For Those About To Love by Benjamin Finger

Release date: November 20, 2017
Label: Flaming Pines

Tricky, this one, For Those About to Love, the new album from Benjamin Finger, a Norwegian electronic artist from Oslo. Not that Tricky, that hard to handle Bristol guy is anywhere around this album. Although his experimental spirit might be hovering over Finger. It is actually that this loosely classified album as electronica (itself a very general term anyway) is all over the place and quite hard to pin down. Like Tricky. And this all over the place atmosphere actually makes this album better for it.

Listening to For Those About to Love in its entirety recalls another current electronica artist that is quite experimental in his (actually hers) approach – and that is French artist Coleen, who herself has a batch of intriguing electronica albums under her belt. And like Coleen, Finger also likes to play with light and dark atmospheres, to which he adjusts the electronic/acoustic instrumentation accordingly. Through the nine tracks, you get a dual feeling that, on one hand, these tracks could have come from completely different albums, and at the same time they somehow do present themselves to the listener as a unified whole. Of course, this is something that is quite hard to achieve.

Of course, easier said than done. While Finger relies mainly on his electronics, he is able to interweave acoustic instruments like the piano (the opener ‘Lipstick Shades’) and vocals (‘Ultraviolet Light’), so that they don’t jar but augment the electronic exactly like it seems they should. While there’s no strong beats or fast-paced sounds, the so-called gentle moods most of the time have a dark, even sinister overtone (‘Eyeball Humidity’), something David Lynch and/or Angelo Badalamenti might go for the musical background that would fit in their next installment of ‘Twin Peaks’.

Finger obviously knows his both jazz and classical chops, something that is particularly evident from the two closing tracks, ‘Misteriose Vignette Sonore’ and ‘Shrink Into Love’. At almost ten minutes, the former is nothing but vignette, recalling modern classical composers like Terry Riley, or even more so Steve Reich, while latter almost sounds like a continuation, going in the direction of Phillip Glass works for an organ and Moondog, the best street musician/composer ever. Still, the personal favourite is ‘Melaphony Waltz’ with its combination of subdued electronics and picked acoustic guitar, covering both light and dark spectres. All in all, For Those About to Love, is quite a hidden delight.

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