We talked recently about The sound of snow, the cold ambient proposal by Swedish producer Motionfield. Four years after that one, Friberg has started his own label, Autoload, and starts it with this Quiet is the new loud: a good glance on what may come next in the label. Although the title coincides with the homonymous album by Norweigian duo Kings of Convenience, it is perfectly understandable why he chose it: the four themes that formes the suite are a silence shouting, a tour de force of calmed sounds that hit the listener with contained force.
The first track has an overwhelming duration of 26 minutes and is perfectly portrayed in the album's cover: a mysterious combination of synth sounds imitating a natural environment that could be very well a cheerless forest, slowly extending without a clearly defined direction. First half is dominated by bright floating notes, without an stablished melody but always keeping harmony, in a flow of consciousness moved to the synth keys; in its second half appears a minimalistic percussion in the form of footsteps, barely perceived, which give away a human presence, missing from most of the album. As it happened in The sound of snow, Friberg prefers to step aside and let nature itself to take the center in his musical stage.
The second track is also divided in two different halves: in the first one, Motionfield sets the provoked visions in motion with soft loops from a rythm machine, while the second one is dark, watery and deep. Everything moves slowly in Quite is the new loud: it seems as if nearly nothing is happening, but there are plenty of things happening. The minimalistic melodies' construction contrasts with the wealth of sounds, the multiple layers and the carefully crafted effects. Here is again the comparison with nature, so rich in details, the same ones that Motionfield brings to his work.
In the third theme comes again the human presence, this time in the form of distant voices, barely audible, but giving the piece an unexpected warmth coming from an artist who has built his inspiration on top of the arctic landscape. A short warmth nonetheless, for the last track goes back to the strictness and frozen peace of the North. A deep pulsing pad moves the theme forward, like a slow martial parade: it moves forward towards nowhere, since the atmosphere it builds takes us back on our steps slowly and inadvertently. It is as if we hadn't move from the dark woods of the first theme; as if the sensed presences were nothing but ghostly illusions, results of a dream or tricks of the light between the branches.
With 'Quiet is the new loud' Friberg has shouted a statement, not only musical but conceptual.