Friday, July 31, 2009
Skogar - Blast From The Past
I just got sent a couple releases from the unknown-to-me Swedish label Native Parts and since this is my favorite of the two, I figured I'd start with this one. Skogar (aka Johannes Brander), is the force behind Native Parts and apparently has serious musical creationism skillz. Healer/Destroyer was made while he was struggling with an undiagnosed sickness and it was actually never meant for public release. Thankfully, he changed his mind because this record is fucking wonderful.
This is a mostly melancholic affair filled with the kind of songs that play in your head as you stare forlornly out the window on a rainy day. It starts out halfway cheery with an organ/harmonium thing on "Blast From The Past" and some Casio beats and melodies on the short but sweet "Oh Ohh O."
After that, though, things turn a bit... atmospheric. Subtly dramatic guitars that fill up song after song. "50 MG" and "Remake Of Nothing III" meander through some thick cold forest haze, maybe hoping to find a bit of light indicating a warm cottage off in the distance. The title track begins in a similar way but towards the end goes into a strange fantasy land with bizarre ominous keyboards and fairy dust star twinkles. Then "With Vocals" comes on with it's relentless threatening guitar and you know shit just got serious. No more fucking around. You just got yourself caught in 6 minutes of eerie doom.
At least the last song, "Ditch" isn't quite as frightening. Just sad. A lonely guitar, dragging it's feet through the house, moping around, wishing it would stop raining. Having only heard this one release from Skogar, I don't know if his music is usually this gloomy. Regardless, though, Healer/Destroyer is pretty fucking great and I'm hoping his next release is longer and maybe a bit more cheerful.