Monday, November 5, 2007

We Suppose All Rock 'n' Roll

Today's name is Eugene, so I suggest you put on "Eugene, You Genius" by Esiotrot from their album - one of the best from last year. But anything with The Vaselines will do, really.

This weekend I went to So Tough So Cute!, where Katja Ekman was guest dj. I knew of course she was involved with Testbild!, The Jet Set Junta and Friendly Noise. But I recognised her and I was quite shocked with how much she's done although she just one year older than me. I soon remembered it was Young Alive and In Love I recognised her from - the best P!O!P club in Malmö's history. I knew two of the people behind it, but I'd never spoken to Katja before. She played lots of good music, but perhaps a bit too refined for the Retro (the name of the place) crowd.

Testbild!'s fourth album Une Teinte Intense came out earlier this year (which means I have missed their third one) and is inspired by Isabelle Eberhart. It contains excerpts from her writings, read by Katja as it were. Eberhart was an explorer and writer born in Switzerland in the late 19th century. She travelled widely in North Africa, disguised as a man. She sided with the local population against the French occupants, converted to Islam and married an Algerian soldier. She died in a flood at the age of 27, but her writings were rescued. There is definitely a North African air over the record, with its sun-bleached imagery and distant muezzin voices. Still it puts me in a Christmas mood, but maybe blazing hot sand dunes is a thought that is quite welcome in the autumn cold. No, I think it's more due to the vocal harmonies - as distinguished as on any Louis Philippe song - that sound decidedly Swedish. As I only have Testbild!'s second album, I can only compare it to that. The Inexplicable Feeling of September was a blatanly autumn-themed record with a warm analogue sound. Une Teinte Intense is much lighter (and shorter) - like an oscillating mirage. The compostions are slower and more acoustic, with fewer synthesisers and no electronic beats. The obvious stand-out track is "The Moorish Café" (just ask Louis Philippe!).

But even better is the debut album by The Dreamers - the best thing Friendly Noise have done so far! Day For Night has finally been released now and Kevin Wright and Sarah Nyberg-Pergament have done their first shows in Sweden (the picture above was taken in Finland). Too bad we couldn't book them, I hope we didn't miss our only chance. Anyone who has heard their previous projects and fallen in love will not be able to resist this wonderfully matched duo. I saw them play as Mr. Wright and Action Biker respectively at the Mitt Sista Liv festival in 2004, which is also where they first met. The first song they wrote together, "Petit Nuage", is in the autumn mix below. You can g
et both records from Friendly Noise or Darla.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That Dreamers album is surely up there with the best of the year (but will it be able to beat the Clientele ...let's wait and see).

I am really getting into that Testbild! album too. It is quite Louis Philippe in sound, isn't it ? Although the penultimate track reminds me of Stereolab a lot.

Love from Belgium