BARDSPEC Featuring ENSLAVED Guitarist IVAR BJORNSON Release “Gamma” Music Video
May 16, 2017, a year ago
This June, By Norse will release the debut album, Hydrogen, from BardSpec, the ambient project/band featuring Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and Today Is The Day's Steve Austin. A David Hall-directed video for the track “Gamma” can be seen below.
Comments Bjørnson of the band's latest single, "'Gamma' is a meditation on the magic of science, or perhaps the science of magic. The mysteries of the atom and nuclear physics have fascinated me deeply as long as I can remember. Enlightened humans have known for thousands of years that the concept of 'god' dwells within the corporal being, and with the atom bomb the proof was definite... to me at least. As scientist in charge [American theoretical physicist and professor of physics Julius Robert] Oppenheimer said, watching the first test atom bomb go off: 'I have become Shiva: Destroyer Of Worlds.' The other aspect of radiation is its communicative powers; of carrying information over enormous distances. We learn things about the universe and its early days from watching bursts of Gamma Ray make its way through the universe. Musically speaking it is one of the heavier songs, which I managed to sneak in a little Sigur Ros tribute into as well."
Hydrogen will be released on June 23rd across all formats. The six-panel CD digipak is available as a limited first pressing of 1,000 and includes bonus track "Teeth”. The double-gatefold LP is limited to 500 on black vinyl; the digital format will also include the bonus track. Access the "Fire Tongue" radio edits now via iTunes and Apple Music.
Having launched at Roadburn in 2015, BardSpec has since evolved into a fully-fledged band, with Steve Austin on guitars/effects, David Hall presenting the live visual aspect of the project, with the layout created by Josh Graham (Soundgarden, Neurosis, IIVII, etc.).
BardSpec combines stirring, hallucinatory synth-sounds with mercurial guitar effects and hypnotic rhythms that navigate illusory landscapes. Field recordings, and other found-sounds also drift and evaporate into the ether. Working intuitively with these elements and with sharpened senses, attuned to inner impulses, this is immersive music that can exist anywhere and anytime within the minds of the listener.
Whilst BardSpec might essentially be the same brain and personality making the music, compared to Enslaved, it is a widely different entity. Thematically and sonically, BardSpec is about minimizing, subtracting, and meditating upon the simplest essence of "things;" the single points exemplified through song titles like "Bone," "Salt," and so on, the basic elements and foundations that make up the whole. There is an element of "space" in the music and the artwork, as a representation of the inner workings of the mind and the subconscious.
Inspired by the German masters Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schultze, and Conrad Schnitzler in addition to contemporary ambient music like Norwegian one-man-band Biosphere and abstract modern electronic music like When (Norwegian also), as well as the electronic/industrial-driven metal like Godflesh. Ivar describes the appeal and trance-inducing aspects of such music to him, "I remember listening to Richard Burmer and his album Mosaic from 1984. I thought I fell asleep but I was in a semi-lucid state where I still registered music - but not much else. At the end of side A there's an explosion so violent and extreme that I jumped two feet into the air and was totally shocked. The weird thing is, I couldn't remember it being there. When I revisited the music again it was just a little 'thud.' I was just experiencing a trance so deep into the music that this deviation from the pattern and frequencies in the foregoing half hour of monotony totally shocked me. I loved it!"
“Intro - Deposition”
“Teeth” (bonus track)
“Fire Tongue” video:
A special record release show to showcase the album is scheduled for June 29th at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York.
(Photo - Christian Misje)