Swedish psychrock jammers The Spacious Mind (ft. Henrik Oja from Säkert!) will be support No Neck Blues Band at the Hint House in NYC on April 19, 2009.
Artist: The Spacious Mind
This week's guest in our ongoing Göteborg spotlight series is Johan Gustavsson. Besides being a triumphant Guitar Hero player (seriously!), he keeps himself very, very busy performing music solo under the alias Tsukimono, as well as playing with groups such as Scraps of Tape, Viktor Sjöberg New Jazz Ensemble, Alina, the new band The VIII Arms Around You and tons more. Keeping track of 'em all is near-impossible. Anyhow, I had questions and he was happy to supply some answers:
How long have you lived in GBG?
I've basically been living here for a year now. The first 6-7 months I kept working in Skåne, the south of Sweden, where I'm from. That meant a lot of driving and more or less living in my car, traveling between 3 different cities all the time. But now I'm here and have been here full time since August 07.
Where did you move from and why?
I moved up here from Malmö for love. I met the greatest person and we decided to try and make it work out together. I was also losing my apartment in Malmö and I needed to get out of the situation I was stuck in at the time. Things have worked out for the better.
Favorite part about the city? Least favorite?
I really like Gbg in general, I like walking in the city even though I do it a lot less than I'd like. I live in Majorna and
there is just a lot of nice things to look at and to take to heart.
Least favourite? The weather... for sure. Windy and rainy... but it's ok.
Do you think that there's a particular Gbg sound? If so, how would you describe it?
Nah, I think what's so good about the music from Gbg is that it's all really diverse. You can find anything here, and most of the time it's pretty damn good too. And with people like Christian Pallin/Koloni around who organizes shows and happenings all year-round, you get pretty spoiled with opportunities to see interesting and odd bands/artists from all over the world.
How would you say the city inspired you?
I've been getting more back into punk and hardcore/metal again... which is great! There's a good scene here.
Started a few new bands, played with great people, met wonderful people with a real desire to do good and who have their hearts 100% in what they do. It's pretty hard to not get inspired by stuff like that. I've also been getting better at saying no and to not go everywhere and not do everything. To have the ability to not do things is very liberating.
Is there a particular piece that you've done that you feel was directly influenced by and/or provides a good reflection of the city?
Well, there's also a compilation coming out entitled "Gothenburg 08", which will be released by Fang Bomb... it'll feature me, Viktor Sjöberg, Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words and many others... the track on there is about Gbg but since it's not released yet I'm not sure that's a good idea.
However, my new album coming out on Kalligrammofon, the "Heart attack money" cd, kinda touches on Gbg a lot too, so let's go for "Gloomy Sunday". It's being mastered this week Henrik Oja (The Spacious Mind, Säkert!) and Jonas Rosén (Female Anchor Of Sade, Asterisk*) so I'm super-psyched to hear the results soon.
Look for the album to receive a proper release soon, but in the meantime, here's the unmastered version of "Gloomy Sunday" to whet your thirst. Highly recommended!
Tsukimono - Gloomy Sunday
Check out Volyo, a Swedish experimental all-star group featuring Mats Gustafsson(The Thing, way too many other groups to list), Jens Nordén (Step Forward), Henrik Oja (Säkert!, The Spacious Mind), and David Sandström (Refused, Final Exit, etc.): http://www.myspace.com/volyo
The group was put together by David for the Made-07 Festival in Umeå and the various tracks posted are live recordings from that show.
My playlist for this week's radio show on Sirius:
01. Bogus Blimp - By five o'clock tea
02. TALK 1
03. Sivert Høyem - Smalltown supersound
04. Pluxus - Kinoton
05. Brick - No names
06. TALK 2
07. Hebosagil - Let us go
08. Dialog Cet - Crocodile hunt
09. Hurdy Gurdy - Ynglingen
10. Anja Garbarek - The last trick
11. TALK 3
12. E.S.T. - When god created the coffee break
13. Miss Li - I'm sorry, he's mine
14. Afenginn - Ralli i d-mol
15. Magyar Posse - Whirlpool of terror and tension
16. TALK 4
17. Susanne Sundfør - I resign
18. Sällskapet - Nordlicht
19. Nisse Hellberg - Kärlekens express
20. TALK 5
21. The Spacious Mind - Rider of the woodlands
22. TALK 6
23. Him Kerosene - Ladybugs
24. Svenson - Don't get lost
25. Namur - Marching
26. TALK 7
27. Tellevika + Firefox AK - Eric
28. Carpet People - A girl without a skin
29. Anna Ternheim - Lovers dream (feat. Fyfe Dangerfield)
30. Knife and Ape - No arms no legs
31. TALK 8
32. Brighter Death Now - American tale
Unless I told you (as I'm doing now) that The Spacious Mind was directly related to Säkert! (see yesterday's post), there's little chance you would make the connection on your own. Without reading the liner notes, that is. Henrik Oja, the man who produced and engineered the Säkert! album, is also one of the main creative forces behind Umeå-based psych-rockers The Spacious Mind. The band has been quietly releasing album after album since 1993 and I think that "Gentle path highway" is something like their 7th official CD release overall (they've also released plenty of CDRs and other errata, as you can see here). I enjoyed their last disc "Rotvälta" quite a bit, but it's six-part, hour-long jam was not the sort of thing I could just pop in the stereo on a whim. Not that the new one is all that different - it's still full of extended psych/folk improv sessions that harken back to Swedish pioneers such as Harvester, Parsson Sound and Trad, Gras och Stenar. The difference is that I immediately got into this new record and its shorter, more readily digestible pieces, especially the first track "Rider of the woodlands" which I've posted today. It's a long dirge based on a single looping and echoing guitar figure that slowly morphs and is built upon over the course of it's 17 minute length. That might seem like an awful long time, but the repeativeness sucks you in. Unfortunately, I suspect that most casual Säkert! fans won't be able to get into this and that's a shame. Open your miiiinds people!
The Spacious Mind - Rider of the woodlands
It was never a matter of if I was going to post something from Säkert!, the Swedish-language project of Annika Norlin aka Hello Saferide, only a matter of when. Naturally, I am predisposed to enjoy the record - how could I not? I'm obviously a big enough fan of Hello Saferide that I decided it was worth a couple thousand dollars to press her debut album on vinyl and promote it in the US. Factor in that Annika is backed on the record by some of Umeå's best musicians and I'm sold before I've heard a note. It's no secret that I hold Norrland's capital city near and dear to my heart - my label's first release was from KVLR, another band from that same city. So what do you get when you have Henrik Oja from The Spacious Mind plus Mats Hammarström and Daniel Berglund from Isolation Years all making music together? Hopefully you've heard the brilliant debut single "Vi kommer att dö samtidigt" already; if not please recitify that right away. Um, can you say pop hit of the year? It's good enough that it's already inspired an English cover version from The Animal Five. I'm a bit torn on which track is the runner-up - it was either "Allt som är ditt" or today's mp3 post "Sanningsdan". The former is a fantastic song, but it's also a bit more downbeat (it reminds me a lot of something from Johndoe's "Dødvinkel", one of my favorite albums from 2006), so I've gone with the latter. It's a duet with Martin Hanberg of Vapnet and it practically stands up and demands a video treatment. It also demands repeat plays with the way it stops, restarts and fades out. So infectious! I wish I could tell you what it's about, but I can't so I won't. Just enjoy the song.
Buy the self-titled album: [click here]
Säkert! - Sanningsdan (ft. Martin Hanberg)
Goddamn I'm a Countryman! Records has posted details for the new album "Gentle path highway" from Norrland psych-rockers The Spacious Mind: http://www.countrymanrecords.com/
I'm fortunate enough to have received a promo of the disc and it's fantastic. I liked the last album a lot too, but the new one is way better.
Norrland psych-rockers The Spacious Mind report that new albums "Jens - If you've seen me lately, please tell me where I've been" and "Råd Kjetil And The Loving Eye Of God - Mattmar" are currently being pressed and will be availale shortly along with new live CDRs. Upcoming shows:
04/19 - The Hint House, New York, NY
04/20 - PA's Lounge, Somerville (Boston), MA
04/22 - Terrastock 6, Providence, RI
Norrland psych-rockers The Spacious Mind have a new live CDR called "Pickin' berrys and playin' blues" that they did in Skellefteå this summer. Email to get a copy.
I like psychedelic jams. I like post rock. I like Spacious Mind. Simple as that. If I were to explain it a bit more I would say that if Mike Oldfield would have gone to sleep after the first Tubular Bells and woke up after 1999 and listened exclusively to post-rock he would have founded Spacious Mind. Great.
- Simon Thibaudeau
Finland's Avarus will make their live debut in Sweden when they perform at the Moonshake Festival in Umeå on May 7. Also performing is Avarus sideproject Tomutonttu as well as The Magic Carpathians Project (POL) and locals The Spacious Mind and Kungahuset. More info: http://moonshake.popmanifest.net/