Jurmo – “Gnistor, irrbloss 1:2”

January 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm


It’s exciting with music that is searching more or less actively for what it really is. That is how I perceive this album, not as if it has an identity problem, but rather like if it is trying new ways in a playful and fascinating manner. “Gnistor, irrbloss” is music for a wind quartet (mostly brass), percussion and a voice (Nicolai Dunger), who alternately improvise, sound and play compositions which sometimes just are, sometimes are pop-melodic and sometimes are fragmentary. This search also makes it hard to categorize. Sometimes it sounds like jazz, but it’s also art music and pop. “Gnistor…” is the first album of two made in this way.

The founder is Johan Arrias, who gathered the musicians playing on the album, and he also writes that the record is “a mixture of ready-mades, poetry, songs, sounds and sketches”. This makes the album appear like an art gallery or maybe like a part of an art gallery. In any case, I get quite curious about the continuation.

Sista striden

Reglerna och leken
Johan Arrias’ site – on Spotify – on Apple Music – on Bandcamp

Sven Rånlund – “La Vie Modulaire 1” album

December 14, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Sven Rånlund

Modular synthesizers! For some (plenty of people) the term leads to a greedy look and the want for new sounds, new equipment and more. The fact is that – after many years as an obscure and forgotten instrument – during the last years a rather large subculture has formed around modular synths. This has created a lot of great music, and among other things led to an interesting documentary about synth history: I dream of wires (also available on Netflix).

In Sven Rånlund’s gentle hands the modular synth generates everything from nice polyphonic, rhythmic compositions to scifi sounds and more abstract structures. The 60’s is still there but somehow filtered through the years 2014-2016. You can sense from the titles that here is a composer who works in a playful way but still seriously, which is also emphasized by the philosophic texts in the CD booklet. The modular life (“La Vie Modulaire”) is a fun and exciting journey. Have a listen!


Bongo aero

Sven Rånlund’s site – on Bandcamp – on Spotifyon Apple Music

Ullén-deHeney-Hug – “Quarrtsiluni”

November 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm


Quarrtsiluni is a word in Inuit which roughly means that you are quietly sitting together waiting for something to happen. You may listen to this album in that way, but I do think that it’s rather eventful. There are six tracks which are titled only with numbers: Song one, two, three.. and so on. Each song or track is an improvisation with the starting point in the feeling of just sitting together and the sensation that something has to be said, something necessary. Maybe the spirit of the great whale is among us in the music, as they write on the label Lamour records.

Lisa Ullén on piano and Nina de Heney on double bass have been playing together for a long time and they are a well established duo. On “Quarrtsiluni” they are also joined by Swiss Charlotte Hug on alto violin.

Read more here and listen to the entire album in one session in the Youtube clip below, or sample one of the tracks in the Soundcloud player.

More about Lisa Ullén | Nina de Heney | Charlotte Hug

“Quarrtsiluni” on Spotifyon Apple Music

BC Grimm – “Orbis Obscura”

November 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm

BC Grimm

A 35 minute long sci-fi tone poem for pipa (chinese lute) and guitar pedals. It’s not exactly something you encounter every day. The music are also ambitious and quite unusual to say the least. BC Grimm, aka Brian Grimm, grew up with various chinese string instruments and has also later studied several of them in Hong Kong.

On “Orbis Obscura” the traditional chinese influences are not that obvious, so if you expect that you might get disappointed. But the music is built from the sound of Grimm’s pipa, a sound he then manipulates with the help of pedals and effects beyond recognition. Noise, drones and other sounds that are connected to sci-fi are poured into the mix, creating an interesting journey through Grimm’s sound imagination.



BC Grimms site | Bandcamp | Twitter

Ann Rosén and Stockholm Saxophone Quartet – “Bredvid”

September 29, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Music for several musicians who don’t play together, but is played back simultaneously? Can that really be something interesting? Indeed, it is! Ann Rosén and Stockholm Saxophone Quartet’s album “Bredvid” evolves in a kind of playful way and can be described as a mix of alarm signals, noise, disjointed tones and pauses. It’s both meditative and disturbing at the same time and some tracks are like a story with something mysterious going on in the foreground while you can sense an ominous vibe further in the back. It’s interesting and exciting, and sometimes computer games comes to mind but also of course horror movies. But mostly it’s music which has it’s very own life.

The works is a mixture of duos (where two voices run in paralell), a quartet (in the same way) and a solo where Ann Rosén is playing on a kneecuff instrument (“Bredvid A”).
Technically it’s interesting to know that the instruments used are homebuilt synths driven by the signal from microphones placed in the saxphones.

Ann Rosén has worked many years with different kinds of sound art and music, and is maybe most known for her works with the the combination of cloth and electronics. She has written the music for the legendary Stockholm Saxophone Quartet who is also plated back on this album.

“Bredvid” on Soundcloud | Schhh (label) | Ann Rosén’s site – on Spotifyon Apple Music | Stockholm Saxophone Quartet’s site

Bredvid A


Stockholm Saxophone Quartet

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