By Andreas Jacobsson. Ergo, January, issue 1, 2010.
Ambient in field
The final year of the 21st century was Hjorten's year. Each month, the Uppsala based music pioneer Hjorten made a track by using sounds recorded during that month. The track was available for free download three days the following month. Now all of the twelve tracks have been compiled on the album "2009: Year of the Deer".
According to the press release, the base of the music is "ambient/dark ambient and field recordings". I would say that the latter dominate, even if it's often hard to seperate one from the two. Clear is, however, that ambient in Hjorten's mind is closer to electronic art music than more conventional variations of the genre.
During long periods on "2009: Year of the Deer", there is really only the monotone repetition revealing that the music is electronically created. The ingredients are among others: chirping birds, fireworks, water, moans and human conversations. It's sometimes uncomfortable, other times just a bit annoying and on some occasions the field recordings blossom like dirty musical flowers in nice discharges.
In album form, the tracks are best viewed as an encyclopedia which you can be used to look back and relive a distilled moment of angstfilled feelings from that specific month. Two hours and twenty minutes of Hjorten's year in one sitting is a bit too much.