Swedish musician Manne Skafvenstedt’s first ambient release, unknown, untold, is a record that knows and understands humility, but it’s also driven along by an intrinsic and deep-seated need for exploration. Open and with a yearning to learn: that’s the key to Skafvenstedt’s ambient musical style and philosophy, the two rolled into one, united instead of dissected, and a white-belt mindset influences unknown, untold; to never stop learning and never stop educating.
On this record, Skafvenstedt explores boundaries, along with the ‘convergence of the highway and the meadow’. All of the track titles are taken from inner processes and mental workings, and the music is as detailed as a complex and interconnecting synapse-highway, a roadmap of neurons and circuitry upon which signals are sent and actions are subsequently produced. Thoughts and messages turn into notes, which light up the vast framework of the music’s motherboard. Thanks to some floating, ethereal tones, strands of cosmic ambient can be heard, too.
The listener is encouraged to contribute their thoughts and imaginings – delving into unknown and untold places and regions. The listener creates and interprets the mental and musical map, the images gradually coming into view as the music drives on. Some sounds are lulled to sleep while others explode into the atmosphere like a SpaceX rocket. Unexpected phrases and tones are scattered throughout, and the record is full of surprises, as if one were suddenly waking up, stepping out of the Matrix and opening up endless potentials and possibilities. You control the programming. You make up your own mind and see things for yourself, rather than being force-fed ideas and being brainwashed or indoctrinated.
In a way, unknown, untold is progressive and brave. The entire record is an awakening, asking the listener to question preconceived ideas, issues, and standards inherent to Western society. Skafvenstedt urges us all to widen our perspectives and work the brain just like any other physical muscle…and that can only be a good thing.