PJUSK – “Sart” CD – 12k

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Website: www.12k.com

Yet more proof ,if proof were needed, that 12k have demonstrated a commitment to breaking new artists into the impoverished world of fine quality electronica. Where other labels of equal stature merely rest on their laurels with tried and tested rosters of artists, 12k are busily setting the benchmark with a series of stunning debuts over the last year or so.

Norwegian duo, Pjusk have their first outing on this highly collectable label, following on from a brief, but encouraging airing on 12k’s “Blueprints” sampler last year. “Sart” elegantly straddles the twin disciplines of minimalist electronica and atmospheric ambience in a 13 track collection that is both expansive, yet deeply introverted. With more than a nod and a doff of the cap to fellow countryman, Biosphere, peppered with subtle infusions of perhaps early Aphex Twin (circa “Selected Ambient Works”), Sart opens with the quirky, ephemeral “Tander”. Subsequent tracks, “Kontur” , “Dur” , “Flyktig” are delicately handled tonal works, dripping with reverb and a flicker of darkness, yet retaining glimmers of brilliance. The epic, “Vag” lapses into textbook Biosphere territory, with a much more restrained pallette of tones, carried on a rythmic sub-layer, perpetually inhabited by haunting, disembodied voices, and an eerie electronic skrim, this truly is cinema for the ear. “Rav” and “Hul” explore a much more obtuse, abstracted tonality, hovering in and out of focus, and splintered with intriguing bleeps and subterranean fragments. “Anelse”, “Rom” ,”Dempet” and closing piece, “Stadig” could almost be construed as a single piece, being sketchy, minimalist tone works, dusted with dubby overtones and scratchy sampling.

12k’s press release describe Pjusk’s sound as “warm, delicate, and wet” which make it sound more like a cup of Latte, than a piece of finely wrought electronica, yet the duo of Gjelsvik and Sagevik have created here, a work of subtle, ethereal drama that successfully splices dark tonality with innately human, organic elements such as voice, guitar, and found sounds, that give the whole collection a loose, abstract narrative, that defies easy categorisation. Sart is a collection that is uniquely Scandinavian in mood, no doubt the product of dark icy winter nights lit by the hazy glow of the moon, or the serenely spectacular luminosity of the Aurora Borealis. If you haven’t already reached for your credit card, then the loss is entirely yours…my album of the year so far. BGN

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About whiteline1

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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