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Beautifully lined with lead

May 3, 2023

A beautiful review of Sub-Photic Scenario by danish online soundart & music magazine Seismograf.

It is nice when someone actually clicks with what you do, specially when it is such a demanding listen.

Written in danish by Rasmus Weirup. Here follows an english translation:

Beautifully lined with lead

There is, I thought, when I read the press release for composer and sound artist Runar Magnusson’s Sub-Photic Scenario, an admirable audacity in, as Magnusson did, demanding that one’s music be listened to on quality speakers. Out of sheer defiance, I first tried to listen to the album through the built-in speakers of my mobile phone, but quickly realised that he has a point: the ultra-low-frequency soundscape of Sub-Photic Scenario is literally inaudible until it is allowed to come into its own on, alas, a pair of quality speakers. So here’s an invitation to the reader: get the surround sound system you never got around to installing out of the moving box, yes, the subwoofer too, and be overwhelmed by Sub-Photic Scenario’s extremely detailed, tactile and sensory-saturated universe. Because the album deserves it.

It is not by chance that I use the word universe: the album is like a gigantic galactic conch, which, if you hold it to your ear, contains not only the roaring sea and the rushing wind, but also the infinite, weightless emptiness of outer space, the deep rumble of the slowly shifting tectonic plates and the glowing pressure chamber of the earth’s interior. Sub-Photic Scenario can best be described as a form of ambient music, but the album could not be further from the typical tropes of the genre: the sound is not light and spherical, but heavy as if it were lined with lead; it does not hang in space like waves of light, but stands as if carved in granite. If you can resist the temptation to play it on your mobile phone.

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