Bjerga / Iversen - burning the light at both ends
This Norwegian duo of Sindre Bjerga and Jan Iversen has been quite prolific in 2005. This is hardly a bad thing as their "Lighthouse Tapes" series has continually offered memorable moments that explore varying styles and influences. On this wonderfully packaged CD-R from the Carbon imprint, the duo slows things down with a soft, disjointed electronic swim in the ice-cold polar seas.
"Burning the Light at Both Ends" is one single, 36 minute modern sea shanty. Low level drones keep this long piece together and constantly moving. It's hypnotic reverie for the freezing tides that surround the southern tip of their native Norway leaves no stone unturned. This steady descent into the dementia of being lost at sea, with no hope of survival is undaunting. As it begins with it's rolling waves of watery electronics, you can see the storm clouds forming off in the distance. There's a determination in these tones to face down your gravest fear and continue pushing forward. A stunning build-up of tension twists the listener into a pretzel of nerves.
Just over the midway point is when the delirium starts to set in. Through the careful use of orchestral and opera (I think) samples, the duo creates a real-time look at someone losing it in the face of insurmountable odds. This is what it sounds like to have voices in your head. By the time the pulsing electric guitars come into the mix, you are already gone. You are lying on your back, staring into the sun laughing at your own demise. These shambolic tones haunt you and mock you, never letting up until your brain finally explodes into a caustic mash of flesh and bone. In your demise you are reborn.
Bjerga & Iversen are two highly talented individuals. One can only hope that their collaborative efforts continue well into 2006. "Burning the Light at Both Ends" is another wonderful and interesting sonic entry into their every growing discography. This is one ship I never want to get off. 7/10 -- (27 June, 2006)