Review: Jenny Berger Myhre – Here Is Always Somewhere Else

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Discontinuity is the common thread. Firstly there are the voice notes that appear throughout, taken from a message exchange between Jenny Berger Myhre and Camila de Laborde. This uncanny format retains the intimacy of the voice, albeit not in real time. Days, or perhaps weeks, elapse between messages and their replies, which rubs against my habitual associations between verbal conversation and spontaneity. Both participants repeatedly remark on how they meant to reply sooner, but time got away from them; Berger Myhre comments how Oslo is unusually warm for January. This dialogue comes cradled within loops of organic, electronics or piano, and intermingled field recordings from places across the world (including Palestine, Sweden and Mexico), with birdcalls that jut out in their brashness. It’s a record that continually takes wrong-turnings in time, and the album title (a nod to the conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader) infers a persistent desire to correct course. The central voice note exchange seems partly a means to express this sensation of feeling out of joint, but the speakers also provide eachother with something solid amidst the flux. As the seasons slide out of alignment, or whole weeks vanish without discernible memories to show for them, friends can validate that at the very least, you are the same soul you were a month back. Still Jenny, still Camila.

Discontinuity can be a positive and clarifying force too, and Berger Myhre’s world repeatedly shifts into a new formation in the wake of an epiphany or new understanding. She realises that she can shed her fixation on genre when making her new record, while Camila confonts the need to shed the worldly optimism of her younger self. In fact both speakers express desire, and nostalgic mourning, for earlier states of naivety – primarily to shed the superfluous considerations and behaviours that can sometime characterise getting older. One familiar presence within Berger Myhre’s music are these little loops of pointillistic chimes – like a music box, or a 90s video game menu screen – which nestle small acts of repetition within a system that never seems to repeat. They encapsulate the contradictions of passing time, with our holistic movement into tomorrow adorned by detours into the past, deja vu and hours vanished to daydreaming or dropped memories.

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