Thursday, May 06, 2021

Ola Kvernberg - Steamdome II: The Hypogean [Grappa Musikkforlag]

Put on the circuit via the Norwegian main player that is the Grappa Musikkforlag on April 23rd, 2k21 is "Steamdome II: The Hypogean", the sophomore album outing by Ola Kvernberg's project Steamdome which - once again - presents a well eclectic ride influenced by Gustav Mahler, Fela Kuti, Kraftwerk, Billie Eilish and Squarepusher amongst others according to the accompanying promo sheet. This said we see the multi-piece ensemble fusing electronic and real instruments over the course of roughly 64 minutes, amalgamating large scale Classical structures and build-ups with hounded, uptempo and well thrilling Synth as well as Production Music vibes in "Arpy" whilst working its way up to spine-tingling cinematic heights in "Get Down", a piece well worthy to be used and abused in many a film score whereas "Carbonado" presents a take on tender, dreamy, piano-driven and viola-led KrautDisco that would've been loved by the late Andrew Weatherall as well as followers of musical outfits like DC Recordings to a certain extent whilst mixing up folksy elements and thundering drums in the title track "Hypogean" or even gravitating to deep, heartfelt and melancholic Chamber Music paired with echoes of Romantic House alongside complex, dancefloor-friendly drum grooves in bits like "Devil Worm" just to name a few. A great and captivating journey, this one is. Check.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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