Over the course of two nights, a few weeks before the pandemic arrived in Portugal, André Gonçalves (ADDAC System) and Casper Clausen (Efterklang) recorded music from another realm, dreamy and scary at the same time, sounds complete but it seems to be falling apart at any moment. It is like an alien language or a way to process sound that sounds foreign because it is different from everything else, formally, and aesthetically. This is “Aether”, 37 minutes of constant take-off. A departure from what both musicians have done in the past.
That’s the beauty of these collaborations. You don’t know exactly the point of departure and where it leads. “Aether” masters that feeling throughout seven parts. The synthesized sounds hang in the air like clouds slowly moving, transforming into something else. Sometimes they touch each other and form something else. Or they just hang in there, waiting, just waiting. And then Casper Clausen’s voice shows up and offers a “Twin Peaks” feeling to everything, transforming that sound mass into ethereal melodies that become too overwhelming.
We think about all those Popol Vuh soundtracks from the Werner Herzog films, the fog that never goes away. The constant ecstasy of creating something magical or achieving the impossible. Or even Vangelis and his ability to elevate simple sounds into something beautiful and glorious. Both share this element of the unexpected, you’ll never know what you’ll listen to or feel during the process of active listening. It is a bizarre but comforting experience, a synthetic dream you want to be part of. Music to be touched and felt.