I was never really a fan of Christian Hahnewald’s S.K.E.T project; but Talvekoidik is an entirely different, more enigmatic and all round better beast.  Some who are not in the know, have classified the band as Dark Ambient. But this is simply not so, not one jot.

Soundtrack led IDM would be a better terminology for this project and it is one that Christian excels at in every level.  Opener, ‘Inner Place’ utilises harmony, rise and fall and pace enigmatically.  Gloriously produced this sets the stage for what is to come, with a beauty and charm that hides an inner urgency.

‘Rising the Tension’ picks up the mantle and flows with off key pads to unsettle the listener and push them amongst a wave of tribal rhythms that set the stage for electronica rich ‘That’s my Desire’.  Both tracks are expertly offset against each other; the latter scattered by a sea of breakbeats.

From the futuristic IDM of ‘Falcon Eyes’ to the anthemic ‘Nordlicht’, to the chants of the title track, everything is clean and polished throughout; maybe a little too spruced up for my liking, but that’s my preference (as it sounds a tad too manufactured). ‘Drift Ice Whisper’ brings some welcome power electronics, that bring a welcome change in time for closer ‘Expedition Arctic’; with a bouncy array of pads and beats.

Overall, this is another splendid album that touches on elements of Beefcake, genre wise. With a variety of outside influences, ‘Spitzbergen’ is a brilliant follow up to 2012’s ‘Negotiate the Distance’; and whilst I personally appreciated the former more, this is still as masterly produced and enjoyable in its own right.


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