Across the four tracks present on ‘Below’, ambient musicians David Wenngren & Jonatan Nästesjö offer up a harrowing ambient experience that really pushes their talents as ambient musicians right to the forefront. Ambient drones and electronic treatments offer up a very typical ambient experience that is doused in creativity and ideas that present a great narrative story. The main crux of each track presents a rather dark and unsettling setting that easily sucks the listener in, enveloping them in the ambient drones that push the music along as their slow paces. It’s everything ambient music should be, and it’s presented in an enjoyable way that is sure to please fans of both musicians.
The main strengths to ‘Below’ are in the presentation of its themes through the use of the ambient music style. Although David Wenngren and Jonatan Nästesjö undoubtedly have their own ideas of what story their music is telling, there still seems to be an element of it all being up for interpretation. Everything on the album feels fairly dark and harrowing, as though preparing for something unexpected that one can’t quite see. Each track works well with each other, sounding great as stand-alone songs when listened individually, and also working well as one complete album package when listened to all together. The ambient drones seem to swell up to great proportions and then slowly disappear into nothingness in brilliant style, making ‘Below’ an interesting and enjoyable ambient album.
David Wenngren and Jonatan Nästesjö have managed to get a lot right on ‘Below’, which works in their favour, but it seems that a few minor mistakes sadly bring down the quality of the overall album. The main problem present on ‘Below’ is the quality of the production of each song, where a few ambient drones peak far too high, creating an unpleasant listening experience. Perhaps this was the ambient artists intentions for the album, utilizing the peaks to create a harrowing and worrying listening experience in the context of the albums story, but at the end of the day, it is still slightly unpleasant to listen too, and its placement on the album is questionable.
David Wenngren & Jonatan Nästesjö certainly do have a good understanding of ambient music, and although there’s a few minor moments on the album that don’t add up all that well, the overall album is still one that is an enjoyable, if dark, experience. There’s a brilliant narrative present on the four songs that keeps the listener’s attention throughout each drone and buzz of ambient noise. It should be said that those looking for an incredibly relaxing ambient experience like ‘Music For Airports’ by Brian Eno will not find any comfort here, but those looking for a creative ambient experience that’s more harrowing will find a lot to enjoy from ‘Below’.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Something There
- Before I Leave
- Still Nothing Moves You
David Wenngren & Jonatan Nästesjö’s latest album ‘Below’ is out now.