Album Review

Reportage: Spela Sjalv [coll] – [Expo Norr]

ArtCrimes   4/13/2010   12-inch, International

This is a quasi-official reproduction of a 1970 Expo Norr (Sweden) LP recorded and edited by Bo Anders Persson [Trad Gras Och Stenar member, among others] and Solvieg Bark. [The actual manufacturer of this reissue is not listed anywhere on the package.] The subtitle “Spela Sjalv” translates to “Play Yourself”, more or less. Locations vary from indoor recordings [the two “Ett Barn…” tracks featuring mainly children jabbering away] to outdoor communal gatherings with folk tunes on fiddle or flute, chanting, a variety of percusssion, and/or acoustic guitar-anchored jams. At times, it’s a bit like the rain chant from Woodstock (except in Sweden), or the Master Musicians of Bukkake, or the drunken neighbors upstairs. The titles seem to describe locations, or situations, but no artists’ names are shown on the insert, just descriptions [in Swedish] of what’s being played or whatever else is happening.
And to make things even more mysterious… every track fades in and out and is timed on the insert, but there are NO visible track divisions on the vinyl, so you have to preview carefully to find out where tracks actually begin. (( crimes ))

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