Feb 7, 2007

Stage 21, Sweden


In the midst of the Middle Ages (1397), following the end of the Viking Age (ca. 800-1100), Sweden became part of the Kalmar Union together with Denmark and Norway (Finland at this time was a part of the Swedish kingdom). King Gustav I of Sweden (House of Vasa) broke free from it in 1521 and established a nation state, considered the foundation of modern Sweden. Sweden's "Father of the Nation", shortly afterwards rejected Catholicism and led Sweden to the Protestant Reformation. From then on Sweden more or less constantly battled its neighbours for many years, especially Russia and the still united Denmark-Norway, which never completely accepted Sweden leaving the union. In the 17th century Sweden extended its territory through warfare and became a Great Power, twice its current size. By 1814 Sweden had lost its empire as well as Finland, previously an integral part of the Kingdom of Sweden. Since 1814, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Between 1850 and 1910 more than one million Swedes emigrated to the United States.

Sweden remained neutral during World War I and World War II as claimed by itself, although its neutrality during World War II has been highly debated. Following the World War II, Sweden took advantage of intact industrial base, social stability and its natural resources, making it possible to expand its industry to supply the rebuilding of Europe, leading it to be one of the richest countries in the world by 1960. Sweden continued to stay non-aligned during the Cold War, and is still not a member of any military alliance.

Sweden has a rich musical tradition, ranging from medieval folk ballads to house music. The music of the pre-Christian Norse has been lost to history, although there have been historical attempts to recreate how it could have sounded based on instruments found in Viking sites. Instruments used were the lur (a sort of trumpet), simple string instruments, wooden flutes and drums. The Viking musical legacy lives on in the old Swedish folk music and their attraction to heavy metal, Sweden, Finland and neighboring Norway experience a rising inclusion of Viking or Germanic neo-pagan religious elements in 21st century Scandinavian culture.

ABBA is without a doubt the most well-known popular music group from Sweden, and the only one that ranks among the most well-known in the world selling over 250 million records worldwide ( thank you Napoleon). Thats more than enough, so lets concentrate on those that need it. I start off today,as usual, with a vinyl rip from Twice A Man, a duo that s close to their 30th year in making music together, with hindsight one can say, commercially they didnt do very well, maybe they dont care but I think its a pity their work is so hard to come by ive added some recent work aswell, together with the album Music For Girls a great start , second up, ancient instrumentation next to sampled drum-loops, tender violins and distorted guitars, yes it's Garmarna. Lucky People Center's Interspecies communication is a masterpiece from a collective that dissolved in a millenium crises, a real pity. DK7, the unassuming bandname derived from the labelnumber, noir tinged electro with a touch of Dalbeck acid, and some cool detached vocals from irish 'import' Mark O'Sullivan. The alternative scene favourite almost dead little bird, Stina Nordenstam deserves a place, her output hasn't been that high but then Stina has other interests too, she's multitalented and an accomplished artist in photography and music video directing. Last Swede for todays post is one of the biggest names in techno, Adam Beyer.

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Twice A Man - Music For Girls ( ' 82)
Garmarna - Vedergallningen ( ' 99)
Lucky People Center - Interspecies Communication ( ' 95)
DK7 - Disarmed ( ' 05)
Stina Nordenstam - This Is ( ' 01)
Beyer, Adam - Ignition key ( ' 02)

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Twice A Man - Music For Girls ( ' 82   207mb)

Cosmic Overdose (Karl Gasleben, Dan Söderqvist) had released two fantastic albums in Sweden, then morphed into Twice a Man. While the progression seemed logical, at the time it was a major disappointment. Gone were the hard electronic drones and electric guitars of the "space punks" (as they were called back then. What was left was this, a very light, ambient sound, somewhat in advance of everything else, but very disapponting at the time.

Twice A Man have been around since 1981, from the start more like an ordinary musicgroup in the syntheziser genre, but has since the middle of the eighties become a projectgroup, who cooperate with artists from other fields such as film, theater and dance. During the years Twice A Man has been in existence they have made 15 CD/LP, 7 theatre productions, 3 filmmusic productions and many tours and concerts all over Europe.

Twice A Mans interest to visualize their music has been one of the characteristics of the group and they appear as pioneers in the context of using advanced technique with an artistic expression. The computer as a tool or an instrument have played a key role during the last years, except for the music, now also in graphics. Unfortunately they lacked the foresight to keep control over their work and much of it has been stalled at now defunct labels, therfore getting hold of their work is very difficult. Second hand or dumpstores likely offer the best chance to find any of their work, at least outside Sweden.

01 - Move (3:10)
02 - Breathe The Air (3:33)
03 - Boy (2:57)
04 - Battle (3:36)
05 - Russian Tractors (4:01)
06 - Decay (4:06)
07 - In My Mind (3:36)
08 - Dance (3:27)
09 - Gentlemen (3:29)
10 - Threat (4:00)

Twice A Man @ Base
Twice A Man @ Amazon.de

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Garmarna - Vedergallningen ( 99 ^ 275mb)

Formed 1990 in Sweden. Garmarna have a unique sound: firmly based in Swedish traditional music but influenced by the rock tradition they've all grown up with. They ignore the unwritten laws of how traditional music should be performed; they know no boundaries. The music is half new - and newly-written - and half traditional with ancient instrumentation next to sampled drum-loops, suggestive mouth harps, tender violins and distorted guitars. In 1992 the band recorded their first EP. They thought that female vocals would provide a contrast to the dark mood of their music and invited Emma Härdelin, a long-time friend of the band, as the guest vocalist on the EP. She officially joined the band in 1993. The debut EP sold well in Sweden, and helped the band tour in Scandinavia. On their debut album Vittrad(Withered), the band decided to add samples and sequencers to the mix. Garmarna started a long German tour and released the album Guds Spelemän (The fiddlers of God) in 1996. The album sold well in Sweden and was reviewed favourably internationally.

In 1999 the band took a giant step forward with Vengeance. It's truly a breakthrough record for the entire genre of Nordic music. This masterpiece brilliantly fuses the ancient with the modern, traditional murder ballads with rock and trip-hop production techniques, the transcendent with the subterranean. Emma Härdelin delivers Swedish medieval songs about evil spells, deceit and violence with sweet, sensuous seduction. The rest of the band have risen to the task of providing real substance behind The Voice (Emma).

Following Vengeance, the band returned to the studio to complete the full-length Hildegard von Bingen album. After extensive study of the source material, the band created new instrumental arrangements to surround the lyrics and von Bingen's original melodies. Layers of strings, guitars, hurdy-gurdy and percussion swirl around the traditional vocals of Emma Härdelin. Since then (2001), they toured a lot , waorking on side projects (Triakel) and at the moment working on a new album to be released this year.

01 - Gamen (The Vulture)
02 - Euchari
03 - Halling Jåron
04 - Vedergällningen (Vengeance)
05 - Nio år (9 years)
06 - Sorgsen ton (Woefull tone)
07 - Herr Holkin
08 - Bläck (Ink)
09 - Polska
10 - Brun (Robber)

Garmarna @ Base
Garmarna @ MySpace
Garmarna @ Amazon

 Icequeen in the middle..who said you cant stage dive with folkrock
Gamen @ YouTube

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Lucky People Center - Interspecies Communication ( ' 95 * 308mb)

Lucky People Center was a swedish artistic collective, most well known for their electronic music, which falls roughly in the Ambient house/Trance genres, and the movie Lucky People Center International. Lucky People Center is more a constellation than a group, and the projects done under the name have various members. They've made 3 albums " Welcome To Lucky People Center" (93), this one " Interspecies Communication" (95) and " Interference" (98) . Unfortunately the labels these are released on are all defunct now. Neither was i able to find much on what the LPC collective members are doing these days. Whatever, they did leave us this great album, think ' Meat Beat Meets Underworld'

These "space age sufis", score 96 out of a 100 at discogs, and most deservedly i would add.

1 - Interspecies Communication (2:35)
2 - It´s Good For You (5:40)
3 - On And On (4:47)
4 - To The Space (8:10)
5 - Death Machine (3:30)
6 - Dream Machine (5:35)
7 - Woman Is Like A Fruit (4:53)
8 - Sundance (7:32)
9 - Liquid Fire (6:55)

To the Space @ YouTube
LPC remix Little Star @ You Tube with Stina Nordenstam

Lucky People Center International, great clip from the movie....
Maori rap @ YouTube German subtitles

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DK7 - Disarmed (05 ^ 324mb)

Ever wondered what grown-up electro would sound like? Meet DK7... The coming together of Tiga producer Jesper Dahlback and the Mighty Quark's Mark O'Sullivan, DK7 make noir tinged electro - but with a New Romantic twist. .Jesper Dahlbäck, born 74 in Stockholm starts to produce techno at home, influenced by the Detroit, Berlin, London techno scene in 1991. Two years later, with Peter Benisch (FPU) and Adam Beyer he founds Globe Studios where he produces mainly hard techno. Together with Thomas Krome Jesper Dahlbeck founded the label DK in.. Disarmed was it seventh release, therefore DK7.

Taking in a commendably broad spectrum of influences and styles, DK7 seem just as happy crafting broad and theatrical electro torch songs ('Sweetness In Time') as they do gurning it up on the space-race electro and Underworld vocals of 'Fade In Tomorrow'. Disarmed" is an altogether darker – even gothic – affair with screeching guitars (courtesy of former Ride and current Oasis member Andy Bell) sometimes showing their teeth over the thumping electronic basslines."Disarmed" muddles already blurry musical genre boundaries further by stitching Joy Division and Underworld into an attractive patchwork quilt.

Doubtless DK7 will have to endure a few remarks about their similarity to labelmates Colder. They certainly share a number of attributes, namely the cool detached vocals (courtesy of Mark O'Sullivan), that minimalist European, almost-danceable sound (provided by Jesper Dahlbäck) and the omnipresent sense of evil. As it turns out, what we have is a great post-wave record that crosses over to the club scene.

01 - Disarm (2:40)
02 - Where's The Fun (4:27)
03 - Killer (5:03)
04 - White Shadow (3:44)
05 - Sweetness In Time (4:36)
06 - The Difference (6:11)
07 - Life Is Everywhere (6:05)
08 - Three Souls (4:15)
09 - Heart Like A Demon (4:22)
10 - Fade In Tomorrow (3:51)
11 - Sleeping Bag (5:12)
12 - Fire (3:42)

DK7 @ Base
DK7 @ Amazon

White shadow @ YouTube

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Stina Nordenstam - This Is.. (01 ^ 180mb)

Slightly reclusive, Stina gives very few interviews, rarely performs live and even alters her appearance using wigs and make-up for album covers and magazines, her distinctive, breathy voice led to early comparisons with artists like Rickie Lee Jones and Björk. However, in addition to being a musician, Nordenstam is also an accomplished artist in other fields, such as photography and music video directing.

Stina's early albums, Memories Of A Colour and And She Closed Her Eyes were significantly jazz-influenced with only subtle elements of alternative rock. With 1997's Dynamite she started down a darker, more experimental path - most of the album was filled with over-processed distorted electric guitars and unusual beats, but careful listening revealed her unique songwriting abilities. An album of covers, People Are Strange, followed before she returned in 2001 with This Is Stina Nordenstam, an album with shorter songs and a more pop-like, but still highly distinctive feel; ex-Suede vocalist Brett Anderson features on two tracks. In 2003 she sang on one track from Danish prog-rockers Mew's international debut Frengers. Her 2004 album The World Is Saved continues the path set on This Is..., but presents a more realized sound and acknowledges her earlier jazz influences more.

01 - Everyone Else In The World (2:59)
02 - Trainsurfing (3:10)
03 - So Lee (2:56)
04 - The Driver (3:19)
05 - Circus (3:19)
06 - Stations (3:07)
07 - Keen Yellow Planet (3:04)
08 - Lori Glory (3:01)
09 - Welcome To The Happiness (2:51)
10 - Clothe Yourself For The World (1:35)
11 - Sharon & Hope (2:31)
12 - To The Sea ( 5:46) (Yello, Voc & Lyrics - Stina Nordenstam )
13 - Wonderful World (Nine Horses, Duet Stina N. & David S.)

Stina @ Base
Stina @ MySpace
Stina @ Amazon

To The Sea @ YouTube

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Adam Beyer - Ignition Key 1 ( ' 02* 424mb)

Alongside Stockholms Cari Lekebusch, Joel Mull and Jesper Dahlback, Adam Beyer has become synonymous with the techno sound of Sweden, which has quite literally shaken the world since the mid-nineties. From the driving percussive force of his Drumcode label to the more open electronic miasma on his current Truesoul and Mad Eye imprints, Beyer remains one of the biggest and most influential producer/DJs on the planet. He's released a constant stream of succesful 12" mostly thru his own Drumcode Records, Truesoul Records and Mad Eye Recordings. He was behind some well recieved mix albums Essential underground 9 (04) and Fabric 22 (05) , he's a sought after remixer and still manages to play plenty of poundiing percussive gigs around the planet.

Percussion..drums was Adam's first entry into making music at the age of 11. By the age of 15 Adam was DJing at school parties and any student gig he could get hold of. At 16 with schoolfriends Joel Mull and Peter Benisch they began to fool around with a sampler. They started to learn the basics with one thing and then we bought an Atari, then saved some money and bought a Juno 106, a 303 and so on. By 1993 they were confident enough to send demos out, 8 months later their first record came out. With more records coming out the three friends started to get booked for bigger raves whilst interest abroad remained in the Scandinavian environs. In 94 they released a lot of fast tempo stuff and some hard trance under different names, but Adam still hadnt defined his style.

After he finished school in 1995. Beyer went on holiday and came up with the idea of making a record based solely around drums. Thus it was that year that Drumcode 1 was released on Glen Wilsons Planet Rhythm imprint, the record store's label where Beyer had worked and met fellow DJ/producer Cari Lekebusch. After releasing Drumcode 2 and an album for Planet Rhythm in 1995 Decoded, Beyer finally went on to form his own label, Drumcode in 1996. Check his MySpace for what happened next...

01 - Ignition Key (8:06)
02 - Sthlm (4:54)
03 - Flamethrower (5:39)
04 - Active (4:15)
05 - Triangle (6:04)
06 - Truncated Truth (4:27)
07 - Second Surrounding (5:14)
08 - Nanobot (5:00)
09 - The Convertion (2:30)
10 - Split Second (5:37)
11 - Akirlu (0:37)
12 - Bluetone (5:17)
13 - Those Funny Moments (5:17)
14 - Dissolve (2:49)

Beyer @ Base
Adam Beyer @ MySpace

Adam Beyer @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


PaddoP said...

Excelent Post thank you!!!
enjoiing every update rezpect and all that! cheers :P

Anonymous said...

Hello, the track "Japanese letters" is not from the album "From A Northern Shore". Google hardly gives useful information about it. Where do have it from? Thank you!

Rho said...

Hello Oldschool, i got the track, like most of the bonusmaterial from one of TAM's websites, i think Japanese Letters is then a likely outtake of the northern shore album. Btw i just learned they've released a new album in january titled "Clouds"

best of luck,


Anonymous said...

Dear Rho,

As time permits would you please re-up This Is Stina Nordenstam? Cheers!

carlo243 said...

Twicea Man hasn't changed from bad to good .
Please re up .

Rho said...

Ah Carlo unbelievable to first of 43 re-ups didn't get the new link, how do you reckon, anyway its zippy ahdodah for the coming weeks for the girls that is..

carlo243 said...

Thanks a Lot.
Greetz Carlo