A. Karperyd is an active member of the Swedish electronic music underground since the late eighties, playing in bands like Omala, Obconic and Hox. This album is his first under his own name, although he recorded some music for dance performances. 'Woodwork' contains a number of edited live recordings, a brilliant blend of glitch electronics, trip-hop and ambient. As if Autechre and Scorn have spent some studio time with Biosphere.
For the main part, Woodwork is a don't-know-what-you're-going-to-get album. It opens with a repetitive piece of ambient music, driving on a slow breakbeat and an dreamy vocals in 'Natural Nature'. This track immediately creates a warm, comforting atmosphere which continues throughout the entire album. 'Public Transport' incorporates some noise elements and a rough sound over slow paced beats, enhancing the strange feel of the album. So does 'Correlation and Dependence', but without the beats.
At this point I'm also reminded of acts like Mmoths, Raime and several others I've seen at the Dutch Incubate festival and I really hope I can catch A. Karperyd performing this material live. It has to be quite an enchanting concert if you ask me, with 'Rejected and Awarded' as a clear highlight. This is an amazing track, blending old school trip-hop with early experimental electronics. The beats in this one are slow but lively, a weird combination but it works damn well. 'Villovagar' digs even more into the trip-hop genre and is another great song for the warm summer nights.
'Winter Tone' incorporates some electro-acoustics in a way many drone and dark ambient artists do these days. At this point I'm reminded of some of the most experimental works of people like Aidan Baker which suddenly makes me realise how well-varied this album really is. This song differs a lot from the previous ones by being grittier, noisier and colder.
Title track 'Woodwork' is an immense track, combining bright ambient with the bombastic atmosphere of, well, some black metal bands. This has clearly nothing to do with black metal by the way but somewhere in this eleven minutes lasting epos, I'm reminded of those stunning intros and keyboards arrangements. In fact, I should be comparing this song to some of the works my Wolfgang Voight (Gas).
The Autechre reference returns in closer 'Low Light Conditions', which is a perfect closer for this album. I've been listening to this amazing piece of work for a few times now and there's still sounds appearing or disappearing, creating new connections in this wide and beautiful trip. I can only recommend getting your hands on a copy of this album if you're an experimental ambient fan like me. This is arguably one of the highlights of 2015 and one of my personal favorites.