Selffish — He She Them Us

I have known the music of Selffish for quite a while and heard all of his releases on the net-label Thinner, his space-music CD Blue Planet Chill and the compilation Deep Sea Shipping, where he authored the main track. This was some time ago and, so, I started to forget his work. How happy was I, to find out that his new album He She Them Us is going to be released on a British label Serein. It was quite an interesting experience to listen to his new work and to understand what has changed in the music of Selffish.

I noted that the first track of the album is called Prologue, meaning that this album is going to be a piece of a serious work. The first sounds of the track proved that I was right - I have never expected to hear anything like this from Selffish!

The second track, Willing Suspension Of Disbelief was another revelation of the album, and I continued my descent into the sea of Selffish music. Minimalistic electric rhythms, resembling early works of Selffish, sounds of double bass, piano, very concise and always down to the point. All sounds, even the sound of thunder at the end of the track, all of them seem to be punctual and necessary. At this point I had an idea of what was waiting for me ahead – a fine and well thought synthesis of exquisite electronic music and acoustic instruments - double bass, baritone saxophone, grand piano, field recordings and many others.

While listening to the album, I was looking at the CD cover and thinking about the name of the album He She Them Us. What is the album about and what could be behind He She Them Us? Could it be music about different people and their relationships? Maybe you will have a better idea, after seeing the cover of the CD and reading the names of the tracks.

Miniature tracks such as As The Leaves Fall stay in your memory for a long time. It is a diamond, carefully hidden in the threads of the tracks. This music is too good to be described and I will leave it to you to make your opinion of it.

I found out the meaning of the word Treijas only from the interview with the musician. The track Treijas is inspired by a beautiful and remote location in Latvia. I felt that this is a track of the late autumn, a bit sad, a bit disturbed and a bit unexpected with an escaping beat. Is this a vain attempt to stop the time, which slips through your fingers? Biting Grief is a sci-fi ambient, with sea waves washing the shore inside the track. I wish I could stay there forever.

Unsurprisingly, the album He She Them Us was in the recording phase for more than ten years. You need a considerable amount of time and effort to make such serious and profound music. It sounds like the album was meticulously and carefully carved with the mastering done by Shawn Hatfield from California, who participated in Audibleoddities, Terra and Twerk project. He She Them Us is a very detailed  album with quite a few sound layers and you will be able to find the one which is closest to you. The main image that you should take from the album is its music intertwined with our feelings and emotions.

The album that has started with a Prologue must end with an Epilogue. The last track starts with a note, continuously falling, just like a water drop. Behind the note sound you hear evolving amorphous ambient structures, joined by a grand piano and then suddenly there is a voice of an old man of rural Latvia, telling how he wouldn’t like to leave his house, where he spent most of his life. In line with his voice you hear a strained drone ambient, constantly drawing our attention... This is a very powerful and emotional track, an appropriate coda to end the album He She Them Us.