Joachim Nordwall - The Ideal Black

Joachim Nordwall - The Ideal Black

Verdict: 3/5

iDEAL Recordings




December 2016

Written By

Alexandru Mustață


September 28, 2017

The Ideal Black is Joachim Nordwall’s latest work in his tireless tackling on experimental music. Released at Nordwall’s own iDeal Recordings label, the record takes a long trip into the void of distorted sound.

There are no careful treatments of the tones that Nordwall engineers, in a head on display here. That’s to say after diving for 30 seconds into the first and title track, I was initially tempted to follow his sound as an organic build up, only to find myself in the middle of this gnashing machine that can sometimes be disorientating.

Yet without any pulsation or tendency to imitate natural sounds, or those of acoustic instruments (as it so often happens with modern EA improvisation), The Ideal Black is very linear. It sets its own pace and forces the listener not only to pay attention, but to submerge. And the continuous game played by Nordwall with the expectations from his music is possibly not a delight, but a wonder. That’s because he reaches a simple resolution in sound, best observed in System For Psychic Expansion, and works with that. No interventions that are too pretentious, but a relevant outcome, something out of a radio horror stream.

One of the things I appreciate in Nordwall’s individual work is his tendency to avoid picking up on the same exercises that although operate very efficiently, do not become a norm in his music. With The Ideal Black, the ritualization that defines his rhythmic patterns is constantly breached by their very own effect. This is the case for the track Black Out, where the heavy industrial rhythm is punctured by its own echoes. Yet they remain in tune, becoming a sensory challenge, rather than a musical one.


A1. The Ideal Black
A2. Great Mind Of Fire
A3. Extreme Solution For A Simple Problem
B1. System For Psychic Expansion
B2. Black Out

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