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Norn:
Usotsuki (Moving Furniture)

Norn’s
mini-album is less than 26 minutes long, an oddly brief but involved
musical journey that traverses a good amount of terrain in its
playback. It starts with a cinematic murmur, slowly revealing itself
to be a lush instrumental. It recalls the cinematic IDM of acts like
Murcof, Jacazcek, or Bersarin Quartett, but Usotsuki has a subtler,
more hushed quality about it, with overtones of the dreamy dystopia
of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score. Despite its brevity, the flow of
music feels effortless and expansive. At the center of Usotsuki is a
piece named “Balor,” which includes a spoken monologue by
Pete Simonelli. It’s both effective on its own but also distracting
in the sequence, a startlingly clear vocal surrounded by otherwise
gentler, quieter, more elegiac sounds. I’ve no doubt this is
deliberate, as it certainly stands out as a centerpiece between
otherwise instrumental tracks. It’s this combination of spoken word
and atmospheres that reminds me of some of Barry Adamson’s earliest
solo music, cinematic and grand and noirish.

It feels like a
narrative even without a voice most of the time, on such a track as
“Maanmeer (Bewogen)” or the two reflective halves of “Vanuit De
Nevelen.” Recommended for fans of immersive and compelling sonic
storytelling.

Buy it: Moving Furniture | Boomkat | iTunes | Amazon