Asterion by Arne Borgan

Arne Borgan | Asterion
Tipi Token Records (CD/DL)

I was given this album from Arne himself, in person. He walked in the bar where I was sitting with some mutual friends and didn’t say much: “it came out today.” – he said.
I was very fascinated and happy, the fact that someone hands you personally a product of his or her work still feels to me like the opportunity to enter this person’s most private self and the way he did that was so natural that I felt like listening to the album as soon as I could.

The first occasion happened on the day right after our encounter, when I was on a plane to Italy, at about sunset. Can’t imagine a better setting to dive into an immersive listening session of a lush and watered ambient album like Asterion.

From the very first moment the sound washes everything out and depicts an allusive picture of untouched nature and arcane mystery, yet his references are never that obvious as they always include a sense of constant discovery. In this sense Arne doesn’t act as the omniscient narrator who tells a story but rather as a primitive man who approaches this somehow usual but yet unknown world in a fairly naïve way and tries to provide an explanation to this magically realistic environment through the myth. Like the ancient ones looking at the stars, he imagines somehow rational figures and shapes by interpreting elements lost in the unbearable emptiness of the void.

All this is achieved through a massive use of delays. Some choices appear codified into a genre that provides a crystal clear picture of the will of the composer. Long reverberation and repetition open up spaces where the chant can dwell, come forth, hide and sometimes disappear into a smear cloud. Percussive elements constantly build and dismantle structures that keep the listener on the edge of understanding.

Still Arne doesn’t offer us any piece that we could call a song. No themes, no refrains or riffs that could define the entire world happening around as a background for a figure. All together the album appears pretty solid but leaves a lot of space for improvement and maturation that I’m pretty sure it will happen in future iterations. Events that are expected never appear as we roam through. The sounds tease us into a game of waiting.