hildur Gudnadóttir. Gudnadóttir’s works follow a line of Touch releases best exemplified by Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson on his Children of Nature release, or the numerous recordings of Johan Johansson (who guests here) for the label. Without Sinking is an achingly melancholic work, featuring Gudnadottir’s winding strings, combined with a select ensemble of guest artists in one singularly elegiac collection. Much of the work here draws from, and is infused with a typically Nordic folksy spirit of lament, and there is something peculiar to that region of the world that is able to effortlessly invoke dark spirits without descending into the cliches of the drone. Gudnadottir splices and stratifies the strings, building subtle resonances from the lower end of the scale, and exploits the dynamics of the higher strings, skillfully excavating syncopated rhythm and tempo, with searing harmonics, very much in the mood and manner of the contemporary Eastern European minimalists, Arvo Pärt, and Peteris Vasks. In the main, these are brief summaries of pieces that I feel could be extended into longer form works, but equally serve as an impressive Touch debut for an artist who, no doubt, we will be hearing much more of. Superb. BGN

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WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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