Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Venice Of The North
I have just spent a pleasant while listening to the cassette compilation "Venice Of the North" on the Unik Eld label. The tape was getting favourable mentions on various "noise" boards so I thought it needed investigation. (i.e. if Kristian Olsson says it is good then chances are...). The cassette is a C32 and features 5 projects, all of which are/were new names to me - I thought I knew a little about the Stockholm "underground"!
Side one starts with an old Swedish prog-rock track intro before splicing in to Corrosion and "Your Judgement Is Clouded By Morality". Low hum and junk metal gives way to amplified feedback and pedal pedantry. File under HNW, the track goes straight in to "Untitled" by Vit Fana. Vit Fana are the find of the cassette, and thankfully they have two submissions. This one has a drone guitar, junk metal (junk metal must be cheap in Stockholm) and distant drums. Megaphone treated lyrics lift the piece in to the realm of early Swans or Last Few Days ... or Lust For Youth. Immediate and attention grabbing. great stuff. Side one finishes with Victor Eremita. A slow piece. A brooding landscape, ice cold and desolate. I kind of drift off with this piece and then notice it has morphed in to something sinister and unnerving. A constant rattle (babies or dog toy)? travels around the background throughout. Clever stuff and well constructed.
Side two starts with two slices of Musique-Concret style pieces. Broken Lights with "In Solemn Ritual" begins with the clanking of pots and pans and rustling of bubble-wrap before fading and re-appearing with a catchy sequencer loop - ends on a great sound of breathing wood. Hander Som Varder follow. This is the project of Unik Eld main man Henrik Soderstrom. Henrik has released material before on Release The Bats and Jartecknet. Here his piece is lo-fi, maybe too lo-fi for the intricacies of sound? It becomes more cognitive towards the end with a shuddering loop. I am now interested to hear his 7" on Release The Bats ... something without the tape hiss. Vit Fana end side two with "Untitled". C'mon guys - it is not that difficult to give the piece a title...is it? Just for reference if nothing else. A short wall of synth sounds and heavy (church) organ keys play a melodic tune. Tres-Gothique. And with a few words of wisdom in Swedish from a passing drunk on the Stockholm night bus to Vasteras the tape is finished. An excellent sampler for new Stockholm sounds. Hander Som Varder and (definitely) Vit Fana need to be explored.
Go to unikeld.blogspot.fi and get a copy.