Library Tapes: Feelings for Something Lost

Following last year's debut Alone In The Bright Lights Of A Shattered Life, Swedish contemporary classical duo David Wenngren and Per Jardsell (Library Tapes) offer up another fine-tuned collection of atmospheric piano-based minimalism. At only 29-minutes, Feelings for Something Lost is over quickly yet the duo's sophomore effort doesn't feel incomplete. As before, the music often sounds like it's on the verge of decomposing, with the twelve tunes' creaking, faded, and dusty noises sounding like they're coming from broken equipment exhumed from someone's attic on a rain-drenched afternoon. Max Richter and Sylvain Chauveau are Library Tapes' kindred spirits although the latter's autumnal piano vignettes are typically accompanied by field noises and textures. During “abandoned houses hiding in flickering shadows,” a decrepit film projector appears to churn in the background while a needle carves a groove into an old 78 on an ancient turntable. Elsewhere a pretty piano melody resounds alongside clanking chains (“Lines Running Low Through 7th (...The Shame Of It All...)”) or is heard against the roaring crackle of a campfire (“shut your eyes and you'll find the trees turning into flames”). Deaf Center 's Erik Skodvin helps intensify the nightmarish ambiance on “Departures (Burning Saints For Your Own Sins)” while “when we no longer are around to write our love on each other's eyelids” is gentle and reflective by comparison. The album's most special moment arrives with the guest appearance of Colleen (Cécile Schott) whose plucked chords illuminate the stately “Leaves Abstract In A Village Plunged Into Mourning” and bring some welcome uplift to the duo's often lugubrious material.

January 2007