back in stock as of
october 8th, 2013
first in stock on
october 1st, 2007
|häpna (sweden) #h.34 cd|
eric malmberg “verklighet & beat” compact disc
- min kompis anton
- till minne av lilly lindström
- slutet på en epok
- tidigt nittiotal
- milda döden hämtar oss alla till slut
- ackordflödet och evigheten
- varat fanns någonstans i röran
|...this is exactly why häpna is one of my favorite labels going at the moment; they can unleash a stream of uncompromising records by people like pita & giuseppe ielasi, then let loose with this charming 60s/70s-leaning organ-based instrumental psych record...|
totally feeling this new malmberg solo joint; channeling not just hansson & karlsson (bo hansson actually appears here !!!) but also lars holmer’s samla mammas manna & even egg (in spots) - no digitally deconstructed this, or long-form that; just a set of lush tunes w/era-accurate arrangements...
“verklighet & beat”
häpna h.34, cd
10 tracks, 42 minutes
release date: september 12, 2007
eric malmberg’s music is a small miracle.
i don’t want to call him a genius, because i don’t want to jinx him. but i will say that he’s a complete original, in addition to being a vastly talented musician. i will also say that his recordings and the two performances that i saw by sagor & swing merit a place on a short list of most enjoyed musical experiences of the last half decade. i could bleat about the quality of the work, but “most enjoyed” to me carries the stronger charge.
verklighet & beat, meaning “reality & beat” (as opposed to “sagor & swing”: “fairytales and swing”), is a second high point in eric malmberg’s career. the first came with 2001’s orgelfärger, the first album by sagor & swing. s & s were the duo of eric on his beloved hammond organ and ulf möller on sympathetic, timeless drums. the obvious comparison was to hansson & karlsson, the swedish organ and drums duo from the 1970s. indeed, eric is the author of a number of comic books detailing the adventures of hansson & karlsson. (he’s also the author of the comic happy hammond in slumberland.) bo hansson returned the favor by giving him an organ—as well as by appearing on synthesizer on verklighet & beat.
orgelfärger came out of a clear blue sky. a brisk, chilly blue sky over a kind of stubbornly verdant rural landscape that i can easily picture but have never actually seen. it charmed by seemingly having zero connection to its era. a hammond-whirlpool of minor-key melodicism. a snare, a brush, a mellower mitch mitchell. a sense with each new composition of starting back from the same place, of getting exquisitely lost in the woods each time, differently. eleven songs, eleven paths. listening to this album again, i can’t imagine how it could be improved. (do i have to spell it out? time on this planet is brief. if you haven’t heard orgelfärger or the follow-up melodier och fåglar, you need to be taking better care of yourself.)
sagor & swing reminded you that the hammond organ was once a medieval instrument.
all of which brings us to verklighet & beat. sagor & swing disbanded after four albums, and this is eric’s second solo release. the first, den gåtfulla människan, finds eric alone at the hammond, with the occasional desolate rhythm-box accompaniment. verklighet & beat is an entirely different animal, a beautifully arranged and fully realized vision of how to present eric’s music.
verklighet & beat has two obvious hits. “till minne av lilly lindström” is the album’s effortless high-water mark in providing instrumental coloration for what had previously been implied by eric’s bare-bones melodies. are those guitar strings fifty years old? sleigh bells haven’t sounded so good since the first stooges album. then the descending disco strings carve up the dance floor. a tip of the hat to producer/musician jari haapalainen. the other surefire smash in the top 40 of my mind or dreams is “söndagskonsert,” which holds its own when compared to the most moving of peer raben’s scores for films by rainer werner fassbinder. verklighet & beat suggests that an impeccably programmed movie theater has opened in eric’s neck of the woods.
the album’s opening track, “finalen” is a signature gesture of eric’s, wherein stirring, nearly martial melodies are rendered with maximum hammond mellowness. a number of these pieces are essentially marches, and yet they could hardly be less bellicose. “finalen” is another in a series of malmberg earworms: melodies that after a few listens seem as if you’ve known them since childhood.
“min kompis anton” is another bittersweet, inward-turned march. it incorporates the musicality of distantly heard recordings of kids’ laughter – an intuitive gesture that seems so right as to preclude further comment. synth is using sparingly, to merely indicate the stratosphere. “slutet på en epok” is hard-rocking and frantic, much more like the s & s live sets, and a style only occasioned hinted at by previous studio recordings. ascending modulations are handled in the style of a surf instrumental. the brushes are out on “leksand, tidigt nittiotal,” a series of reexaminations of a single melodic line.
a key fiddle can sound as lonesome as any harmonica.
verklighet & beat is paradigmatic of häpna in that its execution is improbably beautiful. it’s better in practice than in theory. and eric malmberg’s vision now radiates color.
- david grubbs, new york, march 2007
this is eric malmberg’s second solo record on häpna. he did four records with his previous group sagor & swing. this record is his first with a larger personnel. featuring musicians like goran kajfes, lars skoglund, johan berthling, cecilia österholm and legendary organist bo hansson. produced by jari haapalainen.
tracks: 1. finalen, 2. min kompis anton, 3. till minne av lilly lindström, 4. slutet på en epok, 5. leksand, tidigt nittiotal, 6. söndagskonsert, 7. milda döden hämtar oss alla till slut, 8. ackordflödet och evigheten, 9. varat fanns någonstans i röran, 10. styx