Fleeing to the nation to flee the distractions of the town has been a time-honoured custom amongst artists ever since our cities turned hyperproductive hubs of trade and exercise. The Romantic poets did it, preferring to die charmingly of consumption within the Lake District than among the many satanic mills of London, as did the Bloomsbury Group, who packed up their easels and notebooks and traipsed off to Charleston to attempt to overlook the horrors of the struggle. Thoreau wrote an entire e book about the advantages of spending time within the woods pondering, in Walden, and a complete cottage trade round would-be novelists exists to supply them distant retreats the place they will focus on writing. The countryside, the speculation goes, is one of the best place to get expressive work carried out.
Oslo (inhabitants: 600,000) may not be probably the most smog-choked conurbation on this planet – we’re hardly speaking Delhi or Guangzhou – nevertheless it was nonetheless chaotic sufficient to encourage Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen to up sticks and head into the Norwegian countryside in 2014. And thank no matter greater energy influences the course of digital music that he did, as a result of his time in rural sequestration led Mathisen to provide a self-titled debut below the suitable moniker Rural Tapes.
The largely instrumental album is an amalgamation of kinds and influences that mirror Mathisen’s personal lengthy historical past of creating music and his intensive manufacturing credentials. Melding clean jazz with floaty puffs of synth, the album is each meditative and uplifting, the kind of soundtrack you may anticipate from a dream sequence in a Nineteen Seventies movie. Billed by the label as – take a deep breath – “a trippy, largely instrumental odyssey which attracts inspiration from jazz, electronica, dub, Nineteen Seventies krautrock, movie music, classical music akin to Chopin and instrumental bands like Tortoise”, Rural Tapes matches fortunately right into a imaginative and prescient of the idyllic Norwegian panorama of summer time fjords and aromatic spruce forests. “The most important affect on the album,” Mathisen tells GQ, “has most likely been the environment and the atmosphere it was recorded in. It has affected me rather a lot, particularly within the spring, listening to the chirping of birds as a substitute of site visitors noise on my little stroll over the courtyard on the way in which to my studio.”
Mathisen is the founding member of a handful of Norwegian bands, together with I Was A King and Heroes & Zeros (diehard soccer or gaming followers may keep in mind the Heroes & Zeros monitor “Into the Mild” from the Fifa 08 soundtrack…), and he lately based the transcontinental collective The No Ones with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of REM. A multi-instrumentalist, Mathisen performs drums, drum machines, clavier, synthesisers, string devices, tuba and horns on the brand new document, in addition to singing. A lot of the album was recorded in a barn on the farm Mathisen moved to in 2014 and predominantly on analogue gear, and whereas Rural Tapes marks the primary solo mission that Mathisen has put his identify to, he nonetheless labored carefully with a lot of high-profile musicians throughout manufacturing. In a brand new single from the album, “Misplaced In Sound”, Mathisen has prolonged his collaboration with vocalist McCaughey, in addition to bringing in Sizzling Chip’s Alexis Taylor to play Rhodes synths and the flautist and Tom Waits and PJ Harvey collaborator Terry Edwards.
Rural Tapes’ self-titled debut album is out in April
“Once I began ending my album final spring,” Mathisen says, “it was fairly clear to me that I needed Scott to contribute in some manner. I’ve been working with him during the last 5 to 6 years and he has been an enormous inspiration for me. I despatched him a few tracks I thought may attraction to him, together with this one. A day or two later he despatched it again, completed with phrases and an amazing double vocal monitor.”
McCaughey provides that the instrumental reminded him of an REM monitor that was recorded however misplaced, relationship to the period of his band’s 2001 album, Reveal, recalling, “It took me proper again to these joyous thriller days in Vancouver – solely this time I was the one requested to place phrases and voices over the ethereal panorama.” Given Reveal reached No1 in six international locations – together with, by the way, Norway – that’s hardly a comparability to smell at.
Rural Tapes is out on 30 April.