Matthew Collings and Dag Rosenqvist – Wonderland
Posted In: Dag Rosenqvist, Hibernate Recordings, Matthew Collings, Matthew Collings and Dag Rosenqvist - Wonderland, Nathan Thomas, Wonderland
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I’m not really sure whether the title of this new release from Hibernate Recordings refers to a utopian world of natural harmony, or a horror movie set in an abandoned funfair. The music seems to oscillate ambiguously between the two; it could even be both at once. The pounding martial beat of second track “Precipice”, for example, could easily evoke the towering grandeur of some mountain colossus, or the relentless approach of an unspeakable terror. Likewise, the pastoral quiet of “Wonderland Part Two” is almost eerie in its too-quietness; the distant voices in the background are unnerving to say the least.
Perhaps it is, after all, just my imagination that turns benign piano, electric guitar, field recordings and miscellaneous noises into the chattering of ghosts and the laugh of some macabre clown. Sure, Collings’ previous collaboration with Talvihorros for Hibernate’s Postcard series was pretty gloomy at times, and as for Rosenqvist – well, the less time spent hanging around the darker corners of this man’s mind the better. But seriously, “Wonderland” has field recordings of chirping crickets and birds in it – how could it possibly be the soundtrack to anything more sinister than a nature documentary? That abandoned, slowly rotating ferris wheel bringing the release to a close isn’t a sign of anything ominous at all…
“Wonderland” is the third in Hibernate’s Collaboration series of limited edition 3″ CD-Rs, following contributions from Yellow6 & Caught In The Wake Forever and Isnaj Dui & Karina ESP. Collings has already produced an extensive discography, mostly under the moniker of Sketches for Albinos; Rosenqvist is well known for work released under his former pseudonym Jasper TX, as well as for collaborations with the likes of Machinefabriek, Simon Scott, and Aaron Martin. Ranging from the afore-mentioned crickets to full-on crushing noise, “Wonderland” is every bit the technicolour fairytale adventure one would expect from the title, its strong sense of narrative enlivened by some compelling twists. Impressive too is the way in which the release creates a world of its own that envelopes the listener and provides a playground for the imagination, a theatre stage in surround sound. Whether that stage is populated with crickets or with monsters is a matter of personal interpretation!
- Nathan Thomas for Fluid Radio