Album Of The Week: Djrum “Portrait With Firewood” (R&S Records)
For his first full length release in 5 years, Djrum delivers the highly emotional work “Portrait With Firewood”.
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is never easy, but in most cases the results usually end up being a lot more truthful to who you are at the core. “Portrait With Firewood” was supposedly created at a turbulent time in Djrum‘s life, and this becomes apparent when listening to the album in full. Glistening string sections and heart-wrenching vocal choruses are offset by heavy drum loops and noisy electronics. All of these intricately woven parts are interspersed with recorded conversations that usually touch on heady themes of loss, love, and existence.
To be expected from Djrum, it’s an album that includes many different styles under the Electronic Music umbrella, and this further adds to the wide emotional spectrum that “Portrait With Firewood” manages to cover. Djrum stated that he aimed to create something that was “overwhelmingly beautiful” and said he took inspiration from artists such as Marina Abramovic who is known for exploring themes of deep human connection and inner exploration with her performances. Such themes are not always readily expressed by artists (or people in general), and to dedicate a full feature release to such heavy topics takes a lot of courage.
Something that really stands out for me personally is how Djrum manages to weave a multitude of emotions, energy levels, sounds and ideas into one cohesive and flowing work. When listening to the album front-to-back, it’s hard to decipher where one song starts and another ends, while when skipping and scanning, each song has its own defined sound, atmosphere and feeling. “Portrait With Firewood” is an album that could be found in a DJ’s bag at a nightclub gig, as well as on the mantle next to a home listening set up, and both situations make just as much sense as the other. Having the ability to create a work which has that range of versatility is something that many artists can only dream of.
Hopefully the positive reception of “Portrait With Firewood” will give Djrum the appetite to continue releasing in the LP format, and possibly pave the path for other musicians to follow!
“Portrait With Firewood” released August 17, 2018 on R&S