Pechenga is Rune Lindbæk and Cato Farstad.
Pechenga is the name of the area in Siberia that’s distantly visible from Vardø (pop. 2500), the Norwegian fishing island Rune Lindbæk & Cato Farstad both call their birthplace, and where they made their debut album, Helt Borte. While Cato stayed and became Vardø’s one-man musical milieu, Lindbæk moved to the city of Tromsø before establishing himself in Oslo and Berlin as a sought-after musician, producer and remixer. (Lindbæk has worked with NYC Modal Music, Lindstrøm, Idjut Boys [as Meanderthals], and remixed The Knife, to name a few.)
In the winter of 2007, after forming a mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work and love for old synth music, prog rock, and ambient music, Lindbæk and Farstad hunkered down in Lindbæk’s grandmother’s house in Vardø to work on music together. Surrounded by the dark of the season, the flickering northern lights, cold storms, and heavy snow, Helt Borte was born in an intense two-week period. They cite ambient masters Stars of the Lid, Dead Texans, Peter Namlook, Brian Eno, Steve Roach, and Biosphere (Lindbæk’s old Tromsø neighbor) as a massive inspiration in creating this album.
Helt Borte was self-released by the duo in 2008 on their Pechenga Records, and made available only in Norway. The record sold a grand total of 59 copies before Smalltown Supersound’s Joakim Haugland “discovered” it, naming it one of his favorite albums in recent years. He promptly signed the project and decided to give it a worldwide release. Since the signing, Pechenga have already gone on to remix Jose Gonzalez’s “How Low.”
The name Helt Borte means two things in Norwegian: “completely gone,” and “hero is gone.”
Artwork for the album is made by Kim Hiorthøy