(Cyclic Law, 2015)
The man behind Northaunt, Hærleif Langås, has been working on the material of this album (released as a double-CD, with an awesome length of 1h 19mins) from 2003 to 2014. The music is a combination of extremely atmospheric Ambient music and field recordings of nature-sounds. What is special about Northaunt however, are the feelings of indeed nature brought forth by the synths alone.
Quite minimal in their essence, the songs feature mostly glowing, gleaming, hissing, dripping, blowing, flowing, increasing and decreasing, airy and celestial synth-sounds often quite reminiscent of the eighties and nineties Tangerine Dream (yet even more minimal) -like atmospheres with a modern sound and production. There are also some classic Vangelis-like moments here and there. What the music brings to my mind’s eye are sceneries of the themes of the album as well as concrete emotions of been exposed to nature, especially Nordic nature. The theme of the album is the “Ice Age”, which truly comes forth in the soundscapes of all the music on this release. I am taken over and under the icy surface of the sea, to the snowy mountaintops beholding majestic sunrises, or to the deep woods observing nature untouched by man. Being from Scandinavia myself, this album reminds me particularly of the wintry atmospheres of Lapland, with it’s clean air and unique light, the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky, with thousands of stars still visible and bright.
Simply put, to me this album is an audial journey to northern nature, more winter- than summer-oriented, timeless and unaffected by mankind, and I believe that’s how it has been intended to be. With this in mind, Hærleif Langås has created a very unique album of high quality, a definite must to all fans of Ambient music. There are, in the end, few albums where the intentions behind the music are clearly heard in the end results.