“As the full moon reaches its peak in a clear August sky” – to paraphrase Hypnus owner Michel Iseneld – many around the world turn the lunar phase into rituals. On this occasion, the energies surfacing for some encourage the practice of meditation, in a cyclic process made to cleanse the mental and physical space and to release the heavy emotional baggage. Gladly, the full moon over Sweden has consistently marked new music from Hypnus since 2013, on hand to add an extra dimension to the meditative condition and enlightening enough to fulfil the werewolves’ prophecy: “Every time the moon shines, I become alive.”
The rare Blue Moon – occurring every two to three years – beaming in the sky also marks a rather special release for Hypnus. Not only is “Bloodwood Moon” the debut of Jorum, a collaboration between Swedish artists Alexander Berg – well-known as Dorisburg – and Sebastian Mullaert – behind the alias WaWuWe in our specific scene – but also the first time that Dorisburg features on the label. Up till now, the two artists have been regular collaborators within Circle of Live, a live improvisation project curated by Mullaert.
Having witnessed the immense energy which builds up during a Circle of Live session, it is just a thrill to imagine the chemistry which went on as the artists were conjuring up this release. In a recent statement on Resident Advisor, Mullaert hints on a process which “allows a combination of individual sound exploration mixed with improvised sessions together, where the songs and arrangements have taken place.” From such words, it seems like both the individual and the collective creative processes are well valued in Jorum’s project, while Mullaert was expressing a clear division between them, when interviewed by fabriclondon in 2015 on his past project Minilogue: “Working alone and working in collaboration for me are two very different expressions, both in the studio and on stage. When I work with someone else it’s more about communication and finding something special together – you have to accept the other person’s methods and express yourself from within that combination and relationship.”
As described in the release, the sounds explored by the artists take listeners through a sonic fable. “Bone Scan”, eerie and haunting with a pulsating bassline oozes into the lighter, downtempo breakbeat of “Bloodwood Moon”. These two tracks give an idea of the playful contrasts which are found throughout the release. They also exemplify the mastery of genres the two artists hold, from the dubby grooves which give “Earth Wires” and “River Run Free” plenty of attitude, to the deep, dark, drone-ish sounds of “Homage to the Wild”. While the danceable tracks are packed with pumping triggers for any dancefloor – Dorisburg and Mullaert are sure to remind of the skilful elegance in a more ambient closing, emotionally charged with atmospheric, orchestral chords. Particularly, the collaboration also beneficially lets each individual artist shine through complimenting, highlighting each other’s expression.
The Full Sturgeon Moon this August provides a space for encouraging fruitful cooperation and collaboration. With Jorum’s fresh release on Hypnus, this can be done in the company of a sonic reflection of these teachings.