Periskop – Immerse (Kabalion Records)


A near eighty-minute epic working off and then abandoning the blueprint of classic dub ambient and mollified industrial, Immerse is a collected work that has been massaged into form by Danny Kreutzfeldt from Aarhus as part of his Periskop project, which has gone from gestation to experimental stage for much of the twenty-first century, from live and studio work to online platform, to a unique record deal in which Uhrlaut Records agreed to publish 40, a single long-player and thirty-nine more albums´ worth of material produced between 1999 and 2012 on USB, making it “the longest release in the history of Danish music”.

In more conventional news, but deserving just as much fanfare, the album Immerse was released earlier this year.

Kreutzfeldt has had a long and varied career, releasing under a variety of monikers (Counterperipheral by sgnl_fltr is a personal favourite). For Immerse, he writes that he felt motivated to blur dub and industrial ambiences in order to stave off “states of alienation and emptiness”. Perhaps the best way to overcome the abyss is to stare deep down into it.

Or plunge deep down into it. Immerse is all at sea. The breaching sub on the cover is accompanied by other black and white maritime photography. Good luck to her and all who sail in her, but this is no Old Ironsides; the spectre of sinking hangs over the entire narration, variously arranged on the vinyl and digital versions, flowing as one on the compact disc. Many fathoms are descended and the album is as much about hearing as it is telling – auditory perception is muffled, then keen again, then dulled, reacting and adjusting to changes in pressure.

The propulsion of the dub rhythm is very much in the “tradition“, if you will, and sounds float by like small underwater episodes captured in air bubbles that agglomerate rather than separate and pop, swept together in the wake. Plugged ears experience momentary stases in the in-betweens. It is also clear and concise as chess and dirty, wet and greasy as hard labour in the engine room.

For midway through, it sounds as if repair work is being performed with a welding torch. As sparks shower down into pooling water, a sense of some danger mixes with the realization that this is not so much a tribute but rather a challenge to traditional dub ambient, as the beat as such has disappeared long ago. The craft never recovers its propulsive energy. Very near the end, a desperate, deconstructed ritual SOS – basic, hammering beat, snaking and skeletal. Nearing the very end, as heavy weather brews, the dock seems near, but the damaged vessel will never reach it. Maybe the crew will, though.


About Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Stephen Fruitman has been living in northern Sweden lo these past thirty years. Writing and lecturing about art and culture as an historian of ideas since the early nineties, his articles have appeared in an number of international publications. He is also a contributing editor at Igloo Magazine.