Lost Tribe Sound is honored present two albums from the Danish trio, Skyphone. ‘Marsh Drones,’ their first new album in over 5 years, will be released along side their previous album ‘Hildur’ on August 23rd, 2019. While ‘Hildur’ was digitally self-released to a limited audience back in 2014, LTS felt the album deserved far more attention than it received. Plus, what could be more satisfying than hearing it on high quality vinyl for the first time.
Our admiration for Skyphone’s music has gone on longer than LTS has been in existence, beginning with the release of their first album ‘Fabula’ on Norwegian label, Rune Grammaphon in 2004. Our first experience came during the Mary Anne Hobbs show, when the song “Kinamands Chance” came on the air. The music felt alive, there was a delicate warmth to it all its own. Even if the music could be lazily classified as electronic, the sonic components felt as if they’d been 3D printed, then hand-aged by a smith. It had this incredibly tactile feel to it, as if these sound objects were in the same room as us, skittering about, performing ear-bending stunts and blurring the lines between the acoustic instruments and their synthetic counterparts.
From that moment on we were hooked, keeping a close ear on Skyphone’s music ever since. It’s quite surreal to now be helping to the trio to release not one but two albums. Though we’d stop shy of declaring Skyphone the Godfather’s of this type of highly intricate electro-acoustic music, they definitely brought new levels of inventiveness and authenticity to the scene. They are masterful at combining a multitude of instruments and genres that could easily go wrong in lesser hands, where rogue electronic rhythms, half-drunken synths, and slow burning jazz and dub fueled progressions give way to velvet-coated layers of guitar. It’s the kind of music where anything seems possible.
‘Hildur’ was recorded at Hotell Hildur, an abandoned railway hotel, located in Everöd of south Sweden. The trio utilized a number of location throughout the hotel to lend to the acoustics of the recordings. Mads recalls, “There was a really particular vibe at the place, the acoustics were great and there were hallways and rooms that allowed for different kinds of recording. And an old drum kit that we recorded using a very wide stereo setups (using high-end mics) – you can hear remnants of those recordings all over the album. Also, the slightly out-of-tune piano was recorded there.”
Back when ‘Hildur’ saw its initial release in 2014, the mighty Headphone Commute had this to say, “Hildur is at once a more mature and cohesive work, combining elements of cut-up stitches of acoustic instrumentation with a strong song structure at the center of each piece. Even the cover art conveys a collage of a layered cityscape, with an imaginative interpretation of what I can only guess to be an abstraction of Hotell Hildur.” HC’s review makes a number of great observations regarding ‘Hildur.’ Of course, the incredible depth to Martin Sønderlev Christensen’s collage art for the album fits the LTS aesthetic perfectly, so much so, there was no question that we had to have Christensen’s artwork for their brand new album ‘Marsh Drones’ as well. It’s hard to believe there could be more fitting visuals for the surreal, dystopian, near-alien soundscapes that Skyphone inhabits. Headphone Commute also mentions many of the connections Skyphone has to other early contemporaries in this left-field breed of music, sighting names such as Boards of Canada, The Remote Viewer, Telefon Tel Aviv, and Dictaphone. Those names make complete sense, and to modernize this list a bit, fans of Hubro, Geir Sundstøl, The Gentleman Losers, and Tape should feel right at home listening to Skyphone.
With the stunning physical editions of ‘Hildur’ and their brand new effort ‘Marsh Drones’ releasing on the same day, along with the captivating artwork of Martin Sønderlev Christensen, both albums being mastered for vinyl and digital by the impeccable ears of Emil Thomsen at ET Mastering, there isn’t much more long time fans of Skyphone could hope for! The albums make clear why Skyphone (Thomas Holst, Keld Dam Schmidt, and Mads Bødker) have stood the test of time. There is a clarity, a warmth, and a consciousness to their music that remains a rare commodity even to this day. ‘Hildur’ and ‘Marsh Drones’ will be available in limited runs of 180gm audiophile vinyl, produced using the lacquer cut method. The vinyl comes housed in a beautifully textured, reverse print sleeves. Each is hand-numbered and limited to only 200 editions for each album, with no repressings or second editions.
2. Poetics of Space
6. Four Colours
9. Hildur #29