With “Substans” (which as all Ultimae releases comes with expert photo footage in the cd-booklet), the Norwegian duo Bjarte Andreassen and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik aka Circular, deliver their long awaited fourth album.
The 13 tracks on the cd (which took four years in the making) offer a collection of cinematic and sample-based “micro ambient tales” that contain this icy and organic edge that’s so well known of ambient music hailing from Scandinavia, which is not only due to the added environmental sounds.
Next to groovy patterns, crispy fx’s, guitar licks and nicely melted multi-layered textural tapestries, the esoteric music has a rather mellow but so very alive feel, shifting through overall slow morphing and deep atmospheric territory. Not to forget about the a high-tech rim and an occasional tad of holdback down-tempo (“Bits”, “Hurumburum”).
Of all dark and chilled pieces, “Bathing is a ritual” is the only track which sounds a bit too abstract and experimental to my taste. All other transcendental ambient excursions show that the beauty lies within its core, as long as you listen and absorb.
Those who are fond of the sound of intelligent and organic ambient and those who love the mesmerizing sound of Biosphere or Boards of Canada, should turn their heads and ears toward “Substans”.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Circular artist page