Library Tapes: Like Green Grass Against a Blue Sky

Coincident with the release of the Murralin Lane release Our House is on the Wall (where David Wenngren pairs with singer Ylva Wiklund) is Wenngren's latest collection under the Library Tapes alias for his own Auetic imprint. Arriving two years after the last Library Tapes album, A Summer Beneath the Trees, Like Green Grass Against a Blue Sky could be construed as an overview of sorts for the Library Tapes project, as it includes solo piano settings, piano pieces paired with field recordings, and a couple of piano settings that add the cello playing of Wenngren's Le Lendemain partner Danny Norbury to the mix. At slightly more than thirty minutes, the collection is as concise as Wenngren's previous Library Tapes recordings. Most of the tracks are in the two-minute zone, with only two in the seven-minute range.

In essence, the mini-album supplements a number of piano settings of elegant and minimal design with the two cello-enhanced ambient drones. “Terese” pairs scratchy field noises and melancholy chord patterns, a combination later revisited in “Accidental Theme pt.1”; “Enslig” likewise acompanies sparse pianisms with creaking electronic noises, while “Klosterg.” presents a dramatic solo piano setting of interlaced ostinato patterns. By far, the recordings' most memorable tracks are the ones featuring Norbury. In “02,” whispered traces of cello float through a shimmering woodland of spectral atmosphere, while “09” offers an entrancing, see-sawing drift where the cello and electronics blur into a gently wavering mass. These gorgeous ambient settings suggest that following the release of Like Green Grass Against a Blue Sky Wenngren and Norbury might be wise to devote their full attention to producing a follow-up to their Le Lendemain album Fires, which appeared on Home Normal earlier this year.

October 2010