"Norway" (EP, 2019) !Recommended!
meditative four-track EP from Clive Smedley’s The Bleak
Industrialists project exhibits a decidedly 1970s quality
ambient music feel to it (sans the hippy shit).
black and white, DIY photocopy style cover visually harks
back to the early punk years, depicting a white-haired boy
wearing long shorts, sidling up against a wall that has
graffiti with the word LEVE painted above a symbol looking
like the number 7 written over a capital letter H.
Norway, Leve is the title of the Norwegian Organization for
Suicide Survivors, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find that
this hints at where this EP is coming from.
instrumental tracks, simply labelled Norway 1, Norway 2,
Norway 3 and Norway 4, do have something of a
sense of optimism returning after a period of trauma about
them. There’s a plaintive, earthy, grounded feel to all of
this. The piano based Norway 3 is the shortest and
brightest piece, but it's Norway 2 that’s the
absolute gem here. Taking inspirational cues from the
ambient sounds of a harbour on some remote headland, it
effortlessly deserves mention alongside Brian Eno’s best
there’s not a whiff of pretension about any of this.
as if a gruff northerner had been reared exclusively on slow
Krautrock, but decided it needed a gritty reality check by
imparting the spirit of local mining community brass bands,
this is 25 minutes of glorious introspection. Norway 4
brings this beautifully diverting sojourn gently to a halt,
with its slowed heartbeat of a distant animal skin drum, as
a piano slowly picks out a wistful melody against a warm
tone synth backing.
The perfect soundtrack for staring into the middle distance without a thought in your head. 8/10
Dyer (April 2020)
the closer we are to dying