If you’re not sure where you’ve seen Valgeir Sigurdsson’s name before, check the credits on Björk’s Vespertine and Medulla albums. Also an Icelandic native, he has been a longtime collaborator with Björk, but is just getting around to sharing his own work with the world. Ekvílibríum marks Sigurdsson’s debut album, and it is well worth the wait. Right from the opening sounds of “A Symmetry,” his input on Björk’s full-lengths is evident. Lo-end frequencies threaten to tear your speakers in half while music box tones dance across staccato static bursts on “Focal Point.”
Guest musicians and vocalists enhance the humanity behind the machines to great effect. Bonnie “Prince” Billy penned the lyrics for “Evolution of Waters” and “Kin,” turning in soul-stirring vocal performances on both. J. Walker evokes poetic imagery on “Baby Architect” with an understated singing voice that fits Sigurdsson’s intimate compositions perfectly. Ultimately the album’s strength is in Sigurdsson’s arrangements – painstaking in detail, yet fluid to the listening ear. Ekvílibríum is a triumph for his Bedroom Community imprint and no doubt will find its way onto a number of year-end lists for 2007.