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Breidablik - Penumbra CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.31 | 7 ratings

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5 stars Penumbra is a new release from Breidablik, an EM project headed by Morten Birkeland Nielsen from Bergen, Norway. Here this album got released on vinyl on Pancromatic Records, this was the same label that issued the double vinyl set from Jordsjø, a wonderful prog rock band not unlike Wobbler or Änglagård. Speaking of Jordsjø, they released a split cassette with Breidablik called Songs from the Northern Wasteland. Breidablik then went and released Vinter, which is 100% Breidablik, on limited edition cassette (you can download it on Bandcamp). Penumbra simply takes what was done on Vinter one step further. Once again, lots of nice use of analog and analog modelling synths, as well as an Omenie Mellotron M3000. What's that? A Mellotron iPad app, that's what it is! From judging on the gear he uses, like the MicroKorg, Arturia Microbrute, Korg Monotribe, the Korg ARP Odyssey (yes, Korg resurrected the old ARP classic) and others, he uses lot of small, portable lightweight gear and puts them to great use. What took huge bulky gear for Tangerine Dream to accomplish what they did in the mid '70s, one can do something similar on small gear like what Morten does here. I own a MicroKorg and it's a wonderful, small, lightweight machine, about the size and weight of a 1980s toy Casio for children, but it's a wonderful synth capable of classic analog synth sounds, as well as an arpeggiator and vocoder, and I can see how Morten included one. The Monotribe is a sequencer that he uses here, but don't expect in-your-face Ricochet-sequencer overdrive as the sequencer use here is mid-paced. The music has an often eerie feeling like you're in the cold, barren areas of northern Norway. The music has a frequently ambient feel, particularly when the sequencers aren't being used. What I'm getting at is the music here is Berlin School style electronic music, although I've seen Breidablik's Bandcamp page call it the "Bergen School of electronic music", mainly because Morten Birkeland Nielsen hails from Bergen. Other than that, it's very much as you expect out of Berlin School electronic music. While Tangerine Dream, Schulze and the likes are to be felt, this isn't a clone. I can see Breidablik making a big impression in the world of electronic music, and Penumbra only proves that and very much worth hearing!
Progfan97402 | 5/5 |


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