Curvs – Hauntropics

Rating: 4.0/5

Distributor/Label: Fysisk Format

Released: 2018

Buy Album: Buy

Band Website:

Band lineup:

Øystein Redalen
Hjalmar Myksvoll-Singh
Lasse Saurbrey Kittilsen
Joachim Amundsen Trana
Christian Skaugen

  1. Airwolf Ghandi
  2. Atlantic Cologne
  3. Avian
  4. Bamboo Town
  5. Blowpipe
  6. Boeing 909
  7. Delusive
  8. Don Johnson
  9. Khyber Pass Pt 1
  10. Khyber Pass Pt 2

Curvs really are something quite different. The duo of Hjalmar Myksvoll-Singh and Øystein Redalen are lifelong friends from Oslo who teamed up with Lasse Saurbrey (bass/synths) and Joachim Amundsen Trana (drums) and, with some quite excellent gear, have constructed their debut release in ‘Hauntropics’. This ten track album is a kaleidoscope of musical colours, flavours, tones and textures, with inspiration stemming from the plains of human existence around the subtropics.

From the mystical to the burnt out and haunted we are served up waves of dark ambience that are delivered with a cool edge. The instrumentation is diverse and foreign whilst maintaining much more recognisable formats. From the opening bustle of the first track ‘Airwolf Ghandi’ we get treated with sounds of a vibrant sun-touched scene which twists and pulsates with various stylistic themes. The synth work breaks from the sharp guitar chords to add a real air of retro-city, but with this very oriental feel.

Like a good few songs on this album, this song borders on the avant-garde, but with an almost wearied attitude where the complexities of life and interaction are displayed to a suave yet detrimental back track. This bleak yet funky stroll through the dark is celebrated on tracks such as ‘Atlantic Cologne’ and ‘Bamboo Town’, with the instruments morphing and moulding through various modes and models, which is compounded by the withered vocals and pained lyrics. What really sticks out are the phenomenal bass lines in tracks like ‘Boeing 909’ and ‘Khyber Pass 1’, which are complete dark groove, with the latter being another push further towards the foreboding haze of the conclusion.

The music is multi-layered and well synchronised. Every time that I listen I find something different and more appealing. It is one piece of work that really adapts with your mood to the point where it becomes a monolith of thought, harnessing your full attention and spreading its black silken claws across your brain. ‘Hauntropics’ couldn’t be a more apt name, and this album has some real quality and is one that can appeal to a wide variety of music fans. I’d love to see where they go from here, as they have bags of musical talent and have found a really diverse but original sound.

Review By:

Pete Mutant