click here if you are having troubles navigating on our site  
   


Projecto
CD Album 2003 | Silber 025
10 tracks, 62 minutes
$12 ($18 international, $5 download (256 kbps, ~113 megs))
: Listen to the track it was often enough simply to pursue doubt
: More info
Track Listing:
looking down over the waves a hundred feet below,  it was often enough simply to pursue doubt, it had been there all night, he shot me a chilling of recognition, just in time he turned and ran blindly back, however this feeling can be cultivated, he turns to welcome me stretches out his hand, marked time with his feet or moved his fingers, we were surprised by the quantity and quality, riding her trainer bike in obsessive circles
Reviews:
Murky rivers of sound weave through dark masses of semi-solid noise. Melodies creep in and out, teasing the listener. Rain falls, voices murmur. There is no rhythm, just an organic flow, languid, drifting, slowly evolving, almost taking form before falling apart again into the primal sonic sea. Reminiscent of Brian Enoís classic Ambient 4: On Land album, this music is rich, deep, swampy, and organic. Even when the occasional cold sheet of noise drifts over it, the underlying flow is still warm and tropical, crawling with tiny sonic insects and slippery musical salamanders. These are primordial reverberations that come from the collective consciousness of the musicians, things that have been there since the dawn of time.
This is the work of Kobi, the brainchild of Norwegian musician (and member of Origami Arktika) Kai Mikalsen. But as he states in the liner notes, Mikalsen believes that when music is done solo, it is dictated by one idea, but when performed with one or two others, the added musicians bring new dimensions to the sound. So each track on Kobi Projecto is a collaboration with at least one other musician, though obviously this remains primarily Mikalsenís vision. While there is some variation in the pieces, they follow similar themes, uniting to create a complete work, a total, unhurried sonic journey into the past and the future.
~ Jeff Fitzgerald, Aural Innovations

The best release yet on Silber Records (Raleigh, North Carolina's most obtuse and esoteric music label). Kobi is Kai Mikalsen...who is also a member of Origami Arktika, Sketch, and KA. Mikalsen is assisted on this project by various electronic pioneers of the Norwegian underground. The music is sweeping, ethereal, majestic, and mentally absorbing. Mikalsen approaches music from a unique angle...and the results of mind blowing. Despite the fact that the instruments are electronic...the compositions on this album are amazingly uplifting emotionally and very intense in a restrained manner. One of the most beautiful electronic masterpieces we have heard in years. Wendy Carlos would be proud. This is a MUST HAVE. (Rating: 6 out of 6)
~ Babysue

Kobi is a musical project which is a virtual never-ending ďwhoís who listĒ of Norwegian experimental artists.  People from various Origami monikers, Del, Slowburn, Arm, Salvatore, & Jazzkammer are just a few of the names that should already be known to many of you.  According to the liner notes, the whole idea with Kobi is that itís ďneither a solo project nor a fixed band, but a place where we try out ideas with different participants.Ē  In terms of music, the revolving door policy leaves us with a quietly dynamic droning sound that weaves in & out of the psyche like an illusion or a dream that keeps coming back time after time.  Iím not entirely sure what instruments are employed throughout, & itís probably beside the point, as the decidedly ominous & emotional dronescapes are more about creating shades of reality & a general feel than instrumental craftsmanship.  That doesnít mean there arenít some seriously talented musicians involved here, but what Iím saying is theyíre not here to show off, rather to explore the millions of notes that can be found in-between the Western scale of twelve notes.  The inclusion of a wide range of different experimental artists prevents the album from becoming boring, even though the different tracks seem to aim for a similarly hypnotic sonic vista.  Recommended to fans of scary drone affairs & Norwegian experimentalism.
~ Mats Gustafson, The Broken Face

A virtual who's who of the Norwegian underground have gathered together for an album of ambient, wyrdfolk atmospherics that was so similar to If Thousands' Lullaby disk (which I also reviewed this issue), that I was already on the second track before I relealized the disks had changed! Feelings of "Waiting for Godot" or the other shoe to drop are invoked throughout, rattling this Western-trained mind of mine that expects a linear progression of sound as a "song" moves from beginning to end. The compositions here have no such structure.
In "Watching the Wheels," John Lennon said, "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." To paraphrase the master somewhat, Projecto is what happens when you take the music that doesn't get you from point A to point B and release it. A truly awe-inspiring, all-encompassing ambient work that, for once, actually captures the ambience, i.e., the peripheral sound in the room, the bits between the bits, and further evidence that the best, most exciting and intriguing independent music today is emanating from our friends in the Northern circle.
Fans of found sounds, field recordings, and spooky atmospherics will find much to enjoy. In fact, "However, This Feeling Can Be Cultivated" (all of the titles read like sentences from a novel) is the perfect track to scare the neighborhood brats off the front porch on Halloween and would have fit perfectly on the "Blair Witch Project" soundtrack. Not an album that you will listen to often, but perfect for when the mood strikes you to listen to horror movie soundtracks.
One codicil, however, patience will wear thin and tempers may flare by the time you reach "He Turnes [sic] To Welcome Me, Stretches Out His Hand" and "Marked Time With His Feet Or Moved His Fingers," particularly the latter, which is simply a loop of noises and found sounds that can best be described as the aural equivalent of Chinese water torture. "We Were Surprised At The Quantity and Quality" consists of a recording of a rainstorm combined with what sounds like someone peeing in a toilet (and you, too, will be surprised at the quantity!), and water also plays a prominent part in "Riding Her Trainer Bike In Obsessive Circles," which sounds like it could have been recorded on the shore of the North Sea.
In sum, like a wet dream that turns into a nightmare, Projecto begins like a bath in meringue and ends like a loop-de-loop roller coaster ride through your local sewer treatment plant. Harsh, challenging, and for the strong of stomach, ultimately rewarding.
~ Jeff Penczak, fakejazz.com

My sophomore year in college was one of the most important times in my life as far as music is concerned. It was during this time that I really began to delve into the world of the experimental and avant-garde. Artists like the Hafler Trio and Nurse With Wound graced my stereo, and every month, I'd hungrily peruse the new Soleilmoon catalog, looking for something to satisfy my hunger for new and unusual music. At the same time, I also began to listen to ambient music, specifically dark-ambient and ambient/industrial artists such as Lustmord, Controlled Bleeding, Raison d'Être, and the rest of the Cold Meat roster.
It was an important time in my life as a lover of music, perhaps the most important time. That was when the ability of music to transport and alter a listener's perceptions first became apparent to me. I mention this because as I started listening to Projecto, I had the same sensation that I got back then. Namely, that I was listening to something truly captivating, to music that, for all of its abstractions and even sheer un-musicality, was something very unique and intriguing.
Projecto offers a dense, challenging maze of sounds to navigate, and it's not really for the faint of heart. Many of the soundscapes here are frankly quite alien and bizarre, even frightening at times. But at the same time, they're often quite subtle, playing on the very edge of your hearing. The experience can be quite disconcerting at times, as if you're standing in a dark room and feeling something unexpectedly brush by you. At least, you think you did, but the sensation was too intangible to be sure.
I realize that this all makes the album sound rather unpleasant, but on the contrary, I found it completely captivating that a recording this abstract are capable of being this affecting. You'll find nothing remotely close to a definable melody or rhythm in any of the album's 62 minutes. Instead, the group (for lack of a better term, since Kobi is really more akin to a loose recording collective) makes it clear that they're more interested in playing with space and atmosphere than anything else, and in relying on intuition rather than composition to create their music.
The album opens up the aptly titled "Looking Down Over The Waves A Hundred Feet Below". The sensation you get is of slowly inching up to the edge of a barren cliff and peering into the abyss far, far below. You can make out all manner of sounds roiling and surging below, the sound of an angry, grey sea crashing against the rockface. Slowly littered throughout this dense wall of sounds, guitar drones and distant radio transmissions pine away, like lonely seabirds buffeted by the winds. The music (as always with this album, I use the term loosely) makes it clear that it's a fascinating view from up here, but also a terrifying one fraught with vertigo.
A softly rumbling wave of sound fades into view on "It Was Often Enough Simply To Pursue Doubt", developing upon the ideas put forth on the previous track. The mood is as dark as always, but this time, you're no longer looking down from above. This time, you're right in the thick of things, surrounded by a thick mist of drones. Occasionally, the mist begins to shift and move, again hinting at something brushing past you in the mirk.
"It Had Been There All Night" moves the setting to something more akin to abandoned factories and mills. A faint rumbling can be heard off in the distant, as if the ghosts of the machinery lying in ruins around you are still hard at work. In the foreground, metallic drones slowly filter in, growing thicker and more insistent as the piece progresses. They grow so slowly that you don't even know what's going on until they're right on top of you.
"He Shot Me A Chilling Glance Of Recognition" again opens with a simple drone, but this one is anchored with the faintest of rhythms, a bare pulse that feels more like an afterthought than anything else. Again, a host of sounds, ranging from squeaks to metallic rattlings slowly filter in through the thick haze. Due to the faint rhythmic elements, there's an almost processional quality at work here, but one that's very alien in origin.
Unfortunately, and this is a very big "unfortunately" considering the album's effectiveness up until now, Kobi seems to start running out of ideas heading into the album's second half. Things start to get bumpy during moments of "However, This Feeling Can Be Cultivated". Up until now, Kobi's atmospheres were dark and eerie, but what made them work was that the group wasn't blatant about it. On the other hand, "However..." goes out of its way to create a creepy atmosphere, with muffled voices and metallic screams set in amongst the already unsettling ambience. While listening to it on headphones, I found it distracting more than anything else.
While I'd like to say that track was just a fluke, it becomes clear that's not the case as the album continues. Compared to the dense, enthralling sound collages that make up the album's first half, "He Turns To Welcome Me, Stretches Out His Hand" never seems to make an impact. The piece's background consists of an annoying racket, like someone playing the worst possible guitar solo ever, cutting and splicing the recording, and broadcasting it over a crappy AM radio. The elements in the foreground don't help things out too much either, sounding more like someone rearranging their room or plunking away at a cheap toy piano.
However, both "Marked Time With His Feet Or Moved His Fingers" and "We Were Surprised At The Quantity And Quality" really take the cake. Again, compared to the amazing first half, these pieces just sound lazy. Rather than create a cast soundscape ripe for exploring, "Marked Time With..." creates a stunning vista of... leaky pipework and mediocre glitch. "We Were Surprised...", at over 7 minutes, only lives up to part of its title. And it's a looooong 7 minutes, consisting of a rainstorm given the AM radio treatment, various splashes and other aquatic sounds, and someone randomly tapping a microphone of sorts (or that's the impression I get of the origins of these sounds). While I'm a sucker for a good rainstorm and personally believe that the sound of rain can enhance almost any recorded piece, this is one exception.
Despite a disappointing conclusion, it's obvious that Kobi accomplishes something rather special and unique during "Projecto"'s first half. Compared to some collective projects I've heard, Kobi can actually create pieces of stunning focus and intensity, especially given the unstructured approach behind their construction. At the same time, Projecto also provides examples of what happens when the same approach takes a wrong turn.
I don't quite agree with Silber's statement that this might be the most exciting thing they've put out to date (I contend that honor belongs to Aarktica's No Solace In Sleep). But even with its notable flaws, Projecto does contain material that's stunning and inspired enough to merit it a solid recommendation.
It's also worth noting that Kobi features input from several members of Origami Arktika, whose album, also on Silber, is worth checking out. Though not quite as substantial and fulfilling as Projecto, it offers yet another example of the intriguing electro-acoustic experiments that seem to be emanating from the Norwegian underground these days.
~ Jason Morehead, Opuszine

Slo-core fighter Silber meets glitchy Norwegian ambient, and the result is unsurprisingly an album of barely moving soundscapes and detailed variation you'll struggle to register. Origami Arktika's Kim Mikalsen is the main man behind Kobi, a project that teams him up with different partner for each new track. Many of these are friends from the several Origami outfits (Arktika, Replika, Synergika, etc), while others come from different corners of the rather inbred Norwegian electronica scene.
Not all of this is equally successful, and the album's first half seems to be little more than a series of casual, overdone drones and tired repetition. However, Projecto gains in impact as it goes along, and really gets into gear by the five or six last tracks, on which the quietly unsettling tones start to jar and to explore or destroy the textures and parameters established by the first half of the album.
Noisemaker John Hegre joins in to create a subtle, unnerving piece on "he turns to welcome me, stretches out his hand," while Alexander Rishaug contributes the busy, yet barely present hustle of "marked time with his feet or moved his fingers." Tore Honoré Bøe ushers in with a soaking wet "we were surprised at the quantity and the quality," and Jazzkammer's Lasse Marhaug brings everything to a sparkling and sweeping conclusion on "riding her trainer bike on obsessive circles." Fine ambient post-electronica with some truly outstanding moments.
~ Stein Haukland, Ink 19

Another offering catered by Silber records is from the group Kobi. Their debut is simply titled Projecto. Consisting of 10 tracks, they all pretty much sound like one long track. The basis of each one is this haunting wind, well up until track 9 when you are relieved with the sound of rain. A few twists of tweaking noises merge to the surface here and there to break things up such as distant effects in "It Had Been There All Night." All the titles are rather long. For example; "Looking Down Over the Waves a Hundred Feet Below," "It Was Often Enough Simply to Pursue Doubt," or "He Turns to Welcome Me, Stretches Out His Hand." There actually the most creative part of Projecto.
I can sum this up by saying these strange ambient pieces could fit into a horror, sci-fi, or maybe any form of a dark movie as background noises or a special soundtrack. So if there are any of you independent movie makers looking for that needed touch to fulfill the suspense, this might be what you've been looking for. For the rest, it's not one I suggest rushing out to purchase, but I believe this type of creativeness has its audience.
~ Kristian Anderson, Reader Weekly

Origami Arktika's Kai Mikalsen is behind this project. Not a real group per se, Kobi is a small ensemble platform that allows Mikalsen to play with one or two guests on each track -- so it is a solo/collective hybrid. His experimental ambient electronics provide the backbone for Projecto. Joining him one or two at a time are members of Origami Arktika, Origami Republika, Slowburn and Jazzkammer, among others.
They represent an important chunk of the Norwegian experimental music scene of the early 2000s, all powerful idiosyncratic artists, and yet Mikalsen's presence remains the strongest. It even gets overwhelming at times. Tore Bøe and Jazzkammer's John Hegre make significant contributions, re-orienting the music for a while, but the presence of Alexander Rishaug, Petter Pogo or even Fredrik Ness Sevendal go almost unnoticed. That said, Projecto makes a very fine album, especially when listened to on headphones, since special care has been put on stereo spatialization. The music often remains non-intrusive, inviting you to immerse yourself into it rather than imposing itself. If you don¹t pay attention, the music will turn into an indistinguishable ambient backdrop.
With a bit of effort you will find many interesting features to study and some illuminating moments too. But in the end Projecto remains a rather cold artifact, however beautiful and cleverly conceived it may be.
~ François Couture, All-Music Guide

Kobi est le projet mené par un membre Kai Mikalsen, membre de Origami Arktika. Il ne s'agit pas d'expériences solo, mais d'une suite de duos avec d'autres membres de la constallation Origami. Projecto est une dérive à travers les genres, un jeu avec leurs balises qui ne cherche sa cohérence que sur l'espace d'un morceau. La ligne de fuite se dessine selon le collaborateur et la musique navigue ainsi dans le psychédélisme free-rock avec Sevendal ou Gaalen, membres de Slowburn et Del), les réverbérations plombées d'un dark ambient inflitré de sons concrets (avec Clop Neplat ou Bjarne Larsen, autre membre de Origami Arktika), les microscopies agitées d'une électronica contaminée (avec John Hegre et Lasse Marhaug, de Jazzkammer) ou celle d'une musique concrète construite dans l'abrasion (avec Tore Böe, ou Alexander Rishaug, dont un très bel album est paru Smalltown Supersound). Bien entendu, ce sont encore des repères de genres qui tomberont suivant l'écoute... car tous ces musiciens jouent depuis longtemps à flirter avec ces frontières, à les passer en douce.
~ Naninani

Kobi est le projet mené par un membre Kai Mikalsen, membre de Origami Arktika. Il ne s'agit pas d'expériences solo, mais d'une suite de duos avec d'autres membres de la constallation Origami. Projecto est une dérive à travers les genres, un jeu avec leurs balises qui ne cherche sa cohérence que sur l'espace d'un morceau. La ligne de fuite se dessine selon le collaborateur et la musique navigue ainsi dans le psychédélisme free-rock (avec Sevendal ou Gaalen, membres de Slowburn et Del), les réverbérations plombées d'un dark ambient inflitré de sons concrets (avec Clop Neplat ou Bjarne Larsen, autre membre de Origami Arktika), les microscopies agitées d'une électronica contaminée (avec John Hegre et Lasse Marhaug, de Jazzkammer) ou celle d'une musique concrète construite dans l'abrasion (avec Tore Böe, ou Alexander Rishaug, dont un très bel album est paru Smalltown Supersound). Bien entendu, ce sont encore des repères de genres qui tomberont suivant l'écoute... car tous ces musiciens jouent depuis longtemps à flirter avec ces frontières, à les passer en douce.
~ Fear Drop