øjeRum’s previous release from last year “Selv I Drømme Lyser Den Første Sne” is probably the ChainDLK-related release I’ve revisited more than any other- both as a relaxing headphone listening experience, and also as a soporific highlight of my sleep playlists, perfect for lowering the heart rate and drifting off.
So new release “7 Sjæle” was welcomed with great anticipation. It doesn’t disappoint, and to a large extent, it’s more of the same, for better or worse. With warm melodic ambience, loose and simple themes operating on gentle rotations, and long slow attack envelopes arriving like waves, it seems custom made to slow you down. No mention is made of the instrumentation- it feels synthetic, but there are shades of clarinet-ish woodwind and fragile string sounds that just give shades of the orchestral, without making it any kind of artificial impersonation.
The structure lends itself to sleep too, placing six shorter sonic sketches on the first side before letting the second side delve into a single and gradually more minimal twenty-minute offering “Syvende Sjæl”. As a consequence though, some of the first side feels a little under-realised at times, with pieces like “Tredje Sjæl” fading away at a point that feels further exploration could’ve been justified. “Femte Sjæl” furthers the wave theme by adding an undulating soft white noise, as a form of icing on top of a bass-rich and gooey warm audio cake.
Something about this release fails to shine quite as brightly as last year’s album. The slightly imbalanced seven-track structure, and a kind of frustrated undertow that runs through the sound, make it somehow marginally less loveable- or perhaps it just doesn’t feel as original. Nevertheless it’s still a warm and immersive listen that’s a pleasure to have washing over you.