Music Reviews

Artist: AKB
Title: Marianergraven
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Lamour Records
Anna-Karin Berglund’s “Marianergraven” album is a collection of soft ambient sonic vignettes that are apparently inspired by the ocean. And while waves are certainly involved, the overall feel of this album feels more like an invocation of space, expressed in sci-fi terms. Long melodic synthetic pad sounds ebb and fall over low warm bass hums, while occasional details and textures flit by- often crisp, gentle wind-like effects. Tonal changes are gentle, without always being predictable.

It’s deeply smooth and tailor-made for sleep playlists, but it’s also bordering on featureless at times, making highlights or distinctive sections scarce. “Subduktion” is notable thanks to its rolling bass and slightly odd low drawn-out vocal-like noises, which are allowed to progress and evolve in a ten-minute space when the other pieces are kept more succinct at five. “Topikerna” layers up the melodic chords in an interesting rolling fashion that forms a kind of audible Moebius strip while “Soluppgangen” has slight shades of Tangerine Dream at their most mellow about it.

Bonus track “Saktmodet” introduces organic orchestral sounds, including a clarinet, and as a two-minute long bolt-on to the album, leaves you wanting a lot more of that particular work. Hopefully it’s an indicator of the direction that Berglund’s next work will take.

It’s softly beautiful and soporific, and forgettable in the nicest possible way. As you nod off to this, it feels like an album that if you sleep through the end of, it’s not a case of missing out, but a case of it having done its job.

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