Hafvet – Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet

Sunday morning liturgy and pause for quiet reflection. Not sure how this slipped under my radar on the recent round euro jaunt, new on Low Point (and new to me too), Swedish duo Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet’s third album ‘Hafvet’. The title means ‘The Sea’ but there are no crashing waves or nautical drama contained within, rather four 10-20min long drones of stately, meditative calm. I thought this might perhaps suggest they were from way up on the Baltic where the sea gets frozen over for half the year, deep waves and currents beneath a deceptively static surface (this would be perfectly complemented by that 10 hours of an idling polar icebreaker that’s been doing the rounds).  However, their hometown of Arlöv is just north of Malmo, making it pretty far south in Swedish terms. Not that geography is everything of course but it often plays a more prominent role in this kind of music. About that music then, it’s subtle and slow moving, beautifully layered and crafted out of the holy trinity of modular synth, processed electric guitar and field recordings melting into one another. As I mentioned at the start, it’s not eventful stuff, you do have to sit with it and give it attention to get to its hidden depths, otherwise there’s the perennial drone curse of it sounding like the white goods in the kitchen humming in the back of your mind. Still, if you make that effort it repays your attention and, let’s face it, who doesn’t need a little ocean of calm in their day? I guess, if we want to have another crack at the title as metaphor, staring out at a fairly calm sea, constant but never still, makes more than enough sense. If you want something with more going on they seem to be fairly prolific on the pod-castery business too, here’s a new one coming by just now, cloud of gulls trailing in her wake. . .

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