Bjarki – Happy Earthday

Bjarki offers electronic music with a purpose on Happy Earthday, his self-proclaimed debut album focusing on environmental issues

Album Review by Jemima Skala | 12 Feb 2019
  • Bjarki – Happy Earthday
Album title: Happy Earthday
Artist: Bjarki
Label: !K7 Records
Release date: 15 Feb

Although having previously released bodies of work on both трип and his own label bbbbbb for a few years now, Bjarki insists that his new release Happy Earthday is his debut album: "You can consider this album as a window into my head and even my soul. It reflects my thoughts at the time I made this music. […] Releasing this album is also a kind of farewell to music I made in a certain period in my life. It’s like I’m saying farewell to a grown-up child which is now ready to leave."

At 15 tracks long and with names that seem inspired by the mysterious mind of Aphex Twin, Happy Earthday certainly stands up as an impressive offering. Genre-bending until the last second, Bjarki refuses to let this album stand still, continually mutating with each track. Perhaps this is to echo the influence of environmental issues on the album which have kept the planet in a constant state of flux. In a track like Bheiv_sheep, this becomes evident in the eerie lead synth line, its dynamic constantly shifting and growing, fading in and out of prominence.

The ease with which Bjarki shifts in and out of genres from track to track is astounding. He slips from Alone In Sandkassi, a song with the beat of an early noughties hi-hop tune and a slow ambient instrumental, straight into ( . )_( . ), whose drum line is decidedly hardcore jungle. There is continuity, however, in the similarly ethereal melody lines of each track, which ties together mismatched rhythmic ideas in a pleasingly neat package.

The environmental message of Happy Earthday is a little too abstract as to be apparent any further past the album’s name, and does get lost in translation somewhere along the way. Aside from that, Bjarki’s self-proclaimed debut album demonstrates his talent as a producer in creating a coherent and consistently exciting body of work. It’s certainly very good, if a little cerebral.

Listen to: ( . )_( . ), Healthy Texting, Sprinq 3-2