Stian Westerhus – Redundance Green Heavyweight LP


Redundance Green Heavyweight LP – Stian Westerhus LP from Vinyl Records London

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IF STIAN WESTERHUSs previous albumAmputationsounded like a corporeal attack, a war being waged between voice and music,Redundanceis the relative calm after the storm. Thats not to say its any less vital or engaged just that a dtente has been reached, the debris of conict stripped back. Westerhuss remarkable vocals are more upfront than ever naked, raw and achingly melodic . while the instrumentation serves the songs rather than threatening to overwhelm them.The passion and intensity remains though.Redundanceconfronts psychological trauma head on, Westerhus addressing an intolerable situation, cutting away at his personal history in order to forge a new way forward. Theres anger and sadness in here, but also a righteous desire to redene the turbulence of the past, to tell the truth and to move on. As Westerhus sings on the title track, Swallowed my pride just to keep us alive, but never ever again.Redundancefaces out onto the world as well. Opening track Chase The New Morning is a timely polemic against an oppressive Chinese regime that controls its citizens via online propaganda, a challenge to freedom that has been met with erce resistance in Hong Kong. It was writing about this political struggle and ghting for whats rightfully yours that inspired Westerhus to reect on his own situation and revisit songs hed previously never dared to record for being too direct, too simple.Against a synthetic, often minimal, backing, the deep, resonant cadences of Westerhuss voice represent the indomitable human spirit onRedundance. Hes vulnerable on the jagged distress call of All Your Wolves before soaring on an ascending choral wave, while the spiky, skeletal groove of Verona is transgured by Westerhuss harmonic acrobatics. And even as his voice is distorted and submerged on the industrial funk of Theres A Light, hes a man digging his way out of darkness, tunnelling through the earth to deliver another blackly ecstatic chorus.Westerhuss reputation as a questing, idiosyncratic guitarist both in collaboration most recently with Ulver and as a solo performer is further enhanced throughout. YetRedundancealso shows a more lyrical side to his playing. Perhaps the most surprising track here is Walk The Line, a celestial acoustic ballad that edges into traditional singersongwriter territory, before a dramatic swell of electric fretwork jolts us from our reverie. At the other end of the spectrum, Hold On is a grimy slab of sinister, robotic garage rock, Westerhuss guitar wailing with glee.Redundanceis a mesmerising cry of deance, a cathartic throwing o of destiny. Westerhus shares the same singularity of vision, commitment to boundary pushing and talent for avantrock earwormery as artists such as Nick Cave, Scott Walker and David Bowie. On the strength of this album, it doesnt feel hyperbolic to include him in such exalted company. Stian Westerhus LP is available for home delivery from Vinyl Records London, only £22

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