Ulver - Silence Teaches you How to Sing / Silencing the Singing 2xLP
/500 clear & blue 180g. vinyl || Ampullae Audio & Jester Records 2014
Out of the few Ulver releases that still need to make it to vinyl the EP’s compiled here were on the top of my want list.
Originally released as two separate CD’s in 2000, limited to 2000 and 3000 copies respectively, they were the first signs of life from Ulver after the game changing Perdition City album. As always with these wolves, rarely two releases in a row sound alike, and Ulver had already abandoned the noir styled trip-hop for something else.
The sound of Silence Teaches you How to Sing is very sparse, lingering in glitch and minimal dark ambient consisting of one long track, here broken up in two parts because of format restrictions. At times quite haunting, and a part of it was actually used in the movie Sinister where it felt overwhelmingly creepy, although that is never a vibe I experience from the composition in full on it’s own.
The three track Silencing the Singing is not quite as ethereal in approach, and actually gets very upfront along the way. Sometimes it sounds like the equipment used is about to give up and go into skipping mode, which was possibly also the case, and then kept for effects that wouldn’t be produced otherwise.
For the quiet of nighttime these EP’s are both perfect. This was my first release from Ampullae Audio, and sound wise they get no less than full approval as the mastering on this is exceptionally well done. Even further the pressing itself excels in keeping the amount of surface noise at an absolute minimum, which is high essential to this type of music. The gatefold sleeve is sturdy enough to use for a shield in melee combat, although the pockets are a bit too tight to actually fit the records properly. I really like the newly done artwork taking a different approach that of the original CD’s.
Word of warning; making a release to meet these quality standards does not come cheap. It is one of the most expensive records I have ever purchased (other than a few second hand finds), as it came out £45 postage paid. Still well worth the money. These seem to be going fast, so if you want one you better grabt it from Ampullae Audio now, instead of paying silly eBay prices later.