Following a stunning recent Boiler Room performance, Nanook of the North take a deep sonic and conceptual trip northbound on their enchanting, eponymous debut album, via Denovali Records.
Nanook of the North are Stefan Wesołowski and Piotr Kaliński (also known as Hatti Vatti) - two acclaimed Polish musicians whose simpatico merging of compositional roles are blended as seamlessly as their use of acoustic and electronic sounds. Recording sessions broadly found Stefan playing violin and piano parts with additional synth touches and Piotr taking care of electronics, more synths and the final mix.
Upon being invited by the Sopot Film Festival next to their hometown of Gdansk to perform an improvised score to a film screening, the duo chose Robert J. Flaherty’s classic 1922 silent movie of the same name - ‘Nanook of the North’. Keen to maintain and nurture the initial ambient essence of the film, the duo travelled to Iceland where they recorded the album in Reykjavík and later mixed it in Greenland.
Despite the icy expansive isolation captured from the movie, the album is also transferrable in scenario and evocation, equally omitting the dangerous allure of dystopian cityscapes, or even the 80s sci-fi horror menace of Maurice Jarre, Howare Shore and Jay Chattaway.
‘Nanook of the North’ runs the gamut of images, scenarios and atmosphere akin to scenes in a film. Opening with a window into the unknown, the mood carries from the darkly foreboding, ‘Siulleq’ into the dank, dread-filled kosmische of ‘Tulleq’ over the slow nocturnal drive through a techno metropolis of ‘Afternat’ to the gargantuan foreboding awe of ‘Qulingat’, which seems to suggest the story is far from over.
Stefan Wesołowski is a violinist and composer best known for work with Jacaszek, his score to the BAFTA-nominated, Oscar-shortlisted Marlon Brando docu-film ‘Listen To Me Marlon’ and for his rapturous, critically acclaimed album ‘Rite of the End’.
Piotr Kaliński (also known as Hatti Vatti) - is one of the Polish underground's most vital figures. Renowned for for his analogue-focused sounds, this experimenter/explorer has been on a decade long excursion through vast and heterogeneous modern electronic realms.
Previous praise for Stefan Wesolowski:
“Haunted, cavernous and horribly satisfying” Uncut
“Awe-inspiring music that soars through dread, sorrow, joy and every emotion in between. A stunning and poignant inward journey” XLR8R
“Instrumental evocations of loss and Decay, and monumental progressions through cavernous spaces. Wilting melodies are hemmed in by resonant menace, dissipated through drifting clouds of bowed tones or punctuated by ominous percussive thuds” The Wire
“This is spiritual music; we hear this in the deliberate pacing, the yearning of the violins, the harmonic highs - but also in the droning lows, the earthly electronics, the tactile immediacy of the interface between heaven and earth” A Closer Listen
Previous praise for Hatti Vatti:
"The record sees the producer combining a vast array of samples with his set-up of hardware and other tools, creating a record that covers numerous sounds, operating at times between ambient and bass-heavy genres such as footwork and juke” The Quietus
“Hatti Vatti is an underground hero amongst an intricate scene. A musician with fine tact and attention to detail, pared back to its barest essentials. Well-crafted and listenable" The Ransom Note