The Danish-Swedish band Afenginn was formed in 2002 and have now released five full length albums, counting the latest “Lux” which was released in the beginning of the year. I think it’s a wonderful album, where I felt just after a few bars that this was going to be a different and special experience.
They have their base in folk music, where maybe the balkan influence is what can be sensed most strongly, but I wouldn’t complain if someone called it classical music or jazz for that matter. It’s a blend of all this into their very own Afenginn brew, seductively beautiful, melancholic and which also gives me a strong filmic sensation as I listen. You can listen to the whole album on their Bandcamp page.
Music Is the Weapon and their eleven members are back with a new jazzy funk-party full of energic afro beats and fantastic horns on the new album “Moving Foundations and Outer Space”. There’s a great groove on the album and they sound better than ever. The sound is more distinct and with a more pronounced seventies atmosphere. The energic funk is in focus but they show a variation I really like, with for example the many-faceted ”Vredens Duvor” and the spacy “Space Is Yellow”. Most of it is instrumental except from a few tracks, among them my favourite one, the grand “Do You, Be You” where Dinah Yonas has added lyrics and her pleasant soul voice.
Kvartetten Raekan’s music is born out in the streets. During three years they have played at least twice a week on different streets and places around Stockholm, where they play their own mix of jazz, ska, backbeats and improvisation. They have also toured the streets in Europe and in the US living on what they have earned from the music.
After the US trip they recorded an EP, and you can listen to one of the songs here below. At the same time they have developed into something more than street musicians, as they now also arrange clubs and concerts with their own special atmosphere. “We want it to be like mass pychosis where we bang hard on our acoustic instruments while the audience is dancing wildly around us” they write. “There is a brass band in Paris called Belgistan. Their band is an imaginary country, and when you listen to their music you are automatically transported to the place called Belgistan. That kind of philosophy is perfectly in line in what we do.”
We’ve met Tomeu Alcover and his nylon-stringed guitar before here on Meadowmusic. The songs we presented then finally found a home in November on his new album ”Transparent”. Accompanied by drummer Robert Ikiz and bass player Kristian Lind he’s created a soft, beautiful album with his own mix of jazz, latino, flamenco, folk and classical influences. You can listen to the whole album on his site.
Besides this solo album he also released another album in the same month, “Història Sobre Blanc”, but this time performing under the name Nit Project. This is also instrumental music, but using piano and synths in beautiful, slightly mellow and minimalistic arrangements. It feels filmic and has also been used as the soundtrack for the Spanish TV series “Història Sobre Blanc”. Listen to the other songs on Nit Project’s site.
A couple of days ago Patrick Rydman released his second album, “What Took You So Long”. If the debut album, from 2008, mainly was a jazz album with pop influences, I’d say that it’s the other way around this time: a pop album with a jazzy feeling and lots of sould vibes. It varies more in style between the songs, but mostly i land in the seventies between Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and Billy Joel with a detour to Sting’s jazz pop on a couple of songs.
It feels like Patrick is perfectly at home in this music, and some songs feel almost like tributes to his predecessors, which all in all gives the album a pleasant, laidback atmosphere. The top moments for me are the more quiet songs, first of all in “Soldier Song”, where you come closer to Patrick.
When the first song “Silhouettes” starts on the trio Desertsongs’ new album, I’m swept into a nice mellow ambience that smells of Autumn nights. This melancholy stays over the entire album, which also gives me the sensation that it’s part of a soundtrack to a classic movie drama. Some of this feeling comes from the storytelling in the songs and the singer Minna Bolin’s special tone and jazz feeling in her voice.
The combination of the electronica sound, with vibes from the eighties, the minimalistic arrangements and the melodies and the sometimes special harmonies, create a different atmosphere on this album, as it balances between retro-jazz-vibes and pop-electronica. A very pleasant music experience with a perfect ending in the soft “Red Coat”.
Pokerface, aka Staffan Heidevik, released his new album “Transeo” a little while ago. It’s an exciting album full of experimentation and if I attempt to describe it I’d say it’s about a dense and dramatic mix of jazz-electronica and progressive rock , largely instrumental. Sometimes I hear something that reminds me of David Bowie and his experimental music from the nineties.
Interestingly half of the songs are recordings from concerts, which I really like as it brings out the depth and the grandness in the music and a sensation of a massive live experience.
The album is a collaboration between Staffan, guitarist Mattis Karlsson, drummer Olle Prim and multi-instrumentalist Per Ericsson plus a number of guest musicians, among them Mike Lloyd and jazz virtuoso Bryan Baker.
“I usually describe my music as full of clichés. If someone else had used this term you’d perhaps interpret this as something negative, but I on the contrary love to play with the expected, and therefore I usually say like this:
Instrumental and improvised music doesn’t have to be difficult, simplicity doesn’t have to be boring. Surprise by playing the expected. The music should be like a Tarantino movie, – beautiful, violent and full of clichés.”
That’s how Lars Åhlund describe the music on Lars Åhlund’s Second Coming‘s new album “Fire In Ödeshög”. When I use the word cliché myself I mean something that is used by routine, without depth and maybe a little boring. And from that perspective Lars Åhlund’s Second Coming is quite the opposite.
I think that Lars Åhlund lack the ability to be musically boring and do something by routine, which I could hear already in his pop projekt Gocart System, which I have written about before. Now this is first of all about jazz, where Lars together with Joakim Simonsson, Markus Hängsel and Gustav Nahlin (plus some guests) explore jazz clichés from the past.
And it sounds anything but an old, worn expression, it’s rather a fresh, updated and fun jazz album which ventures into various jazz styles from the starting jazz blues “Vår Blues” to 70′s gangster movie themes to jazz proggressive music to funk- and pop flirts. Brilliant musicians where Lars’ playful saxophone with attitude lies in the front asking for attention. An album also, I think, that’s perfect for those that haven’t listened that much to jazz but are curious of what it’s about.
I’ve been listening to Reform‘s album “Reformed”, an album that was released in 2009. It feels like progressive rock, jazz-fusion and the seventies close to Björn J:son Lindh, Bo Hansson in style, but more based on guitars and with some blues vibes.
“Reformed” is the band’s fifth album since they started, and is maybe more of a music collective than a band, with members coming and going. The only members that have been with the band the entire journey are bass player Jesper Bergman and drummer Anders Bergman. And after having listened to the the other albums I note that the style and sound change a bit between albums.
Konträr is a solo project by Linus Sundin Eriksson. I’d say it’s about jazz, where electro jazz meets acoustic, hammond and other intruments. It’s beautifully combined and creates a special atmosphere.
All the names of the songs have two titles like those below: “Satan/Näcken, “Framåt/bakåt” (“Forwards/Backwards”), which is also clearly reflected in the songs.
Meadowmusic presents new Swedish music from many corners and edges. Listen, read, watch and download mp3 files. All songs you find here on this page have been approved for publication by the the artists.