Bgudna – Safe Harbor (Self-Published)


You can probably imagine the plethora of narratives to spill forth from the title Safe Harbor. Let me not be the last to talk of the sea and the questionable concept of a safe harbor. However this frame is on the mind of Icelander Björgvin Gudnason in the making of his debut ep. It is definitely in the ambient electronic realm and could be seen as dark, ominous or even isolationist as these are the psychological tags that the music elicits in the mind of the listener. It is also a clear winner of the best heard through headphones mantle, as subtlety clearly is an approach much admired and conveyed by Gudnason. The underlying synth drones ebb and flow creating the effects while the pads foreground and create a clever patter to supplement the development of the dominant subtle. The paradox of ambient like this is that it succeeds in combining the beat structure as woven into its essential form without revealing that it is a device to draw you into the underlying form. But in doing so it commits to the device and submits a little to the demand for “action’ where the form is more describing a peaceful center of an ongoing narrative. The argument may go further to suggest that all sonic representations are but disruptions of the origins in silence. Regardless of Cage’ dismissal of silence, the inclination remains and Bgunda invocation of these realms is cognisant of such inclinations. Part of the disturbance within this EP is the disruption of the waters, that all form takes, and remakes, but yet again this slippage into an overarching cultural metaphor which may just be the frame on which Gudnason hangs his skills.



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