As I didn't know JG Thirlwell before, I can say: Steensland's thumbprint is there. Very clearly, I think. That means, we listen to his special blend of Zeuhl and Univers-Zero-ike RiO, which he invented about 28 yrs ago. I.m.o. none of Steensland's remarkable albums before was better than this one. I.m.o. none was more differentiated or had a clearer sound or offered finer drumming (Morgan Ågren !). So probably very good to cooperate with Thirlwell. I hope, they go on.
Brooklyn based composer/producer/performer JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Manorexia, Xordox) - who has collaborated with the likes of Zola Jesus, Melvins, Swans, Kronos Quartet and many others, and is the composer for the highly acclaimed animated TV series ‘Archer’ and 'Venture Bros’ - and Swedish multi-instrumentalist and theatre music composer Simon Steensland collaborate on a new album Oscillospira.
Different yet complementary, both creators make idiosyncratic music that can be characterised by dramatic intensity, shadowy suspense, darkness and light, sometimes breathtaking and always evocative cinematics. Oscillospira is an odyssey of dark chamber prog with a cinematic bent, largely instrumental album with eerie choral parts.
JG Thirlwell and Simon Steensland's journey together first began in 2017 in Stockholm at a workshop for the Great Learning Orchestra, a collective that operate on the model of an experimental music ensemble from the late 60s, Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra, using musicians from a variety of backgrounds and abilities.
JG Thirlwell recounts "I had been a fan of Steensland’s work for some years through his albums like Led Circus and Fat Again. I admired the dark power in his work and it seemed adjacent to a lot of music that I love and inspires me - groups in the Rock in Opposition and Zeuhl worlds such as Magma, Univers Zero and Present, as well as 70’s era King Crimson and Bartok."
Taking JG Thirlwell's commission for Great Learning Orchestra as a starting point, the pair exchanged ideas and extended the work into a new collaboration which eventually became Oscillospira. The extraordinary drummer Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan band, Zappa, Devin Townsend etc) plays on all the tracks, bringing them to life in an explosive manner. The record also includes contributions from a variety of guest musicians playing oboe, bass clarinet, violin, voice and further sonic embellishments to enrich the album.
This is a great album! A prog masterpiece. Imagine if you took 70's era Robert Fripp and Geddy Lee, and had them record an instrumental project today, only playing the edgy, heavy music you like, and this would be similar. S Duck