Netherworld: Over the Summit
Glacial Movements

Over the Summit is quintessential Glacial Movements material from the label overseer himself, Alessandro Tedeschi aka Netherworld. Three years after his debut full-length Mørketid, Tedeschi returns with an hour-long collection of refined ambient work where cavernous rumbles, field recordings, classical string fragments, and processed speaking voices evoke the endless plains of unnamed frozen landscapes and sweeping vistas dotted with the silhouettes of snow-covered mountains. Everything moves in a kind of blissful slow-motion and an inhuman stillness permeates the album's becalmed pieces, the concept being that the manipulated sounds of the Aurora Borealis itself have been integrated into the album's tracks.

Despite Glacial Movements' reputation for ice-cold cryogenics, there's an undeniable warmth to the material that draws the listener in, something that's especially audible during a serenading piece like “Iceblink (Aurora Borealis Mix)” where willowy tones softly waver alongside faint percussion accents for thirteen hypnotic minutes. An enveloping, Eluvium-like string mass washes over the listener during “Aurora Performs its Last Show,” and the subdued “Thoughts Locked in the Ice” is as peaceful and entrancing as the album's other long-form settings. The album takes a surprisingly chillier turn during the closing piece, “Iperborea,” when the aforesaid warmth is stripped away and muffled footsteps and brittle atmospherics create an ominous mood; needless to say, the piece presents a stark contrast to the five preceding it yet hardly detracts from the overall strong impression the album makes. Tedeschi advises the listener to experience the album's tracks in a “quiet, nocturnal environment at low-medium level,” and, as expected, Over the Summit proves to be ever-more transporting when heard under such conditions.

March 2011