Feature, News, Reviews

Gabríel Ólafs Announces ‘Absent Minded Reworks’ Due November 13th via One Little Independent Records

September 21, 2020
Anna Maggy

Gabríel Ólafs

‘Absent Minded Reworks’ out November 13th via One Little Independent Records

Featuring Niklas Paschburg, Hugar, Masayoshi Fujita, Kelly Moran and more

After a widely positive reception for ‘Piano Works’ – the solo deconstruction by Gabríel Ólafs of his debut album ‘Absent Minded’ – the gifted Icelandic composer is returning in November with his collection of reworks.

A dramatically different take on his previous release, this time he’s enlisted the talent of Niklas Paschburg, Hugar, Masayoshi Fujita, Kelly Moran and more to completely reinterpret his usually minimalist output.

Gabríel has unveiled his first taste of these intricate reworks with ‘Another Fall, Another Spring (Masayoshi Fujita Rework)’ and ‘Think Of Home (Kelly Moran Rework)’.

Of his mix Fujita said “As I transcribed Gabriel’s song and converted it into a vibraphone piece I felt like I could see his intension and care for the notes and harmony more. It also inspired me to interpret and re-construct the song in a different manner. It was a joyful experience”. Of the new Kelly Moran rework Gabríel says “Kelly Moran is an incredibly innovative producer and composer, and an inspiration to me. Her rework of my piece ‘Think of Home’ has interesting acoustic and electronic textures; building up with the contrast of the piano, slide guitar, strings and her sequenced synth in a very cinematic way.”

The first track to play features the rework of Masayoshi Fujita– playing with the initial chimes of the track to cast a mystical aura over the re-imagined creation. Before the pace picks up, the use of rhythms built on these essential intricacies of the sound waves embodies the emotive appeal of Ólafs work.

The Kelly Moran Rework of Think Of Home provides darker entities- deeper contextual notes and cascading atmospherical harmonies that exude the experimental electronic elements- this tentative arrangement captivates.

Both the new tracks provide such an enthralling and immersive experience for the audience.

‘Absent Minded Reworks’, released via One Little Independent Records, largely builds on the originals ambient melodies with layers of delicate keys and glistening synth, utilizing the touch of some of the industry’s most respected visionaries.

Brooklyn based producer and Warp signee Kelly Moran strips back Ólafs signature keys on opener ‘Think of Home’ in favour of swelling strings and a slow-building atmospheric intensity. Contemporaries Hugar, the duo also hailing from Iceland, use the addition of brass to ‘Bára’ to set it apart while adding a traditional feel, beautifully contrasted with Berlin-based Japanese vibraphone player Masayoshi Fujita’s follow-up ‘Another Fall, Another Spring’. Soundscape expert Niklas Paschburg breathes new life into ‘Lóa’ with heavier, epic electronics. We’re given an even more impressive insight into the local talent of Iceland with Kippi Kaninus and Skúli Sverrisson’s respective reworks. Upcoming American ensemble Bing & Ruth take another crack at ‘Lóa’ giving it a more laid back, meditative spin and ‘Filma’ is also presented for the second time with the gorgeous use of harp (performed by Björk’s harpist Katie Buckley), followed by an accordion version of ‘Cyclist Waltz’. Finally we’re seen out with two gracefully reimagined track variations that, true to Gabriel’s raw talent, are sublimely emotive.

Art credit:
Xiaofei Zhang


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