Calder is the collaborative project of Icelanders Larus Sigurdsson and Olafur Josephsson, the latter of whom is perhaps best known for his recordings as Stafraenn Hakon. The two musicians have sculpted a quietly rather brilliant LP in Lower, a meeting of delicate instrumentation and subtle electronic programming that couldn't have sounded any more Icelandic had it been performed by actual puffins. Both artists have previously released solo works, and while regular visitors to these pages will probably already know all about Stafraenn Hakon's output, Sigurdsson has previously worked in classical music, and as a maker of musical instruments. From the very outset this album marks itself out as being something exceptionally beautiful, combining crystalline digital electronics with glockenspiel and carefully constructed acoustic guitar figures on 'Tuft', whilst thickly layering the guitar-based orchestrations of 'Semi'. 'Drones' arrives as something of a misnomer, taking on a far more conventionally musical sound than its name might have you believe, weaving together a wealth of acoustic and electronic instruments in a bright and articulate fashion, charting a course somewhere between post-rock and warm instrumental electronica. At times the duo's ambitions reach a scale that's not too far from the heady climes of compatriots Sigur Ros' recent output, although there's always a sense of intimacy present here, and something like album closer 'Rowd' remains very personal and pared down despite taking on vast and noisy proportions as the track unfolds.
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