Album of the Week: Taxgorkhan – Leaves in a Stream & Plateau

Exploring the infinite realm of possibilities, between ambient, krautrock and “world” music, comes two albums from J.Hannevold as Taxgorkhan. “Leaves in the Stream” & “Plateau”, released late last year, consolidate the artist’s sound as an esoteric journey through the furthest reaches of any and all known musical dimensions. Arriving to the recorded format through the “O. Gudmundsen Minde” label created by Noise pioneer Lasse Marhaug and radio host and Hip Hop experimentalist Lars Mørch Finborud, the two records offer a very unique listening experience.

Hannevold’s moniker undoubtedly takes its name from the transliteration of the Chinese city Taxkorgan, a major stop along the original silk road  with an oriental flavour informing the signature sound of this project. Bamboo flutes, oriental scales and plucked strings echo the lost sounds of an age-old culture, transposing them into a modern dialect through electronic means and re-establishing them in an avant-pop context. Merging these oriental flavours with elements of fringe-rock, Taxgorkhan creates a kind of pseudo new-age music without the pretence or irony that’s usually associated with that music.

Leaves in a Stream & Plateau are defined by their exotic melodic arrangements, evoking the shamanic mysticism of drum circles and meditation sweat lodges, if they were located at the edge of the universe. Synthesisers and drum machines, transport the music from a spiritual levity to cosmic one. Like Sun Ra travelling to the intergalactic nether-regions on the sonic tides of Jazz, Taxgorkhan navigates new worlds through an old, world music. Taxgorkhan plots a wholly unique journey through various musical forms to arrive at its esoteric sound with an indefinable charm that makes for captivating and entertaining listening.