Published on Thursday, 02 June 2016 15:50
Album title: Orgelhuset
Release date: 15 May 2016
Label: Hypnagoga Press
02. Två Munnars Språk
04. Ett Ord Från Öknen
06. Bära Fram Månen
08. Bära Fram Solen
Hymnambulae is the product of siblings Par and Asa Bostrom. The Swedish duo release Orgelhuset as the first album on their nascent label, Hypnagoga Press. While I have not previously known of Asa Bostrom's artistic talents, Par Bostrom's name should be quite familiar to fans of dark ambient and readers of Terra Relicta's previous reviews of Kammarheit, Par's main project. He is also known for his more apocalyptic-themed side project, Cities Last Broadcast. Par's magnificent grasp on sound manipulation, field recordings, and deep emotive drones is quite obvious throughout Orgelhuset. It seems that Asa has brought a very mystical, warm and more personal aspect into the fold, giving a perfect balance to Par's often cold and desolate musical output. These opposing forces naturally feed right into the concept of Orgelhuset.
I find this album hard to speak about, hard to characterize. It seems as if the opposites attract, two sides come together, voices from different places yet the same all at once. The siblings seem to speak from many places without ever leaving the organ house. The dichotomy of these opposites coming together brings a strong sense of mystery enshrouded in mysticism. Cold winds are felt as they penetrate the organ house while there is at once a warmth radiating from within. In this mystery I am able to delve deep into contemplation, meditating on the opposites which are all encompassed within the existence of our planet, as well as our minds. Cold and lonely thoughts are met with the warmth of the known, just as they are radiating their warmth they are unmistakably frigid. How may we rectify these opposing forces? How is it possible to make sense of our realm of existence? The known embraces the unknown, the siblings are as such characterized by this dichotomy. The siblings are from one and the same origin, yet they take two separate forms, male-female, cold-warmth, sun-moon. The idea continues to take form throughout the album, with some tracks portraying a desertification, while others embody the frozen polar tundras.
Orgelhuset, the organ house, appears to be the basis from which they branch out into opposing directions, the organ house holds them together, keeps the concept of the project in focus, even as it appears to tear itself apart. This is not to say that the album seems to lose direction or focus. Far from losing focus, the polar opposites fit cozily into the theme presented. They give the listener more to ponder and contemplate upon than is usually expected of themed albums, which are often so straight forward that not much thought is necessary to bring the creators' images and concepts to life. You will find here something almost ritualistic. The mysticism is thick and pleasantly overwhelming, yet it at once holds a sort of subtlety. This gives Orgelhuset a strong replay value.
The physical version of this release is highly recommended. While the music is surely of the highest quality and able to stand on its own, the physical version is a splendid package. The digifile comes with a 32 page booklet, full of obscured images and several poems, not to mention all the poems and track titles have been translated into English for those of us from outside Sweden. These images and poems bring extra life and meaning to Orgelhuset.
I would highly recommend Orgelhuset to any fan of Par Bostrom's other projects, as this brings out a whole new side of his talents, not to mention the perfectly balanced contributions by Asa Bostrom. Fans of ambient, dark ambient, and neo-classical will all find aspects of this album to embrace and enjoy. It really is quite a unique and original album of which I would be able to point to very few others even close to this sound. If this is any indication of future releases on Hypnagoga Press, I would be willing to wager they will be a well known label quite soon.
Review written by: Michael