MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with When's 'Whenever'
“When” is the artistic alias of the legendary and reclusive musical innovator Lars Pedersen. For twenty years he has furnished the world of music with some of its strangest, most unconventional, alarming as well as arresting sounds.
He is an artist who has become an entity, a presence that no-one fathoms or controls, and thus someone with huge influence despite his relative obscurity.
“Whenever” is his tenth album. It continues the trend from the two preceding ones of sunnier explorations than most of his older work. Pedersen juxtaposes all kinds of elements, and lets them interweave unpredictably. Not least is he a master at creating layers and working in depth and dimensionality. The record is also exotic in the conform sense of the word, with a recurring oriental and sometimes “alien” twang. In some kind of accordance with this, the whole album can perhaps be called spiritual or better, mystical, as it oscillates between very concrete sounds and an overall abstractness and alienation. As one critic eloquently put it: “it is as if the record is aware of this world, though not completely part of it”. Another called the music “the entire world”, due to the myriad elements that suggest chaos but at the same time constitute something very clear but “distanced”
As these quotes indicate “Whenever” has received reviews that very, very few artists ever come close to; critique of the kind that unhesitatingly identifies the work as belonging to “the ungraspable that still speaks and shines forth”.