The marsh land areas of western Jutland in Denmark can be flat and non-distinct to the visitor who only takes a quick glance at it. But when you are born and raised in those parts, and when you travel away to live, work, raise families, play music, anything to escape the rainy flatlands, you think about that landscape differently. On Marsh Drones, the weirdness of this landscape is reimagined in a kind of giddy, absentminded way, as though they try to recall not only the broad topographical scheme of the land (cultivated, industrialized, farmed, soggy with seawater, a breach of the ditches that pours cold north sea water inland, the farms and waterways overflowing), but only the detailed, grainy realness of sediments and layers of soil, of the hazy and salty light (Saltlys) that wraps the landscape in a kind of palpable inertia.
Many of the ideas on the 'Marsh Drones' emerged from field recordings from the area around the Tønder marshlands recorded by various members of the band. They provided a backdrop to the loops and long guitar session of guitar, bass, synthesizers, and samples that were slowly mangled and rearranged into counterpointing and fugue-like melodies, insistent on repetition while odd atmospheres of distant drones and noise works to modify and shift the composition into new shapes. The music is minimal, restrained, but rich in detail like the landscape it attempts to resonate with. There are remnants of folk music, melodies that are almost recognizable, but dub music and something distinctly digital intersects itself into the woodwork and authenticity.
Bird murmurations cloud a setting sun, they settle in the reeds with a hush. Maybe, today, it’s Murmalvejr, some sort of imaginary word for a kind of weather that doesn’t really exist. The rhythms are sometimes based on minuscule clicks that embellish the track in something resembling a detailed microscope peek into watery silt and soil. Sometimes a drum machine appears, adorning track with an afterglow of past futures, organic machines that drag though the landscape, yellow industrial lights that flash smoothly across the wet soil. Drones traverse the sky, they sense the landscape in code, assembling irregular digital maps. If one imagined the landscape seen through the eyes of some yet unknown apparatus that scans the past for signs of the future.
With the stunning physical editions of their brand new effort ‘Marsh Drones’ and the reissue of ‘Hildur’ releasing on the same day, along with the captivating artwork of Martin Sønderlev Christensen, both albums having been 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. ‘Marsh Drones’ and ‘Hildur’ 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.