act 327 · gjöll · the background static of perpetual discontent · cd

1. ascending
2. perpetual discontent
3. by the harbour
4. no war on my skin
5. life as randomness
6. in defence
7. beauty will not be defined

upc 821272215929
release date: 11november2k15

produced and mixed by jóhann eiríksson
all tracks written by jóhann eiríksson and sigurður harðarson,
except 'no war on my skin' written by gjöll & 2kilos &more & black sifichi
guitar on 'by the harbour' by luca brembilla
artwork by salt

the fourth full-length release of the icelandic duo gjöll is inspired by 'the power of now', a book by the spiritual author eckhard tolle which is intended to be a self-help guide for day-to-day living and stresses, the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding thoughts of the past or future. tolle calls the misery of our daily mindgrind 'the background static of perpetual discontent' which is what we need to refurbish out of our minds to be able experiencing joy instead of constantly seeking distraction. both the music and the lyrics on this album reflect this topic from different points of view between anger and inner peace.

this wide range of tempers and feelings are musically processed with most various styles between gloomy ambient soundscapes, rhythm based industrial and piercing power electronics whereat strumming rhythm guitar blows by luca brembilla on track 3 add a heavily distorted post-rock element. 2kilos &more and black sifichi have a guest appearance on track 4, melting their unique downbeat electronica and sinister voice with gjöll's sound spectrum: slow, grinding beats, elaborated synth / sampling treatments and intense vocals ranging from susurration to furious screaming. this diversified range of instrumentation and sounds generates augmentative atmospheres between coldness, warmth and burning heat.

haunting, hypnotic, soothing and disquieting, 'the background static of perpetual discontent' presents an enthralling impulse for mind and body.

'there is no authority but yourself.'

gjöll discography 11.2k15:
the background static of perpetual discontent. cd. ant-zen act327. 2015
temporary symbiosis: gjöll at maschinenfest 2009. tape. raubbau raub-031. 2014
animal ep. digital ep. 77industry 77.31. 2009
sum of transformations. cd. ant-zen act237. 2009
not to lead nor to follow. cd. ant-zen act207. 2007
ginnungagap (w/ pure & el gusano rojo). cd. duumvirat duum01. 2007
way through zero. cd. ant-zen act177. 2006

gjöll on the internet:
gjöll website:
jóhann eiríksson website:


for this fourth release, the icelandic project gjöll was inspired by the novel the power of now by author eckhard tolle, intended as a self-help guide for life, the stress of every day and the importance of living in the present to avoid thoughts of past and future. perhaps it is all meant well, but if the music of gjöll is a reasonably accurate translation of the contents of the book, then the band is interested in survival in the present, because their music is dark and leaves little room for hope or hopeful thoughts. gjöll's dark drones flow from the speakers in broad flurries with whispered vocals on the background. that is the case in ascending, that sounds like a squadron of bombers on their way to berlin, attacked by searchlights, for which humming synths and creaking noise are added: a atmospheric and jet-black soundscape. perpetual discount is of the same genre, with roaring engines, puffing noise and distorted electronics that sound a bit like unrecognizable human screams: a dangerous and implacable loud soundscape. did we hear hard rock guitars in the intro of by the harbour?, loud and aggressive, followed by quiet percussion, creaking noise and a unintelligible man's voice: the soundtrack for a story from a nordic mythology, with dark bolts of lightning reverberating through the room, troubled guitar flashes and creaking noise on the background: atmospheric, ominous and yet controlled. no war on my skin also sounds like a soundtrack, starring the narrator, this time in english, with a backdrop of violin-like synths and noise on a bedrock of emphatic percussion. it is not really a track that i want to hear during each listening session, but rather the industrial-sounding life as randomness, messy, chaotic and repetitive, later evolving into an atmospheric track with again the monotonous noise from the passing military aircrafts, whistling electrical sounds and a lot of noise. in defence starts with a loop of loud and distorted voices, complemented with metallic drones that sound like roaring insulators, with monotonous humming drones in the background, distorted voices and synths that sound like voices. a dark and impersonal track as the soundtrack for a world of violence and alienation. beauty will not be defined is the last track on this dark album, again with a fleet of dark drones, whispered and distorted vocals and a jet-black atmosphere. not exactly the soundtrack for a quiet chat on a sunny terrace, but for long and dark nights of an icelandic winter and stories of vengeful nordic gods and wild hordes. (william lienard)

il primo impatto con sigurður harðarson e jóhann eiríksson è stato sette anni fa attraverso l'ep 'animal' poi dopo 'sum of transformations' la lontananza si è acuita e ho perso di vista il loro dark ambient di grande impatto. le sette tracce con cui il duo islandese si ripresenta sul mercato sono ispirate ad un libro di eckhard tolle, 'the power of now', nel quale l'autore riflette sulla condizione dell'individuo nella società moderna suggerendo di vivere il presente senza farsi influenzare dal passato o dal presente. consigli per evitare lo stress che accompagnano una musica estremamente fisica e ipnotica che si distingue nel limbo dell'industrial grazie alla sua dimensione fortemente sperimentale. a partire da 'ascending' l'album dispone dell'ascoltatore come se si trovasse davanti ad un palco in un locale buio e fumoso. la componente visuale è fondamentale per apprezzare i gjöll e scorrendo 'perpetual discontent' o i quindici minuti di 'in defence' la vostra mente verrà invasa dalle immagini più strane e controverse. 'by the harbourguitar' viene impreziosita dalla presenza di luca brembilla mentre 2kilos & more e black sifichi appaiono nella successiva 'no war on my skin written-by'. personalmente trovo perĂ² che la magia di 'the background static of perpetual discontent' venga espressa al massimo quando le tempistiche si dilatano e le ritmiche si fanno ossessive. in tal senso i quindici minuti di 'life as randomness' sono trance pura e nessuno si sorprenderebbe se la conclusiva 'beauty will not be defined' fosse stata scritta dai laibach. (lorenzo becciani)

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