In a couple weeks will be the official release date for two of the three albums that I have been working on way too much over this entire year. The first is Øresund Space Collective‘s “Visions Of…” and the second is Sista Maj‘s “Series of Nested Universes“.
There’s a lot of URL linking here, take your time, have a listen!
The new ØSC album is material from a recording session in Copenhagen at the Black Tornado from 2 years ago, Nov. 2014. This same weekend session produced the albums “Different Creatures” (which I also mixed) and “Ode to a Black Hole” (mixed by Scott Heller, aka Dr Space.) There were some other pieces of music from these sessions, but probably no more albums. To solve that problem, I drove back to Copenhagen last weekend with KG Westman (from Siena Root, West Space and Love, also on several ØSC recordings) and we recorded much much more music which will probably be several more ØSC albums over the next couple of years, while Dr Space relocates to Portugal.
This album, “Visions Of…” has the 42 minute title track, and then a divided-in-two funk-rock piece called “Above the Corner” and “Around the Corner,” obviously paying tribute to Miles Davis. For any and all that liked “Different Creatures,” or indeed any other ØSC recordings!
Here’s a nice review of both at Thee Psychedelicatessen
I’ve been writing about Sista Maj off and on here and on Facebook or wherever for a while, I’m extremely happy that this album is seeing the light of day and the earholes of listeners. Scroll to earlier posts in this weblog and you’ll see.
It’s pretty intense. Here’s the promo text:
(“Sista Maj” is colloquial Swedish for “the last day of May”. Literally, it’s “final May,” which leaves the potential meaning that it may be the last May…ever)
The last day of May 2015 happened to be the first time that these three Stockholm musicians played together. They had played in other constellations before, but this started a new group: Sista Maj.
Mikael Tuominen comes from Kungens Män, a post-rock instrumental psychedelic band, coming from the long-standing Northern European tradition that includes both Krautrock and Swedish Progg. In this band, he played guitar, though he played bass, his first instrument, when he met Jonathan playing together in a composed/improvised group led by Einar Baldursson (Gösta Berlings Saga) for a few specific concerts in Stockholm.
Andreas Axelsson plays mostly in jazz and post-jazz improv and avant-garde groups, such as Lisa Ullén’s Group, and Eye Make the Horizon with Mikael. Mikael recommended him to Jonathan for a recording session intended for a record of songs and improvisations that Jonathan was working on for “Superfluity,” but oddly Mikael couldn’t make it to the session at the last minute, so it took another month before the three got together, this time with no agenda.
Jonathan Segel, an American living in Stockholm, has been playing violin, guitar and keyboards with numerous bands over the past 35 years, most notably the continuing Camper Van Beethoven as well as his own projects which span the genre-worlds of psychedelia, improvisation, prog rock, Americana, electronica and avant-garde. He has played with artists from Eugene Chadbourne to Fred Frith, in bands from Sparklehorse to (most recently) the Øresund Space Collective.
Sista Maj got together occasionally just for fun, but usually recorded the sessions and some were put on Soundcloud. In October 2015, Jonathan had a week booked at Mattias Olsson’s Roth Händle Studios in Sollentuna to work on his own music and generally explore. Of course, Sista Maj came along.
What happened was unexpected. With a studio and with the time to explore, they took their time to explore. The intensity that had marked their previous music in its immediacy was now able to find its way in the build-up. The studio itself had instruments that added to the sonic mix—upright bass, baritone guitar, electric sitar, percussion instruments, a Hammond organ. The pieces range from jazzy (Peony Spies) to electric intense (A Very Heavy Feather), from funky and weird (It Never Ends) to hypnotic (Series of Nested Universes), jam (Like a Diamond in This Guy) to space (Bones of Steel.) The album has an overall dark mood, another unexpected turn, but one that only adds to the heavy nature of the music.
Jonathan mixed the tracks in over a period of several months, while also working on the upcoming Øresund Space Collective album “Visions Of…”, as well as various other projects.
Now it’s here for you to explore, a Series of Nested Universes.
Sista Maj : Series of Nested Universes
Andreas Axelsson: drums and percussion
Mikael Tuominen: bass (upright, electric and Ashbory), baritone guitar, electric sitar
Jonathan Segel: electric guitar, violin, organ, synthesizers, bass
1. Peony Spies 6:39
2. Secret Cave, Secret Rat 10:30
3. Which, in Turn, Falls 13:59
4. A Very Heavy Feather 25:40
1. Series of Nested Universes 10:52
2. Like a Diamond in This Guy 11:36
3. It Never Ends 17:19
4. Bones of Steel 16:13
Cover art by Richard Gann
Recorded at Roth Händle Studios, Stockholm Oct 2015
mixed at the Magnetic Satellite, Stockholm Jan-May 2016
Space Rock Productions 037
If you read the linked review on Thee Psychedelicatessen, or translate the French reviews at Agoravox*, you can get a decent idea of the music, but you won’t get how intense it is until you listen to it. The session when we recorded it was a side-trip from the making of my album “Superfluity” which will be out next year. Where “Superfluity” is as much a lyrical statement about the significance and insignificance of life, love and everything else, “Series of Nested Universes” is an auditory journey through the micro- and macrocosms of life and death. You may have guessed from the titles that it’s going to be akin to a book of death being whispered into your ear as your self dissipates, from the dissolution of the organic into dirt and flowers to the weighing of your soul against a feather and onward. You might make it through several nested universes and be happy to shine, but you know… it never ends. And oddly, those new bones are robotic. (…and even literally: no human was playing that piano.)
Enjoy it. It’s an odyssey.
In the US, you can get the CDs from me when I’m on tour with Camper Van Beethoven from Dec 27-Jan 21 (if you order on the bandcamp site and aren’t in any of the places we’re playing, I can probably mail them at some point in January 2017.)
I should have a few CD copies of “Visions Of…” on tour as well. It will be out on vinyl soon as well, though Sista Maj probably won’t be anytime soon (also it won’t fit easily.)
Oh…That third album that I’ve been slaving away on? Superfluity. Complete superfluousness. Out late February 2017 on Floating World UK. Believe me, I’ll keep you informed.
*Google Translate yields some amazing phrases, that obviously have to be used in promo materials:
atmospheric atmospheres made of collage of sounds whose color seems falsely freezing
The music is resolutely hovering
The end is downright enthralling
It is inventive and in addition it is beautiful music
a contemporary free rock work including the subtle play of the double bass that accompanies baritone guitar impros and other electronic tablecloths
…the production remains very neat, better than the Grateful dead live (?)