Kiasmos – s/t

Kiasmos

I first heard a track by Kiasmos while driving through some of Iceland’s spectacular wilderness this summer, and when I found out who was behind it my interest was firmly captured. Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds has become relatively well-known and acclaimed for his ‘neo-classical’ work – even winning a Bafta for composing the end credits and score for the ITV series Broadchurch in 2013. Here he brings his string swells and delicate piano figures into a house/techno-oriented collaboration with Janus Rasmussen of the Faroe Isles. It’s such a perfect marriage of styles. I know nothing of Rasmussen’s material but I can only assume he brings the dancier end of the spectrum to the brew (if you’ll excuse that mixed metaphor). These 8 tracks (each named with a verb – Lit, Held, Looped, Swayed, Thrown, Dragged, Bent, Burnt) are perfectly formed, almost hermetically sealed explorations into individual melodic ideas, with the union of neo-classical and electronic sounding as natural as a glacier. It doesn’t fall into the trap of being twee twinkly plinky-plonky, either – there’s a depth and heft to much of this that could accompany the finest staring-at-landscapes session. An album that really lived up to its promise.

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