Caught between the spacious glacial excursions of the northern Scandinavians (Sigurd Rós and Supersilent) and the infinite digital strands of microtechnological exploration occuring in Germany to the south, a new generation of Danish musicians (Under Byen, Etter Klang) is now fusing influences from both directions with fresh, creative assurance. Skyphone can be considered among the frontrunners. This is their debut album but the trio´s collective background in rock, dub and electronica has been an invaluable apprenticeship, as Skyphone combine these elements into a confident and convincingly distinctive hybrid. Fabula offers up diffident melodies conjured from acoustic guitars and analogue synths, crisply fluctuating digital percussion, feathery skeins of sampled texture and a wonderfully, almost fairytale sense of immersion.
The Wire (UK)
A Danish trio of musicians who drop a killer sound armed with an arsenal of analogue keyboards and delays. Skyphone transform this power into a sound equally influenced by electro-organics and early electro/krautrock. They convince with an overall sound that's best described if you imagine the last Dub Tractor album if it was recorded in Cologne in the mid 70's with Conny Plank on the boards. Every track is a winner, a confident and thoroughly recommended debut from the always interesting Rune Grammofon.
Norway's always-incredible Rune Grammofon label starts off the year 2004 in fine form with the debut album from a Danish trio called Skyphone. Skyphone's loose, almost dreamlike compositions retain a strong sense of melody and form. Fans of Boards Of Canada and Kompakt's Pop Ambient Series will most certainly dig this incredibly beautiful, understated, and mature record. Perfect late night headphone listening, or for closing your eyes and relaxing on the subway ride home from work.
Other Music (US)
Wonderfully poetic music – album of the week.
Danmarks Radio (DK)
Rock roots are present in Skyphone´s music. Even if the soundscape is complex the music communicates in a simple and understandable way. There might be a certain inspiration from projects such as Pole/Jan Jelinek and Brokeback/Tortoise, and in that way Skyphone is the missing link making it possible to finally draw a fine little triangle from Oslo (Rune Grammofon) through Berlin (Scape) and to Chicago (Thrill Jockey).
When you hit the play button it´s a great joy to be met by these electro- acoustic sounds and wonderful melodies, all wrapped in soft layers of sound and peculiar effects.
Skyphone's approach is distinguished by being unusually subtle. Here, traditional and electronic elements rarely sit side-by-side but instead interweave organically and blur together to form rich amalgams of guitars, keyboards, and electronics, with the group's sound more delicate than abrasive. Entirely instrumental (with the exception of a cut-up voice sample on ”Oleana”), Fabula's fusion of traditional guitars and keyboards, expansive textures (crackle, flicker, clacking percussion), and exotic instruments (chimes, banjo) makes for a distinctively nuanced collection.
Beautiful and transparent acoustic guitar, the various sound of synthesizer, comfortable and impressive electronics are mixed in a delicate balance. A prominent instrumental album with cool beat like Mapstation as well as pastoral and melancholic melody.
How lucky! It´s not every day I can take pleasure in a Danish electronica release, but these days Skyphone´s ”Fabula” is constantly on my stereo.
They incorporate their learnings into the multilayered usage of modular synthesizers that create a hybrid microjazz with a techno edge. In fact, the landscape here is powdered with finely casual guitar acoustically strung by Schmidt while his colleagues construct effects out of gauze and spinning clicks. At moments ”Fabula” is a bit sentimental, like a hard rock band who build an acoustic number as on "Airtight Golem" to come up for air from the heavy haze and daze of adrenaline. It's atypical music for an after party chill out zone. Though the interesting way they build a lightheaded mix with repetitive strings atop electric raindrops and other raw bass lines can prescribe an instant dose of the shivers. The sound is sweet, please repeat.
On their debut, the Danish laptop-rock trio mesh analog and digital with live and pre-recorded instruments, creating a lovely downtempo hybrid that milks interesting aspects from both approaches. ultimately, it's Fabula's rich, uncluttered soundscape, as well as its sometimes darkened, brocade corners, that wins me over more often than not to those electro-acoustic charms.
It´s tempting to draw comparisons with last years Jan Jelinek avec The Exposures (”La Nouvelle Pauvret”). Textures and melodies give the same good feeling of musical joy and sophistication.