"And if I was in the business of writing one line reviews, I’d say the following; “woozy pastoral psychedelia incorporating various traditional instruments and possessing a formidable stoner vibe”. There. Job done."
Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh - Helena Espvall & Marsaki Batoh
Members of Ghost & Espers collaborating? It doesn’t need a clairvoyant to tell you that this LP will be somewhat folksy. And if I was in the business of writing one line reviews, I’d say the following; “woozy pastoral psychedelia incorporating various traditional instruments and possessing a formidable stoner vibe”. There. Job done. The thing is, although that is pretty much what you get, it really doesn’t do this LP justice. There is a formidable spirit raised within the confines of this record, maybe it’s the power of the old Swedish and European folk songs, maybe its Batoh’s burning vision, (he’s a fairly intense chap). Or maybe it’s the afterglow of concentration and determination needed for the short time - 6 days - that it took to make this LP that permeates your living room.
No matter. Opener Polska is a magnificently Baroque clarion call and sets the tone for the LP with its menacing hurdy gurdy and cello parts. Now and again you get an Espers vibe; Uti Var Hage is one such mesmerising drone that floats around like it’s already a century late, but in no rush to go anywhere. Highlights for me come near the end with the spooky, spindly and very psyched-out cover of Death Letter, and the marvellous Kling Klang; a righteous mix of ethereal vocals and semi-folk experiment that shuffles into Nico territory, (maybe its the way Espvall sings “King Klang”). Oh, and not forgetting the wonderful Kyklopes which is surely some sort of partial homage to Organisation’s Tonefloat LP. Whatever, it’s a wonderful record.
Words: Richard Foster