Album of the Week: Porn Sword Tobacco – 2017

We opt for a kind of quiet before the storm hits this week as Øya rolls into town and look towards an ambient work for our album of the week. Leftfield Swedish electronic producer Porn Sword Tobacco, headed over to Acido records to put together “2017”, a lush wavy ambient LP that soothes something primitive in the listener. Untitled tracks, field recordings and synthesisers that loop into infinity, repeating a mantric hymn cascade over each other to create a blanket of sound that covers the record. The sound palette is subtle and allows the listener to drift in and out of the embrace of its pliable textures.

 

Waves of water lapping up on some distant shore and the constant chirping of indistinguishable lifeforms pad each extensive track like some reminder of the origins of ambient music, but they feel synthetic in their design as if walking through some virtual reality dream. The percussive elements that crop up randomly, evoke associations with their west-african ancestry, but as they modulate in pitch and in timbre, PST keeps us from falling too deep into rabbit hole, keeping the listener engaged, rather than apathetically present.   

As an ambient record it has a lot of character, and maintains that old Brian Eno trope of ambient music as being both ignorable and interesting. PST manipulates our natural sonic world into something curious without ever being obnoxious about it. It’s especially interesting when he seems to mimic the world around him through synthesised sounds, making for a very unique ambient record.

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