An experimental dark ambient artist from Norway signed to Erik Skodvin’s (of Deaf Center) Miasmah label.
It’s possible that Norwegian musician and studio engineer Tommy Jansen has any number of hobbies, but the one flagged up in the publicity for this, his debut album, is wreck diving. Fair enough: collecting rare vinyl or playing board games wouldn’t inspire the sense of crushing pressure and deep, slow moving danger that he achieves with Sistereis.
The seafaring link is made explicit by the title – a term referring to a ship’s final voyage and by moody monochrome packaging featuring images of lighthouses and fictionalised ships’ logs recording mysterious deaths. The music inhabits similar terrain to that of founder Erik K Skodvin’s own Svarte Greiner, with acoustic instrumentation electronically shaped into mood pieces that draw back from the narrative arcs of post-rock, but lie to heavy on the ear to be considered Ambient. A restless foreground of rustling, breath and footsteps evokes human intimacy while slow piano lines reminiscent of Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks summon up sepia-toned decay and nostalgia.
All this is dwarfed by an undercurrent of low frequencies which seemingly herald impending doom, while the metallic squeaking on “Fyrtårnet part 1” and swelling drones, like tide-wracked timbers, suggests that at any moment a ragged sailor’s skull might lurch into view.