Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Christmas is a weird time for experimental music. The musical attention of most people is fixed entirely on “classic” Christmas songs and the obligatory covers by popular artists in a variety of genres such as pop, country, and even rock. There’s not a whole lot that can be done with Christmas music without betraying the nature of experimental music. But Danish artist Seffi Starshine found something that works beautifully.
For all three volumes of A Very Danish Paulstretch Christmas, Seffi takes two classic Danish Christmas hymns off of 78-rpm vinyl and stretches them into completely unrecognizable soundscapes that transport you to another place. I say they are unrecognizable, but I am also very much not Danish, so I am not familiar with the source material. Nonetheless, the soundscapes created by this bit of experimentation are epic and soothing.
Volume 1 (Julen Har Bragt Velsignet Bud), Volume 2 (Glade Jul, Dejlige Jul), and Volume 3 (Juletræet med sin pynt) are all immensely long at a run time of almost two hours each. This is remarkable considering that all tracks are made from old recordings of classic hymns, none of which are likely to be longer than a few minutes each. What is most interesting about all three is the way in which the added effects (mostly reverb) change the sound of the natural vinyl hiss and crackle. It seems to have added a neat little oscillating air to the tracks that is just incredibly pleasant to the ear. I'm not quite sure what all was done to these tracks, but whatever was done has created the most soothing soundscapes imaginable considering the source material.
While these three releases are not any kind of intricate compositions, they are a very novel experiment that creates a soothing and calming experience. These releases are perfect for the background of Christmas Eve as you try to relax and prepare for the festivities that the next day will bring. Especially if the magic mushrooms are affecting you just a little too intensely.