Tor Lundvall: The Seasons Unfold Sampler
Strange Fortune

The most compelling thing about Tor Lundvall's The Seasons Unfold Sampler isn't so much its four appealing settings but the fact that they're teasers for a forthcoming 4-CD set that'll feature his first four ambient solo albums. It'll be interesting to hear how well Lundvall's material holds up in that quantity; certainly the sampler, which follows up last year's Empty City album, augurs well enough for it. He's clearly been creating music for a good many years, as the dates associated with the EPs' tracks indicate.

Swathed in reverb, “Whir” (originally recorded in November 1995 for the Ice album) exudes an ethereal glow as its pianos and washes flow like slow-motion ripples in an underground cave. The ghostly “29” is an atmospheric piano-based ballad featuring an equally peaceful vocal (by Lundvall, presumably). Recorded in 1993, “November's Fields” is as autumnal and reflective as its title suggests it should be, and the passing of fourteen years hasn't lessened the charm of its softly pitter-pattering rhythms and gently whistling tones. The EP's material isn't ambient per se, though it does share with the genre a certain calm and peacefulness. Regardless, the four pieces here are songs first and foremost, though of a particularly atmospheric and haunted sort.

January 2008