A guide through 15 years of Small Things on Sundays' output focusing on drone and dark ambient.
The tracks are taken from various albums, EP's and compilations and have been edited and remastered.
Some have never been available in physical form before.
Those listeners who enjoy this compilation by the Copenhagen duo can go exploring the original releases and longer versions of the edited tracks.
This “Guide” to the prolific output of Small Things on Sundays collects 12 tracks released on various labels between 2008 and 2017, plus the previously unreleased opener “Prozac”. Small Things on Sundays is the duo of Danish sound artists and experimental musicians Henrik Bagner and Claus Poulsen. Incidentally, Claus Poulsen is also a great photographer whose images can not only be found on the sleeve of this release, but on a great many of attenuation circuit albums.
Without the background information on the original release of each track, the unsuspecting listener would hardly believe that this is a compilation. “Guide” feels very much like a thoroughly-composed original album that charts various aspects of the drone genre, from hypnotic microtonal ambient to beautiful “shoegaze” guitarwork, but which also organically incorporates 'glitch' textures and crunchy, throbbing lo-fi 'industrial' rhythms. Evocative track titles make this album a veritable 'cinema for the ears' while still leaving plenty of room for the listener's own imagination.
File under: ambient, drone
factory-produced CDr in Digisleeve
Released in 2023
limited to 100 copies
price: 10.00 EUR (excl. postage)
produced by Small Things on Sundays
Soundsources: Turntables, Laptops, Guitars
Viola on track 5: Astrid Bruun Johansen
Images: Claus Poulsen
When listening to a lot of ambient music releases, there will come a time when a lot of music starts to sound the same. Or same-ish. After all, like any other genre, it has its own cycle of innovation (when creative artists develop new sounds) and consolidation (when other artists start to adopt these sounds).
So it is always nice to hear a sound that is different from what is in fashion at the moment – a sound that feels personal, and unrelated to current fashion trends.
When listening to Small Things On Sundays Guide, I felt that I heard such an original, different, and surprising, sound.
I did not realize that everything on this release (apart from the opener Prozac) was previously released between 2008 and 2017. In fact, this album sounds like it could have been created and released today. This demonstrates that Henrik Bagner and Claus Polsen created their own unique soundworld using turntables, (broken) guitar, radio, tapes, casio keyboard, viola, and whatever else they could use.
This release is like a ‘young person’s guide to Small Things On Sundays‘ – and it is a perfect introduction to their work.
Ah, great, I thought, a new release by Small Things On Sundays, the duo of Claus Poulsen and Henrik Bagner from Denmark. It has been a while since they last had something new out (I believe in 2017 (see Vital Weekly 1068) for reasons I don't know (and I gave up thinking about what those reasons might be), so great, bring it on. 'Guide' we have to take literally; this release is a guide through their catalogue, starting with their first release from 2008, cherry-picking releases from the past. For one track, there is no reference to an earlier release, so we may consider this a new one; or previously unreleased. Damn, that's a bummer. Of course, I haven't heard all their releases; I may have reviewed seven of their releases (see also 717, 772, 777, 913, and 1059; the latter contains two releases), whereas Discogs lists nineteen, including this one. Small Things On Sundays, use turntables, guitars and laptops. Their music is dark, atmospheric and almost always takes the form of a drone. Elegantly processed field recordings, guitars humming on endless sustain, and the turntable doing an occasional bump. I heard it all, I loved almost all of their releases, even more so after seeing them play live, so for me, 'Guide' is a fine reminder of great music, but I am not the intended audience, but the question is: what is the audience?
Guide (ACU 1055) ist als Compilation mit 13 Tracks, die Claus Poulsen zwischen 2008 und 2017 auf Striate Cortex, Audio Gourmet, Frozen Light, Moving Furniture etc. verstreut hat, eine Einführung in seine Ästhetik als SMALL THINGS ON SUNDAY. Sie zeigen den Dänen, mittlerweile als Eardrops auch Partner von Emerge, an Turntables, Laptops und Gitarren von seiner bedröhnt angedunkelten Seite - neben seiner ambienten oder noisigen, dem Lo-Fi-Actionpainting mit Sindre Bjerga als Star Turbine oder dem freejazzigen Einsatz von Bass und Clausophon mit der Blind Man's Band. Mit horizontalem Vektor ('Icebreaker', 'Powerstation', 'Harbour', der isländische Vulkan 'Surtsey'). Vertikal zwischen 'Below the Surface' und 'Moonship'. Psychedelisch zwischen Drogen ('Prozac', 'Isthmus of Oblivion') und Träumen ('We Sailed Into the Great Unknown', 'Withered Dreams Recaptured'). Auf Empfang geschaltet ('Sara Said', 'The Dinosaur's Calling'). Umrauscht und benebelt durch Musik als ein Phantom aus Erinnerungen und Sehnsucht. Musik, die sich, schaumgeboren, aus dem Ocean of Sound erhebt, die sich, staubgeboren, windverweht, wie auf Philip Jecks Plattentellern dreht und wie aus dem Haunted Ballroom von The Caretaker tönt. Wobei CP auf eine Gemeinschaft der Träumer setzt: 'I Know You Know'.