«Krympende klode» (The Shrinking Globe in Norwegian) is the new electro-acoustic collaboration of Bergen-based musicians – producer Jørgen Træen, known for his work with Susanne Sundfør, Thea Hjelmeland and Jazkamer, and eternally-inventive guitarist Stein Urheim. Urheim and Træen began their collaboration in 2010 when both participated in Bjørn Torske’s Planteband at an evening festival appearance in Bergen and continued when Træen became involved in mixing and producing several of Urheim’s solo releases, as well as his duo with Mari Kvien Brunvoll.
Urheim and Træen created some of the material included in «Krympende klode» for Hubro’s eighth-anniversary celebration in Haugesund in 2017, but the material took shape when the Borealis Festival commissioned them for complete work. They employed their collections of vintage analog and modular synthesizers and string instruments from all over the world and weaved enigmatic, timeless soundscapes. These soundscapes pay respects to the pioneers of electronic music and draw inspiration from Raymond Scott and Delia Derbyshire to Harry Partch and the Norwegian Bjørn Fongaard.
The final tracks of «Krympende klode» were recorded in Duper Luftgrotten studio in Bergen between August 2019 and November 2020 and later mixed, edited and mastered by Træen. The album is structured as a six-movement suite, beginning with the mysterious, spacious and often static electric drone of «Kveldens varme elektriske mørke» (The warm electric darkness of the evening); introducing simple and playful, rhythmic beats and subtle slide work on «Monadene danser slow» (The Monads dance slow); letting Urheim’s guitars and strings instruments take the lead on «Fugletyderens bevegelser» (The movements of the birdwatcher) and suggest exotic and chaotic variations on Mediterranean and West-African folk melodies; The title piece adds country bluesy and countryside samples and sketches a nostalgic sonic scenery of a long-gone world; «Slettsnoken» shifts back to the melancholic, vintage electronic atmospheres; and this sonic adventure ends in an upbeat climax with «Konglekjertelen» (The Cone Gland), that offers weird collisions of traditional, acoustic instruments with vintage electronic sounds.
Jørgen Træen (modular synth, wobbulator, prog, elec, perc, turntables, samples), Stein Urheim (g, other stringed instruments, elec, samples, drum machine, perc, fl, harm)