Friendly Noise has launched a magazine and issue one is up now: http://www.friendlynoise.se/fzn/1
It's in Swedish which is bad for me, but the layout + navigation is fantastic. Artists featured include Liminals, Auton and Studio (among others) and there's also a huge Friendly Noise sampler for download (see the "Friendly Noise Survival Kit").
Viktor Sjöberg has just about finalized his new record "Breakfast in America": http://elefanten.blogspot.com/2009/03/writing-it-all-down.html
Lots of great guests, including Jens Lekman (naturally), Jonas Odhner (Sonores) and Douglas Holmqvist (Auton, Testbild!).
This first album by Swedish trio Auton, "Any where out of the world", had been in the works for several years before it finally got its proper release on Viktor Sjöberg's Structures Sonores label. All the time that went into its production really shows in the multi-faceted approach to music that is represented here. The three musicians shift from straight-out jazz to drone to postrock to Satie-like piano moments with such casualness and grace. All the while, tone colors remain uniformly warm and inviting with keyboard instruments and the occasional guitar dominating the picture. It all sounds very analog and "vintage" indeed, and there is even room for some humor along the way (say, a short handclap "solo", for example). Yet, despite its sometimes rampant diversity, the record is unified by countless repeating small melodies for the listener to hold onto. All in all, Auton have used their impressive, yet never overbearing virtuosity to create a dramatic journey through everything that contemporary music could and should be. My Scandinavian record of the year.
- Arnulf Köhncke
Here's the playlist for last week's radio show on 12/28, a special all-jazz program to close out the year:
01. TALK 1
02. Jan Johansson - Visa från Utanmyra
03. Saft - Marching for no. 1
04. Auton - El Dorado
05. TALK 2
06. The Splendor - Canary Islands
07. Kornstad/Opsvik - Happy house (live)
08. TALK 3
09. Yttling Jazz - Konstant krease
10. Jonas Knutsson - Glaciär
11. Moha! - Teknosangen
12. Oskar Schönning - Faustine
13. TALK 4
14. E.S.T. (Esbjörn Svensson Trio) - Leucocyte (ad initio)
And in case you happened to catch it, here also is my Sirius XMU top 10 most important albums of 2008 playlist:
#10 - Fucked Up - Days of last
#09 - Commando M Pigg - Baby doll
BEST COVER SONG - The Kid - Mayhem troopers (Cortex)
#08 - Katzenjammer - Le pop
#07 - Tobias Hellkvist - Wintervarm
#06 - The Goner - Field ceremony
BEST REMIX OF 2008 - Firefox AK vs Laid - Once I was like you
#05 - Haust - Ugly fucking Oslo
#04 - Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Which way to go
#03 - Sort Sol - White shirt
BEST LIVE ACT OF 2008 - Sex Vid - Cleansing
#02 - Montys Loco - Farewell Mr Happy
#01 - Lukestar - White shade
Reminder: my show airs every week on Sundays and Mondays at 11pm ET on Sirius XMU. That's channel 26 on Sirius, 43 on XM and 831 for DirecTV subscribers.
Here's the playlist for this week's radio show:
01. Tomas Halberstad - Travel as I wait
02. TALK 1
03. Robert Svensson - 1991
04. Auton - El Dorado
05. Parken - Jag har varit vilsen, Lisa
06. TALK 2
07. Tiger Lou - Trust falls
08. Promise and the Monster - Night out
09. Park Hotell - Black hole
10. TALK 3
11. Sort Sol - Excalibur
12. Convoj - The shovel
13. Satyricon - Black crow on a tombstone
14. On Volcano - Out of sight
15. TALK 4
16. Hello Saferide - Anna
17. Him Kerosene - Ventilate
18. Tobias Hellkvist - Ships of the North Atlantic
19. TALK 5
20. Division of Laura Lee - LAX
21. Oskar Schönning - Nino casino
22. Haust - Success
23. TALK 6
24. Passiv Dödshjälp - Helvetet, tur och retur
Reminder: my show airs every week on Sundays and Mondays at 11pm ET on Sirius XM U. That's channel 26 on Sirius, 43 on XM and 831 for DirecTV subscribers.
Still hung up on crust and jazz. Yep, crust and jazz. Last night: went and saw Corrupted, Asunder, Thrones and Samothrace here in Oly and while none of those bands fit into IAT's geographical coverage area, the wardrobe of choice was black with dreadlocks. Maybe not as ripe as those upcoming Amebix reunions will be, but there were definitely some folks there in need of a shower. Anyhow, back to the jazz. Malmö threesome Auton isn't a traditional jazz combo playing on the standard set of acoustic instruments, but their music is most certainly in the jazz tradition. Like label-head Viktor Sjöberg's own New Jazz Ensemble, the sounds are slow and drifting and the track "El Dorado" captures the group at their best. Melodies come and go, interweave and shift across voices, trade back and forth. It's a gorgeous piece of music; incredibly moody, yet also warm and lush, gentle and floating. It's the rare that I find a song ends too soon, but Auton never ever overstays their welcome, never overplays their hand. Viktor said that touring with them this past month was "special" and I can't think of another word that describes them better. It's rare to hear new groups in jazz with a fresh, distinct sound, but Auton pulls it off.
Auton - El Dorado
Here's the playlist for this week's radio show:
01. Detektivbyrån - Partyland
02. TALK 1
03. Björn Kleinhenz - At night we die
04. Hjertestop - Illegalt signal
05. Idoru - Chase
06. TALK 2
07. Fever Ray - If I had a heart (instrumental edit)
08. Champagne Riot - Scandinavian warfare
09. Caesars Palace - Only you
10. José González - How low
11. TALK 3
12. Alarma Man - Nightwolf
13. Adolf Filter - 1982
14. Brick - Ha ha ha
15. TALK 4
16. Auton - El Dorado
17. Gutted String - Feeling small
18. The Bombettes - It ain't me babe
19. Tiger Lou - Trust falls
20. I'm from Barcelona - Headphones
21. TALK 5
22. Kite - Ways to dance
Reminder: my show airs on Sirius Left of Center (channel 26) at 11pm ET with repeats on Monday at the same time.
Hopefully you've heard of Viktor Sjöberg by now. If not through his involvement with Jens Lekman as a member of his backing band, perhaps you saw this recent feature in Dagens Nyheter? Or maybe you've been following all the praise being heaped on him on behalf of folks such as myself and other corners of the interweb like Digfi and so on. Through it all, let me say this: he deserves it. He's not only a superb musician who excels in every genre, he's also a perfect gentleman and I'm honored to be of his acquaintance.
When I set out on this Gbg Spotlight feature at the beginning of 2008 Viktor was at the top of my list - it was never matter of "if", only "when". And that time is now.
You moved to Gbg for school, right? How long has it been now? Think you'll stick around once you finish your dissertation?
Well, not exactly, I grew up in Pixbo just outside Gothenburg so I have pretty much always been here. I lived down south for little over a year though, which is where I met many of the people that are my closest friends today. Some of them has since then moved to Gothenburg, such as Johan (Gustavsson, aka Tsukimono). I have been living in central Gothenburg since around 2004 and I don't think that I would want to live anywhere else in Sweden, at least not in any other city. I am finishing up school right now (for real this time!) and who knows what the future holds? But I can safely say that if I were to leave Gothenburg I would go to California rather than anywhere else in Sweden or Europe.
What do think is the most charming aspect of Gbg? On the other hand, is there anything about the city you wish you could change?
My mother, my dog and a lot of my dear friends live here. That's fairly charming. I think it has a lot of possibilities and it can certainly be a beautiful place when it wants to be. I could get into a discussion on how right now I think that we probably have more things going on musically than Malmö or Stockholm, but that feels kind of irrelevant. It rains a lot and it's very windy and more than often overcast. These conditions make for creative indoor activities and good friendships.
As far as music goes, you seem to be involved with both the pop and experimental scenes. Is there a lot of crossover between the two? What characteristics do they both share, if any?
I don't what to say, really. I guess there are a few artists that walk this line separating "pop" and "experimental". Personally, I think that this a hard thing to do and I think very few people succeed. Thinking more about it, I find that I generally think it works best when so called "experimental" artists incorporate popular music into their work, rather than the other way around. (If this is done in a non-ironic manner that is.) Pop music with an presumably experimental edge is generally just a bad make-up job and one of the worst things in the world. One big exception that actually lives in Gothenburg is Erik de Vahl, who to me is an excellent pop artist that not only writes beautiful songs, but also is sonically restless. It seems to me that he explores new areas because he needs to, not because he wants to make up for something that isn't there. I have been listening to his unreleased new album for almost a year now and I think it's the best thing he's ever done. I hope he decides to put it out some day.
You always seem to have a ton of amazing projects going on all the time - what are you currently working on now? What about stuff your friends are doing; got any tips on artists I should be paying more attention to?
I am finishing up my follow up album to "On a winter's day", entitled "Breakfast in America". I have been working on it for pretty much two years and it's definitely my most fully realised project so far. It is very much a pop album and it is inspired by the feeling of greatness that pop music can provide you with at certain points in your life. It's about seeing America out of a train window with your oldest childhood friend, catching all those youthful dreams and finding new ones. It's about finding love in people, in the landscape and in the golden sunshine. Basically, loving life.
I am working with my New Jazz Ensemble in different ways, we just did a show as a quartet last week and we are doing another one as a septet this week. After that there'll be a small tour with Malmö popjazztrio Auton. We are playing Copenhagen, Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm. I am also putting out their debut album on my label, Structures Sonores this week, so there is a lot of work going on with that.
Gothenburg artists that you should check out? Well, I hope you listened to the song "Feeling small" by Johan Gustavsson's Gutted String project. He has another one that is called "Ferry from here" that is also fantastic and I know that he is working on some spectacular things. There's more things going on I guess, but that's the last thing that seriously blew me away. Oh yeah, and I like Madamm. She has the best guitar sound in town.
So do you have a song to share either from yourself or another artist you admire? Tell us about it.
Johan sent me this music while I was in California over the summer. I was sitting at the Escondido Public Library working on a paper when I suddenly got a hold of the library wifi and checked my email. I found this song in my inbox and I began listening to it over and over again. The idea of Johan singing his heart out on the other side of the globe was very appealing, but even more so it was a completely brilliant song. That the key line is dealing with drowning in noise is very fitting in so many ways. I hope to hear more things from Thee/The Gutted String asap.
Thee Gutted String - Feeling small
Check out the video for "Slagskepp" from Malmö-based electronic trio Auton: http://vimeo.com/1827557
The group's new album "Any where out of the world" is out now on Structures Sonores.
Structures Sonores, the label of IAT.MP3 artist Sonores, will be putting out the debut album "Any where out of the world" from Swedish electronic act Auton. The label had originally been planning on releasing a comp of contemporary Swedish music entitled "While we're learning to forget", but has since decided to sideline that as Auton's material is said to be far stronger. Listen to samples: http://www.myspace.com/aut0n