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Trilogi Review

by K. Ross Hoffman

Trilogi, Fredrik's second full-length outing, is so named because its contents were originally issued as a series of the three limited-edition EPs, self-released by the band on 3" CDs with handmade origami packaging. Despite some flowery language in the accompanying press release about "contemporized viewpoints of the Lovecraftian dream passage," the knowledge that this music was at one point presented in three discrete installments in no way alters the effect of hearing it as a single 50-minute whole -- there are no appreciable musical distinctions to be made between the three segments, which were all recorded in the same six-month span. However, the image of those few delicate, distinctive objects that were initially created to hold these songs does resonate nicely with the particular character of Fredrik's music: intimate, tactile, small in scope, and lovingly crafted with careful attention to detail. These qualities, which made their debut album, Na Na Ni, such a charming and unassuming surprise, are very much still present on Trilogi, which treads similarly evocative sonic territory, blending a cornucopia of organic musical (and non-musical) sounds with sparse electronic touches to create a creaky, ancient-sounding, surreal sort of folk music. This time, though, the tone is notably darker -- right from the eerie, mildly menacing opening notes of "Vinterbarn" -- and the songs, while typically gorgeous and affecting sonically, aren't quite as memorable. It's hard to put a finger on what exactly has shifted, but the deft balance between melody and atmosphere that Fredrik achieved so exquisitely their first time out is not quite as compelling here, with only the uplifting, quietly anthemic "Flax" standing out as a clear highlight.

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