October 19, 2021

55 Cancri e – Att Lamna Tellus     is beautifully relaxed and otherworldly.

MUSIC FOR DREAMS RECORDS                  9th December 2016

Gloriously strange, otherworldly and drawn from the all-pervading aether, Att Lamna Tellus is the work of Danish artist, Sara Hausenkamp. It is her debut and, because of its quite complete dottiness is charming and a potential cult classic. Themes recur, interweave and are reworked in a way that says “I’m not repeating, I’m creating hypnosis”. Quite a singular effect.

It musically describes the journey from Tellus (Earth) to 55 Cancri e (a real but distant planet). Kind of a CS Lewis’ Out Of The Silent Planet without the moralising. Being Danish, what lyrics there are mean nothing to me and exist as sound alongside the rest of the music. Ethereal and floaty, repetitive figures on the guitar accompany distant whistling, rattling sounds and crab-claw scuttling percussion. For her, there is a sense of unbelonging on Earth and peace of mind will require a long journey. So far, so mythic.

Sounds are gentle and led by Sara’s guitar, dressed up with effects and sci-fi noises as imagined by a sixties folk-psychedelic band. Portions of this pastoral set would fit alongside Pink Floyd’s transitional soundtrack, More. Lullabies for space travellers, these spaceships would be made of organic materials, serve warm coffee and be full of hygge. Strums and finger picking are as simple as can be as they wrap around acoustic sounds in these instrumentals. There are a few songs; in one she imagines foxes chasing hunters from the forest. Another is a love song which goes a bit Clangers at the start, drifts into church organ sounds and plods along behind a bass note mysteriously, folding in touches of Goldfrapp’s first album. The sole song in English is the closer, 55 Cancri e 1. As mysterious as the rest of the album, Sara’s voice echoes vaguely over the lyrics and the guitar arpeggio is more sharply focussed. That’s how it should be – this is a mood album, much as Gwenno’s Welsh language sci-fi concept album from last year.

Mixing acoustic sounds, electronics and field recordings gives an element of Beta Band to the set but in an even more laid-back way. This is a full-on dark winter’s night of an album, one to chill out to with a hot chocolate. In your spaceship, of course.