Not all of Stereogum’s favorite sounds conform to what folks expect us to cover. In this space, resident Bananafish fetishist Brandon Stosuy focuses on bands, albums, singles, and villages in Sweden that may otherwise pass by unnoticed. This installment’s virtual milk crate contains Crazy Dreams Band, Svarte Greiner, and Emeralds.
The last time I checked in was to list the Outsiders Best Albums of 2008. Here we are almost a month into 2009, so onward…
Crazy Dreams Band create loose, at times manic vocally rich music with enough tuneful elements I can imagine people not usually given to fucked-up sounds getting into them. They’re fronted and largely piloted by Lexie Mountain (of the Lexie Mountain Boys) with Religious Knives/Mouthus’s Nate Nelson as well as Nick Becker, Jake Freeman, and Chiara Giovando. “Separate Ways” is from the Baltimore band’s self-titled full length. The track includes equal parts glitch excursions, jazzy breakdowns, Janis Joplin belting, and Yoko howling. Which makes it a good place to start.
Kappe is the second full length from previously mentioned doom noisemaker Erik Skodvin, aka one half of Deaf Center, aka Svarte Greiner. The album includes four dark, clattering, and cinematic pieces that stretch over 44 minutes. It’s a departure from his excellent 2006 release Knive. Instead of the creaky acoustic doom tidbits ranging from one to nine minutes, we get these massive, fleshed out, electric compositions. I admittedly found Knive’s strange minimalism more immediately engaging, but after a number of listens, Kappe’s bloomed into a pretty wonderful thing. Check out the opening rattling ghost choir, “Tunnel Of Love.” It’s the loudest piece on the album.
Rounding things out is Cleveland’s Emeralds, who have a new album What Happened forthcoming on No Fun. It’s a pile of analog electronics and guitar set in a spacious Tangerine Dreamed manner. As you might suspect from their label affiliation, they also know how to add noisy textures, though always “tastefully” and within reason. The push and pull between the ’60s/’70s influences and a more contemporary duct-taped DIY makes for an interesting mix (electronic music for the punks who’re bored by the stuff). The new collection was recorded by the band and mastered by the man, James Plotkin. “Up In The Air” is the third track of five. It sounds like it reads. Meditate: