‚Great Many Arrows‘ is the 6th studio album from Damien Dubrovnik, the Danish duo of Loke Rahbek and Christian Stadsgaard. It is also the 200th release on their Posh Isolation label, marking 8 years for both the label and project. The label’s inception came with Damien Dubrovnik’s debut album, and since then the two have been inseparable. Without Damien Dubrovnik there would most likely have been no Posh Isolation, and vice versa.
‚Great Many Arrows‘ is undoubtedly a high point in the varied discographies of both Rahbek and Stadsgaard. It is the most realized Damien Dubrovnik recording to date, and a standout in Posh Isolation’s troves.
As a record, ‚Great Many Arrows‘ manages to translate the intensity of the duo’s often unrestrained live shows in to carefully crafted studio productions. Unlike the pair’s earlier and largely electronic recordings, the compositions on ‚Great Many Arrows‘ set organs, cellos, violas, wind and other acoustic instruments against the backdrop of an electronic landscape.
The new toolset is as apparent on the surface as it is in the enclosed detail, taking the project further from its noise roots than it has ever been. This is not to say that Rahbek and Stadsgaard have traded ferocity for formal constraint. It is rather the opposite. While ‚Great Many Arrows‘ is certainly the pair’s most ‚musical‘ work to date, its veneer of accessibility might also make it their most terrifying.
The strength of the recording lies here in the interaction between the melodic, acoustic instrumentation and the bulldozing electronics. Moments of beauty and light are transfigured into utter chaos and rage, the mesmerising change an expression of the equal and opposite form’s natural sway as it beckons and slips between its own passing.
‚Great Many Arrows‘ takes its name from a historic archery competition in Kyoto, Japan, in which archers would shoot as many arrows as possible for a 24 hour period. On April 26, 1686, Wasa Daihachiro from Kishū successfully shot 8,133 out of 13,053 arrows, averaging 544 arrows an hour, or 9 arrows a minute, becoming the record holder.