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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Johann Johannson
Viroulegu Forsetar
Touch Music

Rating: 8/10 ?


March 30, 2005
Continually casting himself out into the world - be it as founder of furtive experimental label Kitchen Motors, partaker in the portentous experimental rock of Apparat Organ Quartet, or composer of theatrical and film productions - the works of Johann Johannsson are effulgent disclosures of distinct experience. His Viroulegu Forsetar, which drifts away from the brief, melodic vignettes of Englaborn, is indeed 'an experience,' in that it is an hour long self-sustaining whole, marked out from what went before and what came after. It has its own plot, its own inception, its own pervading quality and a rhythmic movement that carries it unto its end.

Crafted for eleven brass players, percussion, electronics, organs and piano, a leitmotif branching out from the brass section acts a regrouping base, around which the instruments are succinctly wound. With each successive appearance, the leitmotif takes on new voicing, tempo and texture: at birth, the piece announces itself with a mournful majesty. Only having just shown itself, the orchestra shrinks back into a reflective drone, punctuated by electronic rumbles and chirps.

Although the inclination may well be to interpret such moments as minimal places of rest, they are actually impregnated with a foreboding disquiet that defines the works quality of movement. These moments accentuate the ominous eruptions that are eventually conceived; they sum up what has been undergone and prevent its dissipation and idle evaporation by incorporating the themes into the unity of its project.

Originally performed in Hallgrimskirkja, a large church in Reykjavik, the piece was honored as "the most memorable musical event of 2003" in Iceland's foremost newspaper. During the performance, players were positioned in precise locations so as to craft a sense of immersion and hues that were potent without being oppressive. This organization was captured in a fine manner on this recording; it arrives as a celebration of the ongoing process of becoming that endows significance to each person's experience.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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