Kropp is the LP that closed out the 2014 release schedule for Danish label Posh Isolation, and it is an astonishing way to put another year behind them. Actually, Kropp is a record with such a back-story, and that is so saturated with emotions that it can literally put everything behind. Arv & Miljö is a solo project from Swedish noise artist Matthias Anderson, who is otherwise known for his work in Heinz Hopf on Triangle and A Dear Girl Called Wendy, but most of all as the founder of the once-seminal and now sadly defunct Swedish experimental label Release the Bats. This is not only his first LP—after numerous appearances on the cassette and CD formats—but this is also the first time that he has elected to pull back his harsh approach to noise in order to structure something far more organic and almost painfully realistic. With field recordings and extremely minimalist electronic ‘orchestration’ as the meat on the bones of this album, Kropp feels more like a sonic diary as it tells the story of one man’s harsh human struggle.
Kropp is a reminiscence from Anderson’s fight with Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistula (SDAVF), a particularly nasty condition, which may lead to full or partial physical paralysis. Most of the field recordings that are present on the album have been captured during the artist’s endless visits to hospitals. From the onset you can hear the voices of doctors, the mechanical spirits of medical equipment, and Anderson’s generally oppressed everyday life as it is soaked in recordings of dripping water, footsteps, and the empty, sterile presence of rooms. All of these structures gradually grow from brutality, yet they also encapsulate quiet realism and powerfully, perfectly arranged sonic sculptures.
‘”Kropp” essentially deals with before and after moments in life. That moment when everything changes. I instinctually started to record my life over the course of 15 terrible and very strange months and this is it.’ —Matthias Anderson, September 2014
The first minutes of Kropp were captured from Anderson’s hospital bed while paralyzed from the waist down. Yet, still, you will hear no horror, no panic nor anxiety in this album whatsoever. Instead you will be exposed to a psychological experiment with Anderson’s very own self.
In the end, Kropp is a fairly diverse album, not just for its experimental adventurism, but for the emotional ground it covers. It is not just a mere sharing of sound, but is a documentation of how those sounds’ existence came together as a part of a developing, potentially tragic scenario with strangely powerful crescendos, climaxes, and moments of silent rest. They remain until the very end of the album, when synthesized soundscapes almost completely overcome the atmosphere just like a sign of a new life, of a battle that has left you heavily scarred but mostly on the inside. I feel this is what music should be and the fact Arv & Miljö manages to achieve this immensity of emotion with such minimalist tools … well, it’s a lesson in art and, perhaps even more so, in life, which many people should take.
A2) Instruktioner För Män
B1) Allting Passerar
B2) Monotoni För Helning