Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Ake Hodell - Verbal Brainwash And Other Works [Fylkingen Records]

Honoring the 100th birthday of Swedish experimental text/sound composer Ake Hodell we see the label Fylkingen Records putting out a reissue of the originally 2000-released 3CD box anthology "Verbal Brainwash And Other Works" which covers 29 compositions out of Hodells' entire body of work, covering the period from 1963 to 1977. Approved by the artist only three days before his death in its entirety the box set is an quite impressive legacy featuring the threatening, brutal anti-war piece that is "Structures III (Part 1)" which, as well its subsequent parts, focuses on long sequence of firing arms on the battlefield which well shocked the audience on the occasion of its world premier according to the extensive liner notes, various voice only pieces seemingly emulating the sound, athmosphere and sharp communication of war the former fighter pilot was well accustomed to, calm Field Recordings mixed up with repetetive Spoken Word patterns like the ones to be found in "The Voyage To Labrador" as well as experimental, Post-PostRock-infused and score-informed pieces like the great "Orpheic Revelations" on the first CD of this box. Furthermore CD2 offers great imaginative compositions like the dark, intense and atmospheric radioplay'esque "The Djurgarden Ferry Across The Styxx" which takes the listener into large, psychedelic underground vaults, to farthest shores, Dark Ambient realms and widest oceans and causes goosebumps even for those who don't understand Swedish at all whereas the "Road To Nepal" weighs in a naturalistic intro sequence before extremely cut-up vocals start meandering through the stereo field in a quite hypnotic manner, later accompanied and erased by multilayered Field Recordings, sequences of electroacoustic rhythm patterns and trippy episodes taking us deep into jungles and rain forests of Asia to describe two out of the four compositions on this disc. Finally CD3 brings forth another five pieces, with "Introduction To 'Mr. Smith In Rhodesia' By The Composer" featuring the morse-code- and naval- and advertisement-transmission heavy "USS Pacific Ocean" as well as Ake Hodell's view of and intention for the subsequent "Mr. Smith In Rhodesia", before the final cut "Spirit Of Ecstasy, Racing Car Opera" provides quite a collage'esque approach over the course of 24+ minutes, employing cut up- as well as early pitch shifting techniques to create a fluxus- / dada-influenced piece for an epic closing. A highly recommended box set for all those interested in the early years of electronic and experimental Scandinavian composition and beyond.

Album artwork on Instagram!


Post a Comment

<< Home