Eye Make The Horizon may be new to many of you, but some of the musicians making up this group may well not be. That’s because in addition to Mats Dimming (Double Bass) and Niklas Korssell (Drums); Gustav Nygren (Guitar, Saxophone) and Mikael Tuominen (Guitar) have played in Kungens Män, Automatism and Fanatism… to name but three. This seems to be an evolving process for these musicians, who collaborate within groups to different, but great, effect.
In this case Eye Make The Horizon see themselves as playing a form of ‘no wave punk jazz’… a freeform improvised sound that does not immediately present itself as something that you would necessarily play as background music at a party. Actually, like most of the output from these musicians, this is something to be heard and considered… the chances are that the first time you listen to it you are not going to be blown away. That at least was what I found. However my experience of what I have heard before told me that this was something to persevere with… as so much good music is, and so it proved.
Opening track ‘Fever’ is a case in point… the first listen told me that there was something vaguely ‘Daydream Nation’ Sonic Youth going on here but, actually like that brilliant album, there was a heavy sonic meniscus on the top that needed to be overcome first. Repeated listens have enabled me to dive into than and, once immersed, I began to get into the depth of the track and tap into its power… especially in the way that the guitar seems to freebase its way through. Then there is the sign of things to come when the more jazz-like elements kick in at the end.
After that ‘Impermanence and Decay’, although less in your face, somehow hits you even harder with the double bass taking the track immediately onto another level. This really gives it the feeling of the title… dragging the mind away from from everyday mundanity towards some sort of higher plane. Then, as you get deeper into the track, you feel like you are making your way through random and shifting atomic-level lattices as you focus more and more on the ever-changing patterns that emerge in your mind. To the casual listener I think that this track may sound like a mess… to the sonic wanderer it is a piece of music that peels back the layers and encourages the listener to do the same. Hear it right and you can feel mentally exfoliated by the end of it.
‘Fractured Haircut’ is such a great name for a track… and the prominence of the saxophone at the beginning only fills me with further anticipation each time I hear it. It acts like a siren call dragging the unsuspecting listener onto the rocks of free jazz… beyond may only be dragons, but here we are uncharted territory with all four players hitting their own rhythm in a way that is at the same time dissonant and assonant. There is a wonderful tension going on here as the sounds gradually coagulate into something resembling a coherent tune… and for the second half this track rocks out getting heavier and heavier… its not quite stoner or space, but sometimes enters their airspace before fragmenting once more into a rather satisfying abyss.
The final, title, track brings something different again with a much more harmonic and melodic piece that rises and soars as it develops. This, it must be said, is a piece that is less challenging that the three that have gone before, which is not to say that it is banal and overly conventional. You only have to listen to the guitar in particular to realise that there is far more going on here than meets the eye… it’s more that the more familiar musical patterns give less of a clue about the sort of track this is… which aficionados of fuzzy and improvised guitar music will like very much.
In many ways this is an album that is out there on its own because none of the four tracks on it can be said to be representative of the set as a whole. This is part of the album’s challenge because it is one that bats away any expectations that you might build up around it… it keeps you guessing and it keeps asking more of you the listener… that, in my book, is a very good thing.
‘Dim Sun’ is released by Drone Rock Records as a limited pressing of 250 copies in two variants:
Special Edition: 150 copies on ‘smoke effect’ vinyl.
Regular Edition: 100 copies on clear vinyl; and is available to pre-order here.
Super limited pressing of just 250 copies in two variants:- Special Edition: 150 copies on ‘smoke effect’ vinyl. Regular Edition: 100 copies on clear vinyl.
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