Fordlandia is Johann’s fourth full length, and the second in the technology and iconic American brand names trilogy, following on from 2006’s IBM 1401, A User’s Manual. The title track sets the tone, ambient and beautiful, hardly noticeable yet omnipresent, and before you know it its glacially coursing through your veins and your heart.
Melodia (I) is cyclical and hypnotic while The Rocket Builder (Lo Pan!) is string laden and becomes very sinister and doom bringing. Fordlandia – Aerial View sounds quite Christmassy, but in a sad sad world indeed. Melodia (III) is a lovely piano interlude that makes it sound like the storm clouds will break any minute and Chimerica sounds like a church organ and gives you that spooky feeling when you enter a church, its cold and the organist it playing away to himself. Its just like you’re intruding. The Great God Pan Is Dead again sounds religious, its funereal pace and elegiac choral singing lending a sombre tone to the tune. Melodia (Guidelines For A Space Propulsion Device) trundles along, never going anywhere but sounding lovely nonetheless. It does burst into life a couple of minutes before the end of the nine, becoming a swirling maelstrom of strings. The fifteen minute closing tale of How We Left Fordlandia is a slight disappointment, never really going anywhere but it doesn’t detract from what is a very fine album.
Fordlandia is out now on 4AD
Johann Johannsson myspace is here