093 Tobias Hellkvist 'Vesterhavet (Extended)'
Cat no: homen093
Artist: Tobias Hellkvist
Album: Vesterhavet (Extended)
Release Date: January 31st 2017 (HN site) / February 14th (Stores + Digital)
Format: 200 x four panel recycled card CD
After being thoroughly shaped and fine-tuned over the course of the past 3 years, 'Vesterhavet' is the first proper full-length album from Swedish electroacoustic composer Tobias Hellkvist since his two landmark releases on Home Normal - 2010's 'Evolutions' and 2012's 'Everything Is Connected'.
Even though he hasn't been inactive since then, having had several works released by labels such as Dragon's Eye Recordings, Dronarivm and lesser known Tokyo Droning and Small Fragments - 'Vesterhavet' however, does in many ways pick up where his last full-length left off almost four years ago.
"I started working on this album directly after 'Everything Is Connected' was finished, so it kind of makes sense if this feels like a continuation of that sound. However, I've definitely explored some new ways of working on this album, both technically and musically", Hellkvist says.
After self-releasing a five track version of the album in March 2016, we came together with Tobias and decided it was a great shame that ‘Vesterhavet’ did not have a physical release of the album. We decided that it would partner his reissue of ‘Kaskelot’ perfectly as it really highlights the breadth of his work from the beautifully direct melodies of ‘Kaskelot’, compared to the massive sounding layers of subtle melody that lie in ‘Vesterhavet’.
Tobias decided to remaster the original album and extend it with a part 6 himself appearing on the CD. Alongside this is this gorgeous 12 minute remix by Warmth as a bonus download from the Home Normal store which does not appear on the CD.
This puts a close to a four year period of creation for this truly epic work, and we are really proud to once again be working with such a talented artist as Tobias once again on our fourth outing together.
1. Vesterhavet 1
2. Vesterhavet 2
3. Vesterhavet 3
4. Vesterhavet 4
5. Vesterhavet 5
6. Vesterhavet 6
7. Vesterhavet (Warmth Remix) - DIGITAL BONUS ONLY
All tracks written and produced by Tobias Hellkvist.
Re-mastered in December 2016 from the original recordings.
Special thanks to Ian and Agus.
And thank you for listening.
'Vesterhavet has been shaped and fine-tuned, the Swede’s swathes stretched and swollen over years in teeming layers of transportive tone accretion, into chronostatic sprawl in a kind of ‘trompe l’oreille’'
- Alan Lockett, Igloo Magazine
'Vesterhavet is an impressive work that, like the sea itself, can simply be soaked in or can accept whatever dreams or internal narratives the listener might bring to it. A must-listen for lovers of pure drone ambient.'
- Stationary Travels
'L’esperienza d’ascolto di “Vesterhavet” sa infatti proprio di avventure solitarie, spogliate di ogni tratto epico, ma anzi rivolte a un’entropia riflessiva che nell’immensità del mare, così come nella musica di Hellkvist, trova una via di fuga all’insegna di rapite contemplazioni di moti e tempi naturalmente dilatati.'
- Music Won't Save You
'No matter how you approach ‘Vesterhavet’, you’re dealing with deep drone textures that will cover you and your environment completely. You can search for a deeper meaning, for clues hidden in the mist. They are here, obviously, in single sounds or in complete structures, like the blissfully noisy finale of “Vesterhavet 3” or something that reminds one of reverberating bells in “Vesterhavet 4”. You can hunt for the tiny details and I guarantee that it will be a very rewarding action, but you also can just lie in your bed, close your eyes and let the music wash your mind and soul away. Drift with it into the unknown. Do not resist or struggle, it will cause you no harm.'
- Santa Sangre
'I love the serene, beautiful compositions that Tobias makes. I always have. He constantly pushes himself to produce new and engaging sounds, ranging from drone and folk to classical, always refined to perfection. This album can transcend and lift you out of the dullest of grey days.'
'A soundscape of crushing delight and awe-inspiring altitudes, Vesterhavet runs like a single piece, seguing naturally in its transition from one piece to the next: all is one.'
- James Catchpole, Fluid Radio
'Huge swaths of shimmering drones advance and retreat in the first part, after which surging orchestral strings add an epic, almost Wagnerian dimension to the second. Whereas the mood turns celestial in the third, where those same strings are gradually overwhelmed by the crush of an ever-expanding cloud, it grows peaceful in the fourth and galaxial in the fifth.'
'The inhuman landscape and its complex temporality make a versatile analogy, since music never speaks for itself. In this case, Hellkvist’s North (or West) Sea theme is convincing and handsome. A recommended ambient release of great depth.'
- Irregular Crates