Zoon van snooK - The Verge of Winter
Released April 15th, 2013
‘The Verge of Winter’ is the first single to be taken from Barcelona- (via Bristol) based producer Zoon van snooK’s forthcoming second album ‘The Bridge Between Life & Death’. Released on the 15th of April on Lo Recordings, the single features remixes from isanand Sir Doufus Styles.
Recorded partly in Iceland, partly in Bristol, the album features 11 tracks of fragile electronics, found sounds, field recordings and collaborations with Icelandic artistsAmiina, Benni Hemm Hemm and Sin Fang and will be released on May 20th.
Lead single ‘The Verge of Winter’ is the perfect introduction to an album whose delicate melancholic blend of ancient and modern music, perfectly mirrors the beautiful yet eldritch landscape that inspired it.
To complete the EP van snooK hand-picked artists to remix the track:
“The first single includes remixes from isan, whose music I’ve known intimately for many years and whose remix of múm I included on a special hour-long Icelandic mix for Ninja Tune’s Solid Steel Radio; and Sir Doufus Styles, whose work with Flaming Lips, Neon Neon and Cate Le Bon render him over-qualified, but who was chosen more specifically on the back of his remix of Super Furry Animals’ ‘Slowlife’ – not only my favourite band, but my favourite song of theirs.”
Having previously released a critically acclaimed album on LA’s Mush Records and remixed artists such as James Yorkston, Darwin Deez and Fujiya & Miyagi, ‘The Bridge Between Life & Death’ sees Zoon van snooK further take his mix of ‘oddtronica’, found sounds and acoustic instruments to a whole new level, creating an album that stands apart in splendid isolation from much of today’s electronic music.
Zoon van snooK – The Bridge Between Life & Death [Lo Recordings]
Released May 20th, 2013
“It seems to me that there are no such things as ‘concept albums’ anymore – just ‘albums’ and ‘collections of songs to be played in any order’. This is vexatious to the spirit.” – Zoon van snooK
‘The Bridge Between Life & Death’ is the second album from Barcelona- (via Bristol) based producer Zoon van snooK. Recorded partly in Iceland, partly in Bristol, the album features 11 tracks of fragile electronica, found sounds, field recordings and collaborations with Icelandic artists Amiina, Benni Hemm Hemm and Sin Fang and will be released on May 20th, via Lo Recordings.
Fuelled by exposure to the likes of Björk, Sigur Rós and múm, ‘The Bridge Between Life & Death’ is the result of a long-standing fascination with Iceland; a fascination that finally led the producer to make the pilgrimage to Europe’s rocky outpost armed with his sound recorder.
“In 2009 I finally managed to pull off the big trip: from the South West of England to the South West of Iceland. I knew it would be a great opportunity to gather the requisite sounds on which to base a whole new album.
I was able to collect recordings from the centre, port and outskirts of Reykjavik, and the surrounding South Western area. From national parks to canyons; from hot springs to glaciers; from folk songs to folklore… I love being able to use an entire field recording. As well as the principal subject, all the glitch rhythms on the album are created from the unintentional background noise or static created whilst capturing it. It’s the musical equivalent of blasting meat off the bone with a high-pressure hose – nothing is wasted.”
The resulting album perfectly captures the otherworldly nature of the island, its beautiful yet forbidding landscape laid down in the delicate, crystalline melodies, ancient and modern coming together as van snooK pieced together what would become ‘The Bridge Between Life & Death’.
“The title comes from a bridge in Kópavogur that the locals call so because it has the nursing home on one side and the cemetery on the other. The album is themed around birth and death and each song is a chapter in the overall story, taking in sub-plots inspired by Greek/Nordic epic poetry; biblical tales; spirits; outlaws; and unique aspects of the terrain and indigenous animals.
The album opens with ‘From the Cradle’, which is built around a recording of me playing a sound cradle (a big wooden throne that has tuned strings all around the back and sides of the chair); and follows the passage of life through to the album’s end track ‘The Gaits’, which was written as the final song around the time that a very good friend lost his son, its title relating both to the gates of ‘Heaven’ and the unique extra gaits that Icelandic horses have.”
The album provided van snooK with the chance to work with some of his favourite musicians such as Amiina, Sin Fang and Benni Hemm Hemm- who contributed a field recording of his family in a cabin, far from the city. The album’s Icelandic connection even extends to the artwork, a painting by Halldór Ragnarsson of Seabear produced especially to capture the spirit of the album.