Mannen Faller is a collection of tracks, moving from ambient to noise to field recordings, that is a tribute to Norwegian nature and the animals that occupy it. Composed by Anders Brørby and Rune Clausen, Mannen Faller has an epic, otherworldly feel to it that transports the listener to fantasy like aural places. Brørby and Clausen lead their listeners on a sonic journey into the Norwegian forests with all the beauty and danger that it can present. Moments of awe and danger fill the tracks throughout Mannen Faller as both composers demonstrate their ability to transport their audience with a mastery.
“Ut av Mørket” (trans. “Out of the Darkness”) begins with a low, abiding rumble that has squeaky sounds, water, and eerie drones. Wolves howl, baying at the moon, providing an awe-inspiring feel to the piece. Random bell tones and tinny sounds dot the soundscape among the various layers of field recordings. “Søkedalen, Timer Før Ulykken” sounds like morning has arrived. The darkness has moved on and the wolves have retired to the dens. Birds chirp in a lively chorus while bright synths plays beautifully written melodies. The titular track, “Manner Faller”, then rises in the speakers with a deep rumble and ominous sounds. Explosive noises with fuzzy, metallic edges interject themselves while small, textual moments happen in between. Alongside these more ominous sounds, bells toll, bring in another textual piece to this composition. It is an unsettling piece, but perhaps we hear here a reflection of the harshness that the environment in Northern Europe can dish out.
“Nattsangen” is dreamy, at least in an almost nightmare inducing way. Someone whistles a brief melody while animals call out. A rumbling, listless drone reverberates throughout the field recordings while a bright group of synth voices ring out above the fray. “La Floden Komme” flows out of the speakers with the sounds of water and bright, beautifully calming drones. Acoustic guitar like tones reverberate through the water and the track becomes deeply meditative. “Norges Ugler” (trans. Norway Owls) pulsates with bright, flowing drones that flitter from speaker to speaker. Then, a spoken word piece begins which I’m guessing is in Norwegian. An owl hoots during a pause, pointing toward the title of the piece. It’s a hypnotic composition that pictures a kind of beauty in aural form.
“Det Fantes Mannesker” (trans. “There Were People”) is one of the more ominous piece on the album with banging metal sounds, indistinct voices like ghosts, and reversed ominous tones. These parts peel away and syncopated sounds begin to drum and then lead to random sounding xylophone tones. The piece fills out again, with gorgeous tonal choices amid the delay drenched plucking. “Tung er Jorden” (trans. “Heavy is the Earth”) deeply groans into the speakers with bright acoustic guitar laid over the top and birds chirping. Perhaps here we have an environmentalist sort of message as the earth groans under the weight of the people that have invaded nature.
“Minner Fra Ravnereiret” has layered field recordings that include birds, other nature sounds that are hard to place, and some water-like tones. The drones here are lovely and are tinged with a subtle crackling white noise. Brief in its composition “Minner Fra Ravnereiret” is a beautiful interlude that leads into “Nest Siste Reis” which has another spoken word piece in it that rises above dreamy, ethereal drones. This is a stunning track that I wish was much, much longer. It is most certainly my favorite piece on the album. “Det Skjønne Og Det Gode” (trans. “The Beautiful and the Good) rises in the speaker with a flood of voice synths like a tidal wave chorus. These vocal synths or chorus tones play a large part in this piece as deep rumbles dot the soundscape and spectral drones move in and out of the mix. “Når Skal Vi Dø?” (trans. “When Will We Die?”) has the return of the creaking sound similar to the beginning of the album. There is also running water and bird sounds. This track, unlike others, has vocals. The title is repeated in reverb drenched vocals and beautiful acoustic guitar work is laid over-top the various field recordings.
Anders Brørby and Rune Clausen have produced a set of tracks that are stunning, awe-inspiring, and contemplative. Mannen Faller is a mixture of the respect one must have for nature if one is to survive it alongside the awe that nature’s beauty inspires. While there are certainly moments of unease, Brørby and Clausen present the natural beauty of their country without the trappings of innocence but rather with a large helping of the realities that nature brings. I highly recommend everyone take this sonic journey with Anders Brørby and Rune Clausen. Out on September 15th, pre-order the cassette at Katuktu Collective’s Bandcamp below.