I remember reviewing ‘Lahar’ by SM some time back; the album was more a collection of songs that technically I should like, but felt like I couldn’t connect with at all and in short I haven’t approached that album, or his works since.  Generally the bar has to be raised when moving up in labels, so it is good to acquaint myself with the project again.

Something has finally clicked with the structures and how SM works.  Overall, the formulation reminds me of Geistform, not musically, but the way the electronic rhythms flutter and stop/start with his own range of ambient formulation. Once again though, the right ideas are in place, but something is ultimately lost on me.

‘Skaftafell’ slides into the same pitfalls that ‘Lahar’ unfortunately did, mainly on the production scale.  SM should concentrate his focus on ambience, leaving beats completely out of the equation.  The production surrounding the rhythm sections suffer completely; aurally flabby and drab, with no real clarity, pulling down the mastering and his clear, bright electronics.  On top of this the beats distract the listener and disjoint the tracks, making them feel a little misplaced.

SM is a mystery to me really; once again he has displayed all the tools to put together a cohesive and interesting album.  I am sure many people out there will like this, it could just be me, but this follows the same route his previous works have and ultimately, the only real reaction I have when listening to this is to shrug my shoulders and press ‘stop’.


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