Reviewed: Severin – Safe Following Distance [Petrola80]

Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.

Severin – Safe Following Distance [Petrola80]

The musical output hailing from the Scandinavian regions is generally marked by an intense intimacy, contrasted by colder winds of dissociating distance. A tonal overlap of landscapes where sound has the characteristic of photographic moments.

Danish artist Jens Konrad Barrett captures the hyperactive emotions common to the intangible world of the Online with his first EP as Severin. There is a lot happening in this record, and it should be understood as individualistic tracks feeding off each other’s aesthetics. Characteristic are the vocals, synths, and musical styles that playfully overlap or follow each other up in waves, expressing conversations of their own. Traces of Barrett’s engagement in the Danish noise and techno scene, as well as his experience in ambient music form a rich fundament on which this EP is based. With this alias, he already has made a contribution to the VA I Could Go Anywhere But Again I Go With You on the label Posh Isolation, resembling the style continued within Safe Following Distance.

This review is accompanied by an interview with Severin, going deeper into his inspiration to use the metaphor of internet stalking for this EP and the decision to form a solo moniker apart from his work in the duo Lyra Valenza.

 

Link interview: https://zenevloed.nl/music/exchange/severin/

Tracklist:

  1. New Partial Freedom
    02. A Distance In Between
    03. Share Location
    04. Infinity 2018

 

New Partial Freedom opens with innocent, delayed laughing, on and off drenched in white noise, forming a psychotic cocktail. This is quickly followed up by a heavy offbeat percussion and bass lines, reminiscent of the output of artists like M.E.S.H. and Eomac. The low tones creep during the track like a stalker’s footsteps, interlaced by synth lines exuding a false sense of freedom. Picking up on the earlier mentioned waves, is the airy tune A Distance In Between. Amazing old-school synth solo snippets just grab the listener by its nostalgic heart, which is directly compensated by rolling drums, noisy bits, and slow paced pads fading out to a nothingness.

Share Location is a fast-paced hunt. A wild ride consisting of UK inspired percussive techno and grime vibes. There are few moments of ease throughout the track, before the beat picks up again. Closing the EP is Infinity 2018, offering us the much needed recollection after the previous stomper, yet it doesn’t seem to get more comfortable. Slow, cold melodies, pitched voices alternate with a warm bass. The entirety is broken halfway by an uplifting early 00’s trance intervention, greatly contributing to the mental landscape of encountering the digital freedom our generation knew. Although, also this nostalgic part has the unease of never completely folding out to a major breakdown, hinting back at the never-ending power(im-)balance created by the internet voyeur.

Buy link: https://petrola80.bandcamp.com/album/safe-following-distance