On his previous output, Kim Hiorthøy has mixed everything from folk, free-jazz, lo-fi electronics, acid, instrumental hip-hop and field recordings. On his third full-length album, Dogs, out September 23rd via Smalltown Supersound, Hiorthøy has stripped everything down to a minimum, and gone to the core of his characteristic sound. The album consists of mostly just piano and ambience with some beats, and on some tracks the occasional synth. Dogs is his purest and most beautiful album. Hiorthøy cites Jan Johansson as an inspiration, but says the music is still anchored in early hip-hop, sample-based music (though there are no samples on Dogs), and even the simple, cheesy melodies of some 90s rave tracks. That said, Dogs probably owes just as much to the roots of ambient music -- the minimalist beauty of Harold Budd or even Eric Satie.
Extraordinarily talented and expressive, Hiorthøy operates in many different fields in addition to music. A monograph of his graphic design work, Tree Weekend, was published by Die Gestalten Verlag in 2001. Since then, he has designed countless record covers for Smalltown Supersound and Rune Grammofon, as well as posters, books and book jackets. He is also a visual artist (check out www.standardoslo.no for more information about his art) and has worked as a cinematographer for documentaries and feature films. In addition to his albums, singles and EPs, Hiorthøy has written music for contemporary dance work in Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.