CD: Strange Fortune SF3 [2006]
Ltd x 955

Scrap Yard
Platform #3
Running Late
Night Work
Early Hours
Grey Water
Buildings And Rain
Empty City
Open Window
2:00 AM
Clearing Sky

"Empty City", Tor Lundvall’s follow up to his last year’s "Last Light" release, continues to illume murky byways, yet here the brume parts to reveal stagnant urban sprawl, a mordant city on the precipice of endlessness.

Fumaroles spew a chugging black smoke from long abandoned machinery that somehow still recycles itself, a parallax of construction, producing effect without an audience. "Empty City" is just that, a vacant metropolis of dark haunts and ragged buildings, but this is not industrial music, true it bellows dark ambient smog and silhouettes pneumatics but the haunting melodies of Mr. Lundvall that were woven in Last Light find counterpoint here not with voice, but with the deserted, derelicts of a lost humanity. Percussion shimmers in explosions of ages of dust, with lolling rhythms and haunting sirens that cry from iron girders and skeletal pylons. Mechanical bass pulses to the faint spasms of circuitry twined across streets and buildings, somehow church bells chime brittle memorials for inhabitants long gone. There are few drones here, as is often the case with ambient music, with Mr. Lundvall instead relying on burred synth and wind to sing his ghostly songs. Several of the tracks feature rhythm that verges on song, yet like the city the only vocals remaining in these tracks are vaporous at best. The album feels much like tuning into an old radio broadcast that shouldn’t quite exist, the frequency out of range, tapping into the tattered future or a parallel world. A certain literary commingling works well with this album, the mechanical nightmare of future cities at the end of time by author, Simon Logan, shelves well beside this album; stark absence in a world of vents, man-made chines, smoking with the memory of what was.

The simple digipak comes lovingly embalmed in Tor Lundvall’s own paintings, in full colour, richly hued and bleak cityscapes set in winter and autumn, four in all if you count the withered contortions of trees gracing the disc itself.


[Tor Lundvall] / [Strange Fortune]

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Other Reviews:

Tor Lundvall: [Last Light]

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