PETER BENGTSEN & LAMBWOOL - Fading Landscapes - Book + CD - 24 pages / 11 tracks - Divine Comedy Records - 2005

Our regular readers are no doubt familiar with least one photo of the Danish photographer Peter Bengsten whose works also adorn record covers from bands like Sonne Hagal, Sidderartica, Harvest Rain, Der Arbeiter and the Europa Aeterna compilation. "Fading Landscapes" regroups for the first time in print 27 black and white pinhole photographs taken with a homemade camera during the artist's travels throughout north and southern Europe. This particular technique tends to make the photos look more like drawings or paintings, which confers a timeless and almost surrealistic impression to these deliberately hazy, soft-focused landscapes of desolate locations and isolated homesteads. The particular textures and the predominance of greyish hues that swathe the photos enhance the overall melancholic atmosphere of this selection of fine pictures.

"Fading Landscapes" is not just an art book as it also contains a CD from a new French one-man atmospheric project entitled Lambwool. Cyril Laurent's music combines layers of electronic sounds and field recordings with acoustic instruments, mainly strings but with the occasional appearance of tribal/organic percussions. These diverse elements are delicately balanced to form a multi-dimensional and evolving soundtrack that is as much influenced by Tangerine Dream as God Speed You Black Emperor. I will not single out a track in particular, as I think this would only deserve an album that functions much better as a whole. It is the overall ebb and flow of these 11 fading soundscapes that creates the calm and dreamlike mood that is in total symbiosis with the peculiar atmosphere of Peter Bengtsen's landscapes.

Presented as a 21cm x 21cm book with a CD, "Fading Landscapes" is a perfect example of a fruitful collaboration between a picture and a sound sculptor. Even if each element of this collaboration can hold its own, together they form something much better than the sum of their parts. Available since last spring this superb release is limited to only 500 copies, so it's better to snap up your copy before it is definitely sold-out.

Ian C.
Autumn 2005

p.s. I almost forgot to add that French readers will also be able to enjoy a short story written by the French writer Nico Bally.

Peter Bengtsen :
Lambwool :
Divine Comedy Records :