øjeRum - The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees (C32)

Limited Edition of 70 Cassettes


Minimal, sad ambient that splits the difference between Gas and William Basinski.
Paw Grabowski is øjeRum, a Copenhagen-based artist mining melancholy with a minimalist toolset. Much of his catalog has been released on low-run cassettes, carrying lo-fi, spindly, surreal guitar or organ-based music. Grabowski is also a visual artist, providing eye-catching artwork on this release though other efforts have often been homemade. On The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees, he’s dropped the ghastly folk — its acoustic guitar and distant, sullen, lower-register vocals — in favor of the stark ebbs and flows of the organ explored on He Remembers There Were Gardens. But The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees sounds so emotionally drenched that comparing it to He Remembers There Were Gardens feels like comparing two different genres of music. Comparing Forest to the guitar-oriented funereal songs would be comparing two different genres. Grabowski has made interesting music with integrity but I think Forest may be his best work yet.
The Forest is Sleeping Within The Trees is a restrained affair. Just piano, tasteful droning pump organ, and some gentle tape hum. Minute details slowly shapeshift on these simple constructions, lapping outwards via floating, drifting pieces. The gentle repetition brings William Basinski’sDisintegration Loops immediately to mind. But øjeRum’s repetition is acoustic (as opposed to the outcome of mechanical manipulation and the decay brought on by the passage of time). The slight variations in pump organ sustain may be hard to perceive at first, but these subtle mutations draw out increasing drama from the pieces. The white noise of tapes provides a sepia-washed quality to the music, adding texture that invokes nostalgia while yanking heart strings.