On ‘In The Silence’, Ásgeir Trausti is tasked with repurposing a debut
album that proved so popular in the country of his birth that it is now
owned by 1 in 10 of the Icelandic population. Essentially an English
language version of last year’s ‘Dýrð í dauðaþögn’,Ásgeir his attempt to break into the Anglophone market is an exercise in mellow electronic pop
and middle of the road folk that will have the marketing execs who
paired the Sony Bravia with Jose Gonzalez rubbing their hands.
The compositional insipidness is bolstered by the banality of its
nauseatingly hollow lines and although the language barrier has a
part to play, Ásgeir it’s difficult to ascribe any meaning whatsoever to a
sentence like ‘hope and faith give me back my joy’.
This emotional vagueness and general aura of inoffensiveness, however, should help ensure that ‘In The Silence’ fills quite a few stockings this Christmas
Her debut album, 2012’s ‘Quarantine’, was perhaps the most forward-thinking, original piece of electronic music since Burial appeared in the mid-noughties. An eviscerating 45 minutes of sub bass, emotional
outpouring and serpentine, tangy melody, it was a record undeniably synthesised from circuit boards – precise, pounding, addictive – but which also had a looseness and push-pull that would shame everyone from Nina
Simone to Nick Cave, from Thom Yorke to Björk
Halo’s music is undeniably solo work – unique, introspective, sonically isolated – and Halo herself seems the same.
A phone interview, let alone a face-to-face conversation, was out of the question for this piece – her label Hyperdub reported that “she’s very cautious about interviews and prefers email”. Even then, apparently,
there are certain banned topics, and when questions were finally submitted for Halo to tackle electronically, she herself declined to answer several.
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