Tor Lundvall, famous for his outstanding paintings, has a very haunting style. The figures in his gorgeous landscape paintings are at once ghostly and earthly, ethereal and organic. The feeling one gets when staring into his soft but rich work is isolation, but not loneliness. It’s a remoteness with Spirits, a communion with nature where a gateway to shadowy unknown worlds exist. No surprise then that his work as a musician seems to perfectly score his stunning visual art. Though he made a limited private press album of Industrial music in 1997, Lundvall's first big waves in music came in the form of a 1998 collaborative effort with Tony Wakeford (of Sol Invictus and Death in June fame), entitled Autumn Calls. The album, though equally billed between the two artists, was mostly a Lundvall affair with some minor embellishments from Wakeford and other guests. Autumn is full of the warm yet effecting dark ambient soundscapes that Tor has continued to mine with increasingly finer results with each successive release. Recently, his exceptional 10th full-length, Sleeping and Hiding (via Dais Records), made our Best of 2009 and our Best of The Decade lists and now his just released CD collection, Ghost Years, is likely to make 2010’s.
Ghost Years collects B-sides, unreleased outtakes, and compilation tracks from 1995-2005 and, much like Sleeping and Hiding, this collection focuses on Lundvall’s delicate vocal-centered songs. The fact that the album’s tracks were recorded years (sometimes a decade) apart is completely unnoticeable, though it did aid in creating the variety of sounds within the LP’s tracklist. His earliest track on the disc, “Grey Sunday,” is the most structured and “pop” of the bunch with an almost danceable beat and bouncy bassline, whereas the most recently recorded track, “Alienor,” drifts along in ambient washes and spectral voices. Fans of late period, blissed-out Slowdive ala Pygmalion will find much to love here.
While Lundvall’s music is essentially “ambient” and works well as mood music, one benefits from deeper listening as the textures, layers and accents here all have transportive qualities, much like Lundvall’s paintings. Lyrically, Lundvall is very much rooted in nature, albeit a nature that is surrounded by but maybe secluded from modern living and all its trappings. Seasons and their signifiers (rain, leaves, snow, flowers) abound not as metaphors, but simply as themselves to provide a landscape for the supernatural moods and memories they can invoke. Obviously, Lundvall writes much like he paints.
Listen: "Grey Sunday" from Ghost Years
Amoeba Hollywood has quantity available of the Ghost Years CD now, as well as just few copies left of the super-limited and superb Sleeping and Hiding LP.
New Goth / Industrial Releases This Week, Amoeba Music HollywoodDivine Muzak Maison Skinny [Punch] CD Import
Here we find plastic drumbeats, cruel analog synthesizers, retro organs, kinky guitar strings, weeping musical saw and theremin tears, isolated accordion keys and departed acoustic instruments, along with emotional and deep girlie vocals. Divine Muzak is reaching its highest by creating a personal recipe for a bizarre medicine made of electronica, lounge, industrial, cabaret, post-modern psychedelia, dark pop and looney poetry. You are invited to experience it under the name of "hospital-pop" while taking your unsafe seat in Divine Muzak's Maison Skinny.
Loveliescrushing CRWTH (Chorus Redux) [Line] CD
The original release of Chorus itself was inspired by a challenge... to make a Lovesliescrushing album abandoning Scott Cortez' trademark guitar work and using only the voice. Chorus was created by taking vocal tracks, deconstructing them via minimal processing, and turning them into new compositions. CRWTH is a completely re-edited take on the material, not merely a remix album, but an alternate version of Chorus, a redux. CRWTH (Chorus Redux) is even more spectral, spacial, and hushed.
Wumpscut Siamese [Metropolis] CD
Siamese harkens the elements that made Wumpscut’s Embryodead such a cult classic. Brooding vocals, destructive percussion, ominous synths, and captivating sequences. Tracks “Boneshaker Baybee” and “Loyal To My Hate” are destined to be club favourites with their acidic beats and sticky melodies.
Mt. Sims Happily Ever After…Again [Punch] CD Import
Like the sequel to a novel, Mt. Sims (Matt Sims) returns with his magnum opus entitled Happily Ever After...Again! as the final response to his previously released album Happily Ever After. Once known as hedonistic “electroclash” noise maker Mount Sims, Sims has since shaved off some letters form his moniker, moved to Berlin, collaborated with The Knife and has now moved onto chillier musical terrain that mines classic-era 4AD and the industrial dancefloor. Win!