Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Stian Westerhus & Maja S. K. Ratkje - All Losses Are Restored [Crispin Glover Records]

Set for release via Crispin Glover Records on March 15th, 2k24 is "All Losses Are Restored", the first ever full on collaboration album conceived by Stian Westerhus and Maja S. K. Ratkje. As a duo the pair of Norwegian artists, both established and renowned composers and performers in their own respective right, caters a set of six brand new pieces rolled out over the course of roughly 32 minutes, employing a pretty unusual instrumental set up consisting of fiddle, acoustic guitar, a 19th century pump organ, their very own voices as well as occasional scrap metal, all alongside the full body of work of William Shakespeare which provided a major inspiration and overall source for this album. The sonic result of these unusual ventures is quite astounding, starting with heavy Industrial scrap metal rhythms turning into most beautiful, romantic and expressive songwriting in the opening tune "The Gravedigger", progresses into enchanted layerings of quasi Spoken Word recitals and folksy episodes in the subsequent title track, brings on full on, yet intense and captivating Folk goodness of yore in "Walking Shadow" which is our favorite cut on this album due to its slightly off-kilter nature and unexpectedly soul-devouring breakdown whereas the closing cut "Thou Blind Fool" even introduces a hint of mythical enchantment for a tender finale just to name a few. Interesting.


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