Dina Ögon, Anna Ahnlund, Anadol, Duo Ruut, The Soundcarriers, Philip Jeck RIP, Alabaster DePlume, Intifada 1989, Ambient Country....
I’ve been on a Scandi tip for a while, thanks to a conflusion aural & visual inputs (about to finish the Scandi noir Valhalla Murders which takes place in Iceland). Aurally, however, the main motivators have been the Swedish artists Daniel Ögren & Anna Ahnlund, whom make up the foundation of the band Dina Ögon.
"Dina ögon is like the lovechild of Fleetwood Mac, Eric B & Rakim, Khruangbin and some obscure Motown b-side singles."
I’ve fallen in love with the vocal melody of the song below, and promptly made sure everyone around me hated it by playing it nonstop.. there’s a strange Indian vocal vibe there, no?
From there, I couldn’t be stopped and moved on to dig Anna’s music, and this one is from her debut.
Anna’s Swedish lyrics deal stylistically and imaginatively with the universal, inevitable questions of human life. The music is many-layered and contains progressive elements reminiscent of Dungen and Turid, but you are also reminded of Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Linda Perhacs and Doris.
As you might remember from past newsletters & blog posts, I’m quite keen on Scandinavian prog-folk of the 60s/70s, and modern takes on this sound like Sagor & Swing, Dungen, but I also like more traditional folkloric stuff like Hedningarna & Merit Hemmingson… So Norwegian accordeon player Frode Haltli has been on my radar for some years (loved his previous work with Erlend Apneseth), this is european folkloric music with avantgarde/jazzy tendencies.
There’s a bunch of more Scandi stuff like the Danish Astrid Øster Mortensen, yet I’ll stop now because there’s so many other stuff I want to mention too and I know your attention spans are barely better than my 5 year old.
Last but not least:
Now that we are out of Scandinavia, here are an assorted selection of stuff, that I’ve been salivating on recently.
I went ballistic after seeing a mention of this on, Bandcamp Daily. What’s better than a pixel point-and-click adventure, that takes place in the wet south, bogs and swamps, and dark sludgy music by Thou?
NORCO takes place in a gritty, distorted version of South Louisiana. While searching for your missing brother Blake in the aftermath of your mother’s death, players must team up with a fugitive robot and explore the sinking suburbs, run down strip malls, drainage ditches, and verdant industrial swamps of Louisiana's petrochemical hinterlands.
This is a proper find/reissue on Majazz Project, unfortunately the song I wanna put here isn’t streamable for some reason. Political lo-fi and experimental electro pop from Palestine.
Just one week after the outbreak of the First Intifada in 1987, Riad brought his sisters Hanan, Alia and Nariman together in their living room and began recording The Intifada album on equipment he had made himself. One of these was co-written with their friend, the acclaimed Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish.
Another lo-fi and avant pop from the ever wonderful Gözen Atila and her Anadol project.
“Such as Turkish Pop and Arabesk music from this country where I grew up. There is a connection to folk and also French pop or Flamenco, Middle Eastern melodies and orchestration, Greek adaptations, Kenny G. solos, American guitars.”
New material from the brilliant UK sax player Alabaster DePlume is about to be released via International Anthem, soon. His previous album was one of the best in 2020, with great story telling & excursions into different influences like Ethio jazz among others.
In late summer 2020 Alabaster DePlume (real name Gus Fairbairn) booked two weeks of sessions at the influential Total Refreshment Centre in London, recording to tape with Kristian Craig Robinson (aka Capitol K). He invited a different set of musicians each day, who would record the same tunes at the same speed so that DePlume – who produced the record – could cut them together later, like ingredients. “They didn’t have enough preparation to be able to hide behind this piece of material or skill,” he says. “They had to look up and respond to each other, and that’s what we've recorded.”
UK neo-psychedelic band The Soundcarriers also have their sophomore album out, following up 2014’s (how time flies) Entropicalia, which was one of my favourite albums with its cinematic almost hauntological feel.
I prepared a quick meditative ambient & experimental playlist for Undomondo Discover Weekly. 95 minutes & 19 songs. Arushi Jain, YAI on Not Not Fun, Kenji Kihara, Martyna Basta, Suso Saiz, new Pan American on Kranky, Asemix, Merdh Laleh..
♩Horowitz at 85: Still playing free: [NYtimes article from 1988]
‘When you are 85, what do you have to prove? That you are 25? You cannot go back. I feel good now. I don’t smoke. I drink only water. I have never drunk coffee. I don’t eat red meat. You can not live a second time. It’s much better to live nicely the first time.’
Photographer Charles Daniels has been photographing famous rockers like Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, The Who’s Pete Townshend, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and others since the late 1960s. However, tens of thousands of his photos have never been seen — they are sitting in roughly 3,200 rolls of undeveloped film in his Boston home.
The towering British composer, sound designer & ambient / noise artist Philip Jeck has sadly passed away, aged 69. I had the chance to watch him once in London, before a Grails show in 2011 and his approach to composition, and watching him create something new from recorded material was eye opening.
Jon and Mike are deeply saddened to tell you that Philip Jeck died peacefully on Friday after a short illness. A remarkable man and a wonderful artist, he has been one of the kingpins of our work for 30 years. But with Philip it was never just the work, more the love, the spirit and the dedication. He touched so many with his wit, his zest for life and his wisdom. [Touch]
Please watch the performances below.
Is this the most amazing conceptual art there is? Somebody went out and covered Greek black metal band Rotting Christ with a bouzouki and matched the music to B&W Greek movies.. I’m at a loss for words!
On a lighter note, we have started doing these little found video blurbs with a close friend on songs we love. Check it out, the music is good but the videos are amazing.
Talk soon cheers!!