The Bridge Between Life & Death

Zoon Van Snook, Iceland, Oddtronica, Music

I came across Zoon van snooK’s The Bridge Between Life & Death whilst working at 1883 magazine, and through sheer luck and chance was able to nab and listen to his newest LP before its official launch last week.

I hadn’t heard of Alec Snook, the Bristolian composer and producer behind Zoon van snooK, before listening to this album. Now I cannot for the life of me switch it off. I couldn’t tell you which track on the album is my favourite, as they all flow so deliciously from one to another, a combination of fragile electronica and otherworldly field recordings.

The Bridge Between Life & Death is the result of Snook’s fascination with Iceland and its inhabitants, and so the album was partly recorded in Iceland, with the composer collecting sound material with his recorder in the south-west of the country.

Zoon Van Snook, Alec Snook, Bristol, Oddtronica, Music

Alec Snook, the Bristolian composer behind Zoon van snooK

The best description of this use of atmospheric, organic sound comes from the artist himself, who says, “As well as the principal subject, all the glitch rhythms on the album are created from the unintentional background noise or static created whilst capturing it. It’s the musical equivalent of blasting meat off the bone with a high-pressure hose – nothing is wasted.”

Nothing indeed is wasted, and everything is placed in meticulous position – from an Icelandic citizen in the act of storytelling in Björn Of The Mendips, to the sound of water in Inclementine and the steady rhythm of footsteps in Tjörnin Side – it’s an album and an artistic feat that pulls you into a completely different world.

Here is the first single released from the LP, for your complete and utter enjoyment:

Y tro cynta’ nes i ddod ar draws Zoon van snooK oedd tra’n gweithio yn swyddfa 188 magazine, a thrwy lwc nes i allu cael gafael ar gopi o’i LP diweddara’, The Bridge Between Life & Death, cyn iddo gael ei lansio’r wythnos hon.

Do’n i ddim wedi clywed am Alec Snook, y dyn tu ôl i Zoon van snooK, cyn clywed yr albym hwn. Cyfansoddwr a chynhyrchydd yw Snook, yn dod yn wreiddiol o Fryste, ac sydd nawr yn byw ym Marcelona. Mae e’n arbenigo mewn cerddoriaeth sy’n cael ei alw’n “Oddtronica”, sydd yn yr achos yma yn gyfuniad o gerddoriaeth electroneg a recordiadau maes.

Dwi wedi dwlu ar yr albym hwn, ac wedi gwrando arno yn ddi-baid ers cael gafael arno. Canlyniad obsesiwn Snook gyda Gwlad yr Iâ yw’r LP, ac fe recordiwyd rhan helaeth o’r gerddoriaeth yno.

Mae Snook yn feistr ar ddefnyddio synau maes i greu cerddoriaeth atmosfferig. Yn Björn Of The Mendips mae Snook yn defnyddio sŵn storïwr yn rhannu ei hanes; yn Inclementine  mae sŵn dwr yn creu teimlad heddychlon; yn Tjörnin Side mae Snook yn defnyddio sŵn cerdded i roi rhythm pendant i’r gerddoriaeth. Mae Snook yn cyfuno’r rhain oll gyda sain electroneg fregus. Mae’n gyfuniad hudolus, a bron yn creu hiraeth am wlad dwi erioed wedi bod iddi! Mae’n albym sydd wir yn swyno.

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