Icelandic post-classical whizz Ólafur Arnalds has built a career on understanding and getting right inside simplicity. He has an uncanny talent for making single melodies and minimalism drip with sunny richness, and he’s not afraid of genre-hopping, either. In the past, Arnalds has written a ballet score, made an album with Nils Frahm, and drummed in a hardcore band called Fighting Shit. From anyone else electronic project Kiasmos might be seen as a change in direction. For Ólafur Arnalds it’s yet another fascinating musical exploration.
Newly unveiled track ‘Burnt’ is yet more proof that Ólafur Arnalds and his friend and collaborator, the Bloodgroup mastermind Janus Rasmussen, complement one another better than rhubarb and custard. It’s also bolder than the misty condensation of the pair’s previous EP, ‘Thrown’. Brasher, braver and more raw, ‘Burnt’ seems to exude glacial coolness and heat at the same time, like an all-night party in a Scandinavian ice hotel, or a fiery wasabi pea housed in an ice-cube. All of Arnald’s post-classical subtly comes right to the surface, taking the form of urgent strings and incredibly minimalistic piano. The pace of ‘Burnt’ comes from twisted, mangled synthesisers and a beat acting as the driving force.
A preview into things to come on Kiasmos’ debut self titled album – out via Erased Tapes on 27th October – ‘Burnt’ is a total stunner. It looks like Kiasmos is a fuse that is just going to keep on igniting.