Nektyr is the work of Swedish songwriter Irma Orm (aka Demen), who was signed to Kranky after anonymously e-mailing the label links to three songs. The album took a few years to materialize, which might not be the right word, given how vaporous and ethereal it sounds. The songs themselves take their sweet time to progress, typically starting off with vast, glacial droning before slow, heavy drums come in (if they appear at all). Orm's vocals are sensuous and cloaked in reverb, and like Elizabeth Fraser, most of the time it's nearly impossible to tell if actual words are escaping her mouth. Not all of the songs have vocals, though. "Korridorer" is a piano-based meditation with many pregnant pauses, eventually gaining some deeply reverberating electronic beats, which sound like drops of water dripping from a stalactite into a vast, deep pool inside an expansive cavern. Ultimately, Orm's vocals are the most arresting part of her music. By the end of the slowly building nine-minute epic "Morgon," her voice sounds utterly lost, and during the dramatic middle of "Illdrop," she sounds like she's mumbling in a fit of ecstatic rapture. "Ambur" is more subdued and wintry, and her voice completely disappears halfway through the song, with music itself gradually melting away. Nektyr would've been perfectly at home on 4AD or Projekt during the late '80s or early '90s, and might have been among their best releases, but its weightlessness and otherworldliness can't be attached to any specific time period.
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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson