TAPE: Opera Plus (Häpna) / TAPE: Milieu Plus (Häpna)

Max Schaefer on Jul 30th 2008 10:00 pm

Tape: Opera Plus

Opera Plus
Häpna 2002/2008
13Tracks. 63mins54secs

Tape: Milieu Plus

Milieu Plus
Häpna 2003/2008
12Tracks. 51mins58secs

The pooled intuition of Johan Berthling, Andreas Berthling, and Tomas Hallonsten is manifested predominantly in tightly controlled, continually surprising spontaneous designs – a sort of tightrope walk between high energy free blurt and rigorous attention to form.  The Swedish group has been embracing – even celebrating – their stylistic contradictions since 2002, and the versatile, lysergic fusion of languid free jazz, ambient, folk, and broken balladry has since weaved itself stealthily, but inexorably, into the fabric of contemporary music. Continue Reading »

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HANS APPELQVIST: Sinfantin Och Morkret (Häpna)

Max Schaefer on Jul 24th 2007 01:26 pm

Sinfantin Och Morkret

Sinfantin Och Morkret
Häpna 2007
12 Tracks. 25mins00secs

Sweden’s Hans Appelqvist shows concern for that deep and incommensurable element of animal nature that cannot be made to work. A vertiginous warmth spreads slowly across most tracks. On Tank Att Himlens Alla Stjarnor, breathy, diffident vocals drift alongside a patient frenzy of field recordings, riven by the sparkling interplay of acoustic guitar and piano. In its wistful chord changes and modest yet sophisticated arrangement, the piece conveys a desire to get at continuity without crossing any barriers. Were it otherwise, and the need for an overwhelming wrench of violence was not left wanting, the rush of joy would be all the more stronger. Things being what they are, most pieces settle for the prosaic; for lusciously crisp, spacey harmonics, roving melodic guitar lines and percolating analogue beats. Continue Reading »

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