Ulver - _Lyckantropen Themes_
(Jester Records, 2002)
by: Alvin Wee (
While Ulver have shown hints of their latest direction on their recent EPs, _Lyckantropen Themes_ showcases the project's fullblown cinematic sound. Relying less on individually structured tracks and experimental sonic exploration, this actual soundtrack capitalizes on the movie's dynamic to create a flowing thirty minute tapestry of subdued melodic ambience. Making use of distinct, repeated motifs and more traditional sounding –- though still electronic –- instrumentation like piano and strings, Ulver come across as unquestionably more conventional than on their previous work, while retaining an edgy keenness that keeps them from being compared with commercial counterparts like Vangelis or Tangerine Dream.Ardent fans may notice the project's penchant for keeping a distinctly analog warmth and fuzziness about their recent material, a characteristic that's retained throughout this disc, and which lends the soundtrack an air of nostalgia and thoughtfulness that brings to mind old, familiar vinyl records and treasured relationships past. Which, judging from the artwork alone, seems to reflect the mood of the film itself, although an actual copy of the latter seems rather elusive at this point. A triumph for Garm and Co. no doubt, and certainly up there with Lustmord's remarkable "Zoetrope" soundtrack this year.[Quentin Kalis: "Ulver take yet another left turn on _Lyckantropen Themes_, this time exploring ambient soundscapes to a far greater extent than on their _Perdition City_ sessions. Despite protestations to the contrary, Ulver's conversion to electronica did not result in them losing the darkness of their earlier albums; it is still present, albeit in a far more subtle manner than on albums such as _Nattens Madrigal_. The songs segue seamlessly into one another, providing a sense of continuity and should ideally be listened to from beginning to end without interruption. Amazing, enchanting stuff."]
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