Kim Hiorthøy

- Hei (electronica CD). Kim Hiorthøy originally made a name for himself as a graphic designer in Norway. Before making his debut as a musician in 2000 he had done a number of record covers, illustrated children’s books and was elected graphic designer of the year by Norsk Form.

Meanwhile in recent years he has made a strong mark as an innovative musician in the electronic genre, so much so that his first CD has now produced a nomination for the Nordic Council Music Prize.

Since the release of the nominated work, the CD Hei, Hiorthøy has released several remarkable CDs which together demonstrate an innovative electronic artist at the height of his powers.

Hei already shows a number of traits which bear Hiorthøy’s mark: The simple, bordering on naïve, the everyday, the documentary tinged with nostalgia, all processed electronically.

On many of the cuts Hiorthøy has collected snatches, where he plays a number of often simple instruments himself. The level of technique is extremely restrained, but picked and configured in the right way - and sometimes with the addition of complex programmed rhythm tracks – conjuring up fragments of a very special atmosphere, sometimes of something mystical and full of presentiment and other times of mournful longing.

In this context it is also of some significance that Hiorthøy is not only clever at using the opportunities offered by electronics, he is also able to compose small catchy tunes which attract the listener's attention just as the body is caught by the traces of rhythm.

Hiorthøy also uses field recordings and documentary sound recordings, which are split up and re-worked, which gives them a completely different semiotic meaning.

As a writer has put it, Hiorthøy’s music is so interesting because it ‘explores the distance between hi-fi and lo-fi, documentation and staging, naivety and constructiveness’.