Thomas Köner

I don’t mean to always harp on about the Weather, but it is pretty hot at the moment. A possible antidote, to supplement the simple and necessary act of staying inside with the curtains drawn, is the trio of Thomas Köner albums that Type are reissuing. Labeled unsatisfactorily as ‘Dark Ambient’,  it’s nonetheless a music that deals in extremes. While Nunatak’s cover art of of a doomed arctic expedition and it’s beyond creepy use of ‘homemade woodwind instruments’ initially evokes isolated northern European forests and mountains, there’s something else at work here. I realised what exactly while reading William Morris’s account of his travels across Iceland in the 1870s. Morris frequently alludes to the great volcano Eyjafjallajökul as his team begin to explore the Island’s southern territories. -I assume it’s that same volcano; Morris has a habit of slightly anglicising Icelandic place names, cutting Eyjafjallajökul down to Eyjafjall-. The record’s slowed down drones -apparently all from treated gong sounds- advance at the pace of lava. It’s from this threat of heat that cuts through the Ice that the record derives it’s menace.

Buy it here

Read about William Morris knocking round Iceland here


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