A timeless new release, AUTUMN CONTINENT is a superbly crafted blend of Space Ambient and Electronic Downtempo. Provocative subterranean explorations are balanced with a sense of light from an otherworldly perspective. BETWEEN INTERVAL has created an atmosphere that is organic, accessible, and thought filled without the clichés of most electronic music today.
Autumn ContinentBetween Interval
Amazon.com Editor's Top Ten Best of Year Pick
Autumn Continent’ is the third cd of the Scandinavian musician Stefan Jönsson, and his second on the Spotted Peccary sub label Wanderings.
Like his former recording this again is a great, highly cinematic ambient adventure built of well-crafted soundscapes. The ten mysterious, sometimes even darkening textural landscapes float and drift in delicate but also slightly foreboding manner.
There’s some very nice sequencing on the second and fourth track accompanied by whirling soundscapes. The seventh track ‘Early Life Remainings’ is a great up-tempo piece featuring a strong sequencer pattern. The album comes to a beautiful closing with the floating content of second part of the title track.
In all, these typical Scandinavian ambient soundings are a powerful and impressive statement from the North which shouldn’t be missed by any ambient fan.- Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion
What Geir Jenssen does for icy winter music from his homeland of Norway as Biosphere, Stefan Jönsson does for cold autumn music from his home in Sweden, recording under the name Between Interval. His prior release Secret Observatory stood out from the crowd, and this release proves that was no fluke. Beautifully shifting and drifting subtle drones and washes of sound delicately float by from the start of ‘Autumn Continent 1.’ It is as bracing and as captivating as it is minimal. The formless ambience takes on a semblance of shape in ‘Submerged’ with a bubbly pseudo-tribal beat, though melody remains largely absent throughout. ‘Hidden Wastelands’ goes deeper still, into a murky organic pool of sound. Segues between tracks are a bit loose, as gentle sequencing starts a full 15 seconds before ‘The Tides of Time’ actually begins. The most structured piece by far, this is a delicate take on Berlin school, gently pulsing along, very well done. Deep rumbling drones return on ‘Expanding Area,’ waves of sound ebbing and flowing. ‘Passageway’ takes us deeper and darker still. ‘Early Life Remainings’ begins with gossamer strands of ambience floating along, but then an edgy pulse comes in, followed by another cool Teutonic sequence. On Autumn Continent, Jönsson does an excellent job of seamlessly blending the active and the atmospheric elements into a unified piece of first-class electronic music.- Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
Autumn Continent is Stefan Jonsson's third album under the Between Interval pseudonym which he uses for ambient releases – he uses other names for his work in the house and trance genres. This new album was inspired by the cold autumn and winter months of Northern Europe. Listeners can expect deep ambient and mysterious voyages in the same kind of vein as his previous album Secret Observatory.
What typifies this album are the slow cold sonic winds smoothly whistling past, some of which have a metallic sheen reminiscent of Igneous Flame's Tolmon or Oxana. These are layered with other washes and drones sometimes creating a floating sensation like passing over a wintery sublime landscape that is both unforgiving and beckoning.
The title tracks ‘Autumn Continent 1’ and ‘Autumn Continent 2’ bookend the album. The first of these has some of those lovely cold sonic winds and other droney textures continually panning across the soundscape. Chilly and dark landscapes are made inviting in this musical form. Occasionally the music develops from formless ambience to include rhythm and melodic aspects. The track ‘Submerged’ features kind of rhythmic gong, bell, or possibly Tibetan singing bowl sounds echoing alongside various icy and metallic washes which imbue the piece with a Himalayan atmosphere.
Between Interval has had some of his tracks appear on the Ultimae label's compilation albums. The piece ‘Early Life Remainings’ is in the style one would expect to hear on those compilations with its velvety airy sheens rising and falling against an almost sensuous beat and rhythm. Indeed, this piece is similar in structure and feel to a track by Cell also featured on one of those Ultimae albums.
I can say without hesitation that Autumn Continent is another great ambient album from Between Interval that is ideal for immersing and losing oneself in. If the strangely inviting landscapes of Scandinavia in the dark months generated a sonic aura, I could imagine it would sound something like this.- Dene Bebbington, Melliflua
Synthetic ambient music; mainly beatless with some sequencer patterns in places for rhythm. A number of the tracks on Autumn Continent are cloudy masses of sound where atonal washes combine with sweeping drones to dramatic effect. Rumbling bottom end layers underlie smoother oceanic swells and billowing mists above - occasionally a piano line rises out of the fog or a bass pulse throbs in the twilight. 'Early Life Remainings' sees a percussive pattern slowly roll in with accompanying twinkling synthesiser cycles - this delicate track ends with a beautiful wind down into pensive lightness. A number of pieces tend to rise and fall in ponderous waves and swells of intensity and colour - sometimes sombre and atmospheric, at times wistful and weighted with nostalgia - an autumnal sense of loss, hints of early frost.
An attractive package built appropriately around leaf shapes and autumnal hues. The front cover featuring stalks points and negative spaces strikingly toned from fiery yellow/orange through icy turquoise into nocturnal indigo and black. The reverse image is muted so that the tracklist might shine - tastefully slanted letters sitting atop track times. Within the booklet russet browns blurred with camera motion support credits and thanks and the Between Interval website address.
This is the third full solo album from Stefan Jönsson in ambient mood - he also produces music under the names Sublunar for trance, Monodrive mainly for progressive house and Section 9 for tech-trance/house. Between Interval has also appeared recently on the excellent Ultimae compilations Oxycanta and Albedo. Autumn Continent is released on Spotted Peccary Records. Promotional material explains that the album was ‘inspired by the chilly autumn and winter in northern Europe. Autumn Continent takes you to vast frosted landscapes, through colourful autumn forests under bleak skies, revealing dark ocean depths far below the newly frozen surface and shows you hidden locations long forgotten’. There is no doubt here that Stefan achieves these sonic images to powerful effect.
No sophomore jinx here. One year after the release of Secret Observatory, his sterling U.S. debut, Swedish studio wiz Stefan Jonsson (a.k.a. Between Interval) pulls back the curtain on another absorbing museum piece for the ear, Autumn Continent.
It is a work of mystery, shadowy moonscapes, and imagination-stretching audio vistas that spans 73 minutes over 10 seamless movements--a recording that could conceivably serve as the soundtrack for a future Terminator 6, only without a pall of danger or anxiety clinging to the music. Jonsson's unhurried electronic textures evoke slowly changing images, often suggesting stark landscapes that could either be areas of emerging beauty or lifeless plains where the dust from an intergalactic apocalypse has begun to settle. He expands his palette of sounds on Autumn, introducing randomly struck bowls as an otherworldly form of percussion (’Submerged’), threading a Tangerine Dream-like electro-pulse into ‘The Tides of Time’, even creating a rhythmic cadence that transports listeners above a vast, unknown sea (’Early Life Remainings’).
It all contributes to an engrossing listening experience, making it easy to overlook the few occasions where Jonsson uses repetition to lend a hint of ‘musicality’ to his sonic abstractions, briefly diminishing the distinctiveness of his sound. The overarching splendor of Jonsson's concepts is unmistakable and wholly involving, making him a space-music artist worthy of close attention.- Terry Wood, Amazon.com Editorial
Yes, young Swedish composer, Stefan Strand, is back in my review section with his 3rd full length album. Even if released back in the summer of 2006 on Spotted Peccary, I think it would be a pity not to feature it on these pages. Between Interval really deserves it with each album and "Autumn Continent" is no exception. Stefan recorded this album under his previous surname, Jönsson, but no matter if Jönsson or Strand, the result is always absolutely sensational!!! Top-notch opener "Autumn Continent 1" explores truly ethereal graciousness of autumn nature capturing the most unique and beautiful sceneries with fabulous colors, an ambient serenity at its best!!! "Submerged", as indicated by its title, is deeply subterranean journey with attractively fitting fragile, but cavernous sounds of bells and gongs with otherworldly spiced atmozones, another big one! "Hidden Wastelands" are painted with deeper drones, slowly climbing into more massive and dramatic peaks, this is serious foggy soundscaping for all connoisseurs of deep ambience!!! Semi-pulsing patterns enrich daylighting "The Tides Of Time", but slowed-down "Expanding Area" returns quickly into vast territories of Scandinavian landscapes with spiraling and colossal drifts. "Passageway" keeps on the droning route, but is colored by distant rumblings and deep resonations in the first half, while later crystalline clicks emerge to enlight this abyssal ambience. "Early Life Remainings" unveils into lighter mood with heartbeating high-tech grooves, the most rhythmed piece on this trip even if later slipping into drifting and evoking passage again. Monstrous and dramatic drones with hissy effects on "This Dominion" create deeply absorbing and spectacular sonic experience, but the next composition, "Atrium", gets even deeper with cascading heavy weight rumbling drones. Slightly lighter, but culminating and cinematic celestials of "Autumn Continent 2" graciously close this truly enterprising and stunning autumn voyage offering breathtaking sonic vistas of scenic Northern territories. "Autumn Continent" is another highly distinctive and sophisticated performance by this huge Swedish talent, a true masterwork!!!- Richard Guertler, Relaxed Machinery
Music by Between Interval (aka Stefan Jonsson) should be taken along with a cup of midnight. His CD Autumn Continent (72'59’) soaks up the darkest beams of moonlight and moves the listener away from daylight thinking, towards something stranger - something more unknown. The musical outline of this work takes on hues of grey and purple as dense drones and thick pads sustain the long line. Separated by vast openings of rumbling and writhing synthesizer tones are three intriguing sequencer pieces. Rising out of the fog enshrouded negative space, the deceptively simple cycling patterns are quite elegant and suggest mysterious noir themes. Comprised of electronic rhythms, tuned crystal, Rhodes piano and hammered dulcimer, these pieces subtly combine unlikely elements to conjure up an unidentifiable foreign ambience - a place where we feel no shadows. Autumn Continent opens itself to the night. It creates a space for reverie and a time to think about what you are feeling and to feel what you are thinking.- Chuck van Zyl, Star's End