An unfamiliar name to most, Kristoffer Lo is a Norwegian artist that has contributed to a growing number of projects over the years; the most prolific act that he is involved with is Sunswitch where his main duties involve wielding the tuba as part of this post-rock/doom trio. Outside of Sunswitch his musical endeavours seems to lie on the outer limits of experimental music, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Highasakiten and Pelbo to name but a few, so his first solo outing with this hour long piece was approached tentatively.
I have to say I was pleasantly rewarded, even though this is not exactly the most accessible of music, with the right frame of mind it has the ability to transport to a place which is sublimely dreamlike, but with the ability to deliver tones which convey an underlying feeling of isolation and grim oblivion. The movement kicks off with varying degrees of high pitched feedback which are allowed to slowly fade away leaving behind the faint hum of warm amplification, swathes of noise come and go, as if cleansing the air before the unmistakable punch of the tuba kicks in.
From here the darkness pervades every crevice of the music, the long drawn out notes from the tuba reverberating over slight changes in feedback pitches and effect pedal manipulation combined with hints of guitar all combine to create a slowly enveloping sense of dread. It’s one of those records though where repeated plays are a must, where you have to invest yourself fully and with an open mind, but what you will find is a piece of music that will stick with you for a long time to come.
Of course instant references will be made to the legends of the drone scene such as Sunn and Earth, but this is simply not another clone. The choice of instrumentation for a start is one of its major selling points, the cavernous bass that accompanies each movement is simply insane and seeing this in a live environment would be an incredible experience I am sure.
If you are looking for something outside of the norm, something different amongst the deluge of doom and drone, you really can’t go far wrong with picking up ‘Anomie’, especially if you are already a fan of the superb Sunswitch. I will look forward to hearing what else Kristoffer gets up to in the future as this really is a sublime piece of work; track it down if you can!
Scribed by: Todd Robinson