Hjorten ("the deer") from Sweden is one of the many projects of Johan Hjort. He's published around twenty or thirty releases under various names since 2006, and also runs a small label called Deersound. To my understanding Hjorten is his most prolific project, and it's main focus is on experimental and more-or-less noisy soundscapes.

The song sounds as lifeless and cold as it's title suggests, but only in a good way. It starts with a strong, repeating and echoing note from what sounds like a bass guitar with no actual bass-frequencies audible. It's soon backed by some industrial ambience that varies between cold, harsh and mashed up softer sounds, and occasionally there's a cold sound on the top that's reminiscent of a ship's horn or a really damp bell sound. You may or may not like it, but it really catches your attention. A steady beat with an unnaturally harsh and lifeless distortion is present here and there with it's echo, and even though the monotonous rhythm fits the song more than fine, the unnatural sound itself is difficult to enjoy.

These industrially cold sounds repeat throughout the track with little to no variation in their sound. They seem to have been put together in a simplistic cut'n'paste-manner, meaning that the same pieces repeat throughout the track, but in different pairs and lenghts. The background sounds are less repetitive, for example there's some really tasty metallic echoing and gritty white noise in the track's end, along with a deep and low drum sound. A distorted radio-like sample in the end leads me to thinking that the artist was aiming for a post-apocalyptic (or such) soundscape, and in that he succeeded.

The track does it's job well, and is not a bad purchase for such a small sum - even though the cover arts are pretty unimaginative. It manages to sound lifeless through it's whole lenght, while still retaining some grasp to the listener with it's repeating rhythms. Even so, the track doesn't have much to give aside of it's atmosphere, and it too would be more appealing if the track wouldn't be so crudely repetition-based. With just a couple of listens you pretty much know what you'll get from the EP, as the main elements cycle throughout the track. Luckily the background elements give the listener something new and interesting to focus on when s/he once more wants to sink in the track's deserted world, but it's just not enough. If the track had a more varying soundscape, for example through using thinner, bassier and deeper sounds to create a good pulse and some force that would've pushed the track forward. If some of the sounds would've had more natural distortion and echoes, the whole could've been more appealing and interesting.

7+ / 10