(Around the Corner records)

MARK: 78/100


Yes, one more time another release from the Islandic artist transplanted in Denmark for many years by now; more delicate and meditative than his previous works, "Chandni" is based upon a night light, like a starlight or moonlight or comet, and is the translation for the Indian word; yet it might also be referred to one from an artificial satellite, a UFO, or a signal from the universe (master) into your mind.
Hjörtur this is the fourth release of 2004, and besides a few sporadic female interventions, he sang, played, recorded everything and made all the rest! To many this could look like a limitation, owing to the fact that no additional idea from another member or compositor would make the Cds similar and the songs within each CD even more, but in his case he's aware of possessing enough abilities, fantasy and inspiration to avoid such a trap. A further advantage is the absolute freedom deriving from the lack of compromises that a band would phisiologically bring forth, therefore one doesn't have to be surprised if he's kept utilizing this method for several albums.

Regarding this 10-track, you'll realize how ample the influences after just a couple of tracks; take for example "You Are the One", delighting our ears with heavenly Enya-like female guest vocals by Ania Sandig, while Hjörtur alternates with showy native American vocals; or "The Paradoxical Commandments", whose moving lyrics were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 and have been travelling round the globe; musically speaking, some Indian inputs on a Chill out track.
The arpeggio of "Azure" and soft keyboards will make you feel like 10,000 meters high, so as to make you caress the surrounding clouds; this composition is suitable both on X-mas and on a romantic night. A less atmosperical piece, this time sung, is "Shining Bright", almost a Christian Pop version of Phil Collins; decidedly one of the better come out compositions of the CD, and not only because I'm a rocker and this is the only one with electric guitar strumming, but mostly on the ground that it's the more complete and the one with the more mature arrangement.
The psychedelic "Wind of Green" matches folly, sperimentalism and melody, while "United" blends tribal percussions and angelic vocal layers, but the ending is chopped unfortunately. More suggestive is the vocal duet with Ksenia, also official photographer of Hjörtur, in "The Answer", while "Sail Away", the longer track is partially kitsch but might work well as a radio hit if adequately supported.

The past comes back inexorable and "Rearranging" is strongly connected with the style on "Humanize", and is my favourite composition on this CD.
For some mysterious reason Hjörtur has used another singer as a guest on "Sha-lala-lala", the closing track; I don't understand why, as the 3 guests have similar voices and pitches; however, strong is the contrast between Thulla's lulling voice and the autumnal and melancholic keyboards.

A successfully-written experimental album anyway, bringer of peace and brightness, relaxing and regenerating. Unfortunately it'll never be enough to me thanks to this shit world, but if you have a lucky life or are so blind not to recognize is full of people who deserve a slow death, it'll easily boost your morale.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th January 2006

Current line-up:
Hjörtur - Instruments, v., engineering, programming, mix, master and artwork

Around the Corner recs, Tycho Brahes Alle 17, 1 - 2300 Copenhagen - DK
E-mail: hjortur@hjortur.dk
Official site: www.hjortur.dk

-Albums: 2005 - Piano III 2005 - Electric Music - Czech Edition 2005 - Piano II 2005 - Broken Walls 2005 - Alfarspace Work 2005 - Pop Songs 2005 - Harp 2005 - Piano 2005 - Electric Music 2004 - Chandni 2002 - Keen Sabid 2001 - to my future 2000 - Humanize
- Singles: 2004 - I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow 2003 - Do Do Do What You Wanna Do 2001 - Hey Hey Can You Hear Me? 1982 - Digital/Synton - Vinyl single
-Compilations: 2003 - Music of the GLOBE