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Album Review

Back, Sven-Erik – “Electronic Music ” – [Fylkingen Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/22/2007   12-inch, A Library

Sven-Erik Back died in 1994 at the age of 75. This reissue revives some
of his work from the 1970’s. Sterling electronic constructions, at times
accompanied by spoken phrases…and even some tape samples peppered
in as well. Check out the “Hommage” track it seems like a sense of
whimsy is whisked into the synth vortex, and its title seems to be
aimed at the “grands faux-penseurs.” So while a lot of this music has
a sort of dark flavor to it, there may be lighter injections as well
that are slipping past us. Maybe that it what makes it so interesting to
me, there’s a deliberate effort to generate the sounds precisely, but a
playfulness is entwined with it. Kind of like a scientist in the lab,
NOT having to answer to his research sponsor. The sonic suite on side A
sounds like T.S. Eliot riffing on “time present and time past” caught
in the undertow of vox populi apoplectic (especially in “Parken”).
Reverbed emanations create pacifist percussion, not striking or harsh
but almost like a foreshadow to techno. Fans of Oskar Sala and Hans
Edler I think will like this…or if you are looking for something to
play while watching the old “Planet of the Apes” movies. “Murar” is
very gorgeous, has some deep canon thumps…dry diggling sounds, quick
shrill static bleeps and a wavery sine gluing it all together that
rises eventually we get more isolated sounds, the canon charges are
cloaked in squelch and drop into echo caverns building back to more
bleep crescendoing. “Orgelfjail” is a series of bionic chimes, square
wave harmonic scintillating…probably there is a puzzle to their
pattern. Outstanding reissue, from a label/organization that itself is
nearing 75 years young…reborn each year with experimentation and
creativity. Swedish sweetness!

-Thurston Hunger

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