The return of Deaf Center (Erik K. Skodvin & Otto A. Totland) is slow and precise, a soft haze descending upon the late days of summer. Each artist released an album earlier this year, but on this EP they perform together once more ~ or more precisely, two earlier performances are collected.
“Follow Still” was recorded in 2012 in Berlin, while “Oblivion” dates back to 2008 in Oslo. Without the dates provided, one would be hard put to identify the time of their genesis. This is partially due to the semi-improvisational nature of the pieces, and partially due to the timbres; light piano and organ textures seldom sound dated. These dominate the first piece, which is more “still” than “follow”; any movement is slow. Many seconds pass with only reverberation, like the aftermath of a sunbeam. Only in the closing minutes does the guitar nudge forward, like a cat hoping for a meal. The most unusual sound is the clicking of the reverb pedals, which some may mistake for a prepared piano.
Travel back in time four years – six to us – and we encounter “Oblivion”, a time capsule of the duo’s progress, midway between their shared school days and current careers. One can’t help but think of how an album might sound, extending the set back to the very first demo: a Flowers for Algernon for the musical set. This languid piece is as smeared as the photography on the cover: meant to signify whatever the listener might imagine. Unlike its predecessor, it’s less a “pure” artifact, due to the addition of sub-bass (Nils Frahm, of course!). Call it a remix if you’d like, but it’s more accurately a revisitation. As we wait for the next album, Recount is an inventory: not immediate, but thorough. (Richard Allen)
Release date: 29 August