As we find ourselves firmly ensconced in winter’s dreary frigidity, Bvdub’s I Remember (Translations of “Mørketid”) is an ideal record for those who, like myself, use music as an aural mirror. This record accurately reflects the chilly milieu with compelling, often devastating, accuracy.
I Remember echoes the downcast widescreen panorama of downbeat beatsmiths like Burial and Gas, sounding not unlike some long-lost collaboration between those two artists. At times, as on “We Said Forever” or “Would it be the Same,” clinical house beats occupy the foreground, and the resulting sound is reminiscent of a Luomo track wrapped in suffocating layers of heartache and hiss.* Usually, however, Bvdub untethers his loops and haze from rhythms. The resulting sound is aggressively immersive and consuming, at once powerfully bleak and gorgeous, strongly reminiscent of the dramatic, windswept snowscape that is I Remember‘s cover.
Regardless of the elements Bvdub employs, the tracks on I Remember are uniformly monolithic and relentless and unapologetically heart-wrenching, echoing the hopeless, ruined beauty of another emotionally unflinching work of loop-based music, William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops. “A Taste of Your Own Medicine” closes the album on a particularly naked note, in which shards of shattered, bleak drones insistently threaten to obscure the fragile, despairing melody at the piece’s heart. I Remember is undeniably harrowing, but its emotional heft, while considerable, always engrosses and never overwhelms.
Grab a blanket (or Kleenex):
*And if that doesn’t sound awesome to you, I can’t help you.