Written by: BV on 03/07/2014 20:46:37

Late last year, a strange album made its appearance in a severely limited run of vinyl pressings. The project was called Tidsgæst – both in terms of artist name and album title. To those not directly involved with anything in the psych-circles, it took a bit of detective work to figure out that the man behind the recordings was a man named Sigurd Djurhuus – a man who has appeared as a member of projects like Dirty Grass and, to my knowledge, he has also appeared as part of Aron’s Blackbeacon Orchestra. This double album is the first released under his very own moniker, with Djurhuus, apparently, playing all instruments himself. The tardiness of this review is simply due to the fact that the album has just been made available for digital download – meaning it seemed more relevant to review it now.

Upon initial listens, it is abundantly clear that Djurhuus has felt it necessary to go all in, on an occult –horror-psych journey addled with eerie sounds, ominous melodies and soundscapes that are borderline reminiscent of the soundtrack to a vintage horror-movie. Whether on album opener “Portal” or on the strangely funky “I Det Hinsides”, the mood of Tidsgæst is one that constantly borders on the verge between self-consciously corny horror and a distinctly frightening take on this particular psychedelic approach. The slightly funky soundscape of “I Det Hinsides” also displays a level of musicianship in Djurhuus that is capable of more than creating eerie and ominous pallets of sound, as his skills on the guitar are expressed via a somewhat aggressive solo and the general soundscape is one of texture that is not overcrowded. Djurhuus is obviously not a flashy musician, if anything he is more of a texture-connoisseur with a greater focus on the collective sounds, rather than making each instrument stand out.

The strangest and most intriguing track on the album is, for me, “Uopklaret Sag nr. 2431-b”. Consisting predominantly of what could seem to be, an actual case file from a police investigation that has yet to be closed, regarding the disappearance of an unnamed professor and the following ‘inexplicable’ phenomena that the investigators were subjected to. The soundscape is, perhaps, also Djurhuus’ most ambitious work on the album as it divides itself into two parts: the instrumental interludes and the spoken word passages where Djurhuus’ warped voice delivers the ominous punch to the reading of the case file.

Likewise, “Den Forkerte Dør” is also quite ambitious albeit in a slightly more traditional approach. The song-structure is a bit more straightforward than what has previously been displayed on the album, meaning that the emphasis is placed on the face-melting fuzz-guitar and Djurhuus’ strange vocals that are so warped that it’s hard to tell whether or not he is actually singing in tune. Strangely though, it doesn’t matter if he does or doesn’t as this is part of the uniquely endearing charm surrounding Tidsgæst. None of it is perfect, there are no hits and as time progresses there are several tracks that some would rate as ‘forgettable’. That’s not really of the essence, as Sigurd Djurhuus has seemingly managed to create such an open-ended, yet strangely coherent album that you could apparently start it at any of the four album sides (if you are indeed listening to it on vinyl) and still feel the strange coherence due to these musical interludes that tie the whole thing together.

This is Djurhuus’ first solo effort and, in many ways, I sure don’t hope it’s his last. Perhaps the Tidsgæst moniker would get old rather quickly, seeing as this release already spans more than 80 minutes – but the abundance of creativity displayed here could surely be put to use elsewhere too. Forgive my tardiness once again, but it took a while to get into this album – once you do, though, it’s surprisingly hard to let it go.


Download: I Det Hinsides, Tidsgæst, Uopklaret Sag nr. 2431-b, Den Forkerte Dør
For the fans of: Aron, Pandemonica, Anders
Listen: Afd. O Records

Release date 10.08.2013
Afd. O Records

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