Monday, February 20, 2017
ANDERS BRØRBY “Mulholland Drive, 1984”
C50 (Hylé Tapes)
I mean of course the first thing you’re going to think of is David Lynch. His masterful mind-scrambler Mulholland Drive launched (probably) a thousand cinematically inclined nightmarish dark ambient records. Lynch himself dabbles in music, and it sounds as otherworldly as you would expect. If there’s one thing you can pin on a David Lynch film is that it’s going to be saturated in mood. Where does the story go, where does it take us? Doesn’t matter. Serve the mood.
Norwegian artist Anders Brørby is a student of the mood. He’s a slatherer of synths, a maestro of mise en scène, taking cues not only from Lynch but also from Argento, Wenders, and Pasolini. He crafts atmospheric homages to place, and you can’t help but be enveloped by them. In musical circles he’s clearly influenced by (*promo copy check*) Fennesz, Tim Hecker, and William Basinski, as his compositions crackle, hiss, and pulse with tactile sonics. He succeeds by removing you as a listener from your surroundings and creating an entire new, weird world in which to place you. It just so happens that the new world is actually one that has already existed, a repurposed moonlit night among the Hollywood Hills.
Mulholland Drive, 1984 is steeped in magic and mystery, as is likely obvious from the descriptive text you’ve already written. But it’s impossible for me to do it justice – the amount of words I would have to type to remotely connect to the album’s dense aura would fill a novel, and if I were writing novels, I wouldn’t be slaving over music. But hey, I like slaving over music, so we’re all in the same boat – it’s not a yacht or anything, but it’ll do. People like Anders Brørby make the review game worthwhile. And back to his tape, unpacking each track is an overwhelmingly enjoyable task, one that’s as satisfactory at minute one as it is at minute fifty.
Is Mulholland Drive, 1984 an homage, then, to Lynch’s film? Not directly, but certainly in spirit. It could easily serve as an alternate soundtrack to the surreal creepings that the film is famous for. And it doesn’t stay in one place, either, as horns are introduced in “A Sudden Sense of Loss” and otherworldly waveforms flit through “Deconstruction of Mirages.” Like Lynch, Brørby manages to surprise, injecting the unexpected into his work as it progresses. It’s the mark of an artist in complete control of his medium.