opis: Reviews: Valgeir Sigurdsson is a renowned Icelandic producer and engineer as well as the head of the Bedroom Community label, and this is his first solo record. Sigurdsson's sound, his distinctive artistic voice, has been filtering through the cracks of "mainstream" music for years: he has had a significant hand in Bj”rk's seminal Vespertine and Medulla albums, the hushed confessions of Bonnie "Prince" Billy's The Letting Go and the cacophonous nursery rhymes of Cocorosie's Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn. The sense of craft, intensity of focus and attention to details in Sigurdsson's work behind the controls is evident on this debut and in the works of those artists Sigurdsson represents on his label. Ekv!libr!um includes vocal performances from Bonnie "Prince" Billy, who helps craft one of the highlights of the album, "Kin," where rivers of strings flow around playful music boxes and prepared piano, as well as contributions from Faun Fables' Dawn McCarthy and J. Walker aka Machine Translations. It's an album that blends genres so effortlessly and gracefully that the word "genre" itself becomes obsolete, mixing all the vital elements like a bricklayer mixes concrete. Despite the solidity of Sigurdsson's ideas, there is also a fluidity between the tracks, and even within them. The theme of water trickles through the album, with direct references in titles such as "Evolution of Waters" to the general aesthetic feel of the album, from the dripping percussion of "Equilibrium Is Restored" to the tidal waves of strings engulfing the listener on the effervescent "Before Nine." With Ekv!libr!um, Valgeir Sigurdsson has shown that he is equally as talented as a crafter of songs and instigator of a cascade of emotions. Fans of everything from Bj”rk to Brian Eno to Telefon Tel Aviv will find themselves falling in love with the album's lucidity, its beauty and its emotional impact. Having worked on many era-defining releases of the past, Sigurdsson has now created one of his own.
Play It Again Sam (UK)
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