Idiosyncratic sounds rarely have shaped up to surmount to the sheer brilliantly unique pairing of Brooklyn-based composer JG Thirlwell and Swedish multi-instrumentalist Simon Steensland. The two recently collaborated together for their forthcoming album Oscillospira due April 24, via Ipecac Recordings. According to a press release the collaborators are described as, “Different yet complementary, both creators make idiosyncratic music that is characterized by dramatic intensity, shadowy suspense, darkness and light, sometimes breathtaking and always evocative. Oscillospira is an odyssey of dark chamber prog with a cinematic bent, largely instrumental album with eerie choral parts.”
The epic cinematic-tinged lead single off Oscillospira “Heron” is an amalgamation of genres that transcends classification as it blends dramatic tones with the sophistication of an array of sounds. As previously noted in the aforementioned press release, “…Thirlwell’s commission for Great Learning Orchestra as a starting point, the pair exchanged ideas and extended the work into a new collaboration which eventually became Oscillospira. Drummer Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan band, Zappa, Devin Townsend etc) plays on all the tracks, bringing them to life in an explosive manner. The record also includes contributions from a variety of guest musicians playing oboe, bass clarinet, violin, voice and further sonic embellishments to enrich the album.”
The collaborators Thirlwell and Steensland are no stranger to the theatrical work. Thirlwell lends his assistance composing for the highly acclaimed animated television series “Venture Bros” and FX’s “Archer”. The two musicians began their journey together, as previously noted in the aforementioned press release, back in “… 2017 in Stockholm at a workshop for the Great Learning Orchestra, a collective that operate on the model of an experimental music ensemble from the late ’60s, Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra, using musicians from a variety of backgrounds and abilities.”
The press release concluded with Thirlwell’s genuine respect for his fellow collaborator and how much he is inspired by Steensland. Thirlwell went in to great detail in his praise of Steensland’s work when he said:
“I had been a fan of Steensland’s work for some years through his albums like Led Circus and Fat Again. I admired the dark power in his work and it seemed adjacent to a lot of music that I love and inspires me – groups in the Rock in Opposition and Zeuhl worlds such as Magma, Univers Zero and Present, as well as 70’s era King Crimson and Bartok.”
Oscillospira Track List:
To listen to “Heron” stream below, via YouTube.