[Reviewed by stark]
Although this prolific artist from Sweden has released a whole lot of music, often for the labels that are quite renowned in the electronic underground world, it has never gained this kind of reputation which would allow Moljebka Pvlse to be qualified to the Premiership of dark ambient. My theory is that it’s because of the project’s character, much more experimental than the artists who prefer more atmospheric approach, or the ones focusing on the concept or the story behind the music. Which is not bad at all, don’t get me wrong.
I can understand that, because in my opinion Moljebka Pvlse’s barrier of entrance for a regular dark ambient fan may be a bit higher than the one of the other projects. I remember my first encounter with the project; it was on the occasion of “Sadalmelik” from 2002, released by Cold Meat Industry. Today I’m really fond of it, but back in the day I found it very difficult to embrace it as a whole and it took me a while to appreciate it. And these days, when 2019 comes to an end, the details matter; with such an abundance of music if you can’t catch the listener’s attention quick, he won’t bother to dig your music but rather swipe his finger on his touch screen to another album or artist.
How does this relate to Moljebka Pvlse ad 2019? Well, still it isn’t a particularly easy listening, at least as for dark ambient standards, but with a proper approach it is very rewarding piece of music and in my opinion ignoring it would be a grave mistake. “Komoku” sparkles with ideas, with tiny details which may have been missed after one listening. According to what I’ve read in a press release the album is based on “field-recordings by Mathias Josefson collected on a journey through the deserts of the American Southwest”. Its experimental nature is manifesting itself in the analogue processing of the sound and – to some degree – sacrificing the typical ambient atmosphere (vast, spatial sound) in sake of the density of music and its vintage feeling. To some point it may recall Morton Subotnick works from the 70s or early 80s. With the heavy processing of the natural recording of a rather primal character, “Komoku” is like a modern extension of the mentioned classic works.
So this is definitely the album which requires more than one, two or five careful listenings. Therefore, those who have a couple of hundred albums to listen in the Spotify queue and just give “Komoku” a quick one, may not appreciate it the way it deserves. It takes some time, but in the end the album reveals its hidden beauty.