Nielu LP - $17
available for purchase here
The quality of Olli Aarni’s music has remained remarkably high given his consistent output over the last five years for labels like Preservation, Cotton Goods, and Dauw. Often working in the cassette format and primarily composing extended, gorgeously textured drones, Aarni’s new album, Nielu, is one of his first releases on vinyl and a kind of culmination of the sound he has crafted for years. Even in the context of such an impressive discography, Nielu is noteworthy and Aarni considers it to be his personal definitive ambient album.
The hallmarks of Aarni’s prior work—exceptional attention to texture, ghostly looped figures, enveloping sound fields—are especially immersive on Nielu, which, in his native Finnish, can be translated as “vortex,” “throat,” or “swallowing”—all appropriate imagery here. Taking inspiration from the harsh winters of Norway and Finland, both side-long pieces are enveloping compositions that reward close listening but, even more, invite surrender to wide washes of sound. Evocative and sometimes, bleak, Nielu is fundamentally beautiful and grows more emotionally engaging the louder it is played.
Mastered by Taylor Deupree. Limited to 150 LPs, comes with a two-sided insert and download code.
"Perfect for the winter months...gradually engulfs all other sounds in its droning swirl." - A Closer Listen
"Everything is stuck together, but it comes with some definition within in the sound, and not an abstract amorphous mass of sound stuck together...Aarni did a great job in creating a damn fine album." - Vital Weekly
"Nielu exudes a kind of ghostly calm—even when one feels wholly enveloped by its churning masses...establishes explicit connections to the natural world that makes the recording feel as if its sounds could be happening immediately outside one's front door" - Textura
"It transmutes into a spectral force, the careful loops thinning out into humming, ghostly atmospherics...Nielu will suck you down into its depths with alarming ease." - Hear Feel
"Nielu is a largely tranquil album, although the music isn’t without its stark or bleak weather; those grey clouds give in to a draught of icy air, but even though the temperature is cold, the music still reveals a precious beauty, like a shard of ice or a snow angel in the depths of winter. The evocative music hangs in the air, bringing with it the muted sounds of the season." - Fluid Radio
"Successfully recreates the sense of isolation and awe amidst the vastness of an imagined landscape." - Stationary Travels