- SØS Gunver Ryberg made her Contort debut in 2014, performing amidst the noisy melee of Berlin's May Day. Later that August, she returned for Contort's Atonal showcase, and was back again in February for the Contort Records launch at Tresor. Now the label has coaxed the first solo record out of the Danish musician and sound artist.
There's one other release in Ryberg's catalogue, Moved By Magnets, a cassette of collaborations with Cristian Vogel as SGR^CAV. That tape serves as a neat entry into the academically grounded, spatially-based work Ryberg has been known for since graduating from the Academy Of Music And Dramatic Arts.
AFTRYK is a snapshot of Ryberg's intense live shows, which she says take the "transformative physical power of sound" as their muse. If you've caught her before you'll know persistent staccato rhythms and sweeping, dramatic atmospheres are her paint, which she applies in dense and mesmerising layers. That's all on this EP, alongside raw and unbridled sounds that grate and grind with Contort's industrial sheen.
The "Bare Bones" mix of "1170 Siva" takes things to another level. It's driving and insistent from the start, and it swells with terror, as if about to burst. But the rising panic never breaks, and we careen through unscathed. Ryberg's original version is far more ethereal—even with that vigorous drum pattern surging through it, which goes some way to illustrate the sublime paradoxes at play here. With a series of lithe compositions that pack one hell of a punch, AFTRYK shows there's poise and grace to be found in the meanest, darkest recesses of noise. It's delicate and fierce, beautiful and brutal, and completely stunning all over.
B1 1170 Siva (Bare Bones)
B2 1170 Siva