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HOGA NORD

Al Lover

Dark Matter Discothéque / Mark E. Moon

    Höga Nord Rekords have had the opportunity to work with Al Lover twice before during the last four years and now it’s time for the next step in the relationship between them, this time with the 7” single ”Dark Matter Discotheque / Mark E. Moon”. In these tracks, Lover’s influences mainly stems from a decadent eighties New York or Paris and you can almost smell the heavy perfume mixed with indoors smoking get the feeling of sitting in a room with mirror walls. Right away, listening to the opening bars of ”Dark Matter Discothéque”, you can tell that Lover is on to something new and different from his previous Höga Nord-releases. In some ways you hear similarities to ”Zodiak Versions” (2015) but on these two tracks of the 7”, Lover has left the German regions of Europe and the 70’s behind to instead embrace an updated 80’s sound. He comments the new direction with these words: ”'I'd say the influences for these tracks was mainly me wanting to do something different then I have before. I'm always on to next idea, becoming bored with what I've already done”. 

    Minami Deutsch

    Can't Get There EP

      The good side wins! Minami Deutsch crushes negativity, sorrow, and depressive energy on their new Höga Nord Rekords release, “Can’t get there”, a six-track EP. Listening to this, the second Minami Deutsch release on HNR, you get the feeling of leaving half your brain in a Volkswagen down an endless Autobahn in 1972, and one-half lost in the astral plane as boundless light, above space and time.

      The Japanese psych-scene is being kept vital by picking up all the best influences from all the best psychedelic music and mixing that with a delicate touch of Japanese music tradition. On this EP, you hear all that you love and miss from the 70’s krautrock bands plus a cover on cult band Index’s song “Israeli blues” from 1968. Also on this record are two remixes of the title track by HNR household names Jamie Paton and Mythologen. If Minami Deutsch’s music usually has small or no elements of modernity, (this meant in a good way!) these tracks show new paths for them to try and the sounds marry happily! This record works as a pathway to the inner core of the bands creativity, where there are few limits or boundaries and where you make the trip as hard or as easy as you want…but you’ll end up in a happy fuzzy place no matter what you choose. 

      Mythologen

      Antisocial Background Music 2017-2019

      ’When you put on the first track on the album ’Antisocial Background 2017 - 2019’ by Mythologen your likely to think: “this is THAT kind of an album”, and fell happy with that. But Mythologen aka Alexander Palmestål is not “THAT” kind of an artist and this album reflects his broad musical background. It spans from Japan to USA, from the 70s to the 00s and from cold concrete floors to fluffy cotton clouds. Palmestål, with a background in bands such as Pistol Disco and Iberia now releases his second full-length album on Höga Nord Rekords. The album is a play with emotions and genres, with unexpected meetings between major and minor keys and is a collection of tracks where Jungle, Electro, House, Synth and Big Beat are deconstructed and put together as relevant contemporary dance music. The production on “Antisocial background” sometimes sound like a more electronic version of Boredoms but most of the time it puts the listener on the British isles and in the 90’s. Palmestål pays respect to his masters but he is not in any way too careful with their legacy and let, just as on his debut album, influences from the 1970’s and 80’s Nigeria and Soweto.’ 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Hoga Nord switch tact and deliver some new perspectives on established dance music tropes. The result is pretty entertaining!

      Rudolf Abramov is a duo based in Berlin and Israel, which seem to have been a door opener to unexpected musical encounters, because it’s an almost impossible task to sum up their sound in a comprehensible way. In their own words their music is ”a response to a seemingly endless conflict about disgust, acceptance and love.” Now Höga Nord Rekord is releasing their Mini-LP ”Krass kontrast”. Rudolf Abramov is Roland 303, programmed drums, oriental samples, eastern mysticism and instrumentation dressed as German machine funk, Disco, Turkish psychedelia, Krautrock, EBM and so on, and so on…their music is cosmic, beautiful and boundless. The arpeggio on the track ”Projekt 4” is running on infinite repeat in a parallell reality where 1982 never ended, where Rudolf Abramov move freely through different dimensions and where they are in total control of their unpredictable creation! 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Holy batshit badman! Those acid freaks at Hoga Nord keep their scoresheet immaculate with this weird, warped and wonderful release from Berlin/Israeli duo Rudolf Abramov. Take no-wave funk, NDW, synth pop and jazz fusion, coat them in some high power LSD then shove that blotter paper through your earholes and into your brain - killer weirdshit.

      Rooted in Swedish psychedelic folk music, Hanna Östergren (Hills, Träd Gräs och Stenar) takes a creative new grip on the genre. Under the name of Laughing Eye, Östergren creates spiritual Nordic raga, or nature music that stems back to prehistoric ages. Höga Nord Rekords now releases her debut album. Laughing Eye is more than just music, this is a distillate of ancient supe
      rstition, fear, euphoria and nature romanticism. The sound edges on the upper tree line and in the closing track, “Agnetero / Huset” Östergren takes a step off the mountain top, into space where the flute melodies float weightless to the outer rim of our solar system. Laughing Eye is deep, warm and embracing sounds for cold urbanized souls, a buzz or a murmur from the far past, translated to music we can interpret. 


      Jamie Paton makes music that loosely skirts between leftfield techno and slo-mo house. “Disk Memories” is his second release on Höga Nord Rekords and finds Paton working in the same spirit as on the previous HNR release from 2017.
      “Disk Memories” is barren electronic music for the Brexit generation. Paton has established a dystopic electronic sound that aims straight at your frontal lobe, burns in your bones, and projects a lost Europe’s anxiety onto the grey London skies.
      The music breathes of the cold 1980’s, a time of crisis in England’s history and a vibe to be recognize in today’s society: right-wing winds once again blow hard over the British Isles and Jamie Paton’s music catches the insecurity the wind carries with it. In some ways opening the floodgates to a whole stream of disgruntled, anarcho-electronix surely due to fill the airwaves in this most challenging of years. Like one Mike Smaczylo (from new MCR night, Half Edge) said: 'who the fuck listens to disco in post-Brexit Britain?!'. Top stuff as always from this Scandinavian label. Check! 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: On-trent anarco-electronic with a punky edge and late night spirit. Top.

      Autarkic describes himself as first and foremost a songwriter but he has also made a name for himself as an international DJ. Over the past three years the Tel Aviv-based musician has, with great success, played clubs throughout all of Europe. One extra memorable gig was on last year’s edition of Convenanza in the amphitheatre in Sète, France. Rumour has it that the sea living mammals of the area flocked in large groups in the waters below during Autarkic’s gig. This 12” record is his first release on Höga Nord Rekords and the slightly psychedelic, sample-and-synth styled club music that has become Autarkic’s trademark sound is captured in resolute form. The music is playful yet stripped down to the essentials and not overloaded. The vocal elements work more as percussive elements than the carrier of the storytelling in the music. If you missed him live or just don’t have the means to go see him, this record gives you a great taste of Autarkic’s hypnotic live performances - one to watch people!

      Last years (2017) edition of Convenanza festival featured Swedish band Fontän, who have released material on Höga Nord Rekords, and that set the ground for a collaboration between the record label and one of the most interesting festivals around. The joint forces has resulted in the compilation album “Convenanza 2018” containing this years (2018) acts. The contributors are: electro oozing duo Woodleigh Research Facility, consisting of Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh, etno-minimalists Komodo Kollektif from Glasgow with, among others, Gordon Mackinnon who’s running the top quality label Invisible Inc.

      The more rock oriented side of “Convenanza 2018” contains Berlin based Die Wilde Jagd, whose sound can be defined as some sort of post punk where strong chorus drenched basslines float upon a smooth electronic soundscape with both live drums and drum machines as the back bone to the beat. Wild Woman & The Savages could best be described as the result of an orgy between PIL and The Birthday Party! The Limiñanas, with special guest Anton Newcombe, contribute to the collection a garage psych rock track suited for long hot drives through the dessert. Weatherall’s unfailing “fingerspitzengefühle” in picking artists for the festival gets repeated yet again and if you for some unexplainable reason fail to make it to Carcassonne this year, the magic from the old castle still can reach your senses with the help from this compilation!

      Finnish band Jesse makes unsentimental and innovative music. What you hear on “Fluids”, released as a picture disc album on Höga Nord Rekords, is the sounds of four creative brains’ journey into the music universe of the future. Their music is influenced by earth and space: Jesse’s astral and cosmic disco is prospective, totally boundless, and vibrant of life and blood. The production sounds luxurious and helps the psychedelic qualities to shine through the sound. Jesse, who with their first releases some ten years ago played fast and arrogant synth based music, now picks up influences from afro beat, funk and ambient but they’ve kept the electronic core of their sound - simple chord structures rest upon cool synthesized waves of sound, like a glider carried upwards on the thermals between the summits of the Andes. Soft, pliable and mighty! Jesse's music is dreamy but not unworldly and one thing that makes them special is their ability to place the listener on the edge of their safety zone. There, in the frontier, they explore the possibilities of cross over music. 

      The Exorcist land on recent cove to all things esoteric, dark and smoldering: Hoga Nord. Featuring members of Uran, Tentakel, and Sork among others, The Exorcise formed in 2012 and started by playing illegal techno clubs for the true undercurrent of Gothenburg. Already with a cult following and strong reputation, the tracks for "II" were recorded during a tension-wrought time for the band, label and all involved - resulting in a taught, dramatic and quite possessive sound throughout - just what the band were aiming for! There's 4/4-propelled, dark disco grooves, swirling kraut frenzies and squelchy, more industrialized outings across the seven tracks; always with at least a brief nod to the danceflloor (albeit one laced in sweat, blood and slime...). It's perfectly at home on the Hoga Nord label - which seems to be unashamedly presenting the darkest, seediest and darn right freakish sounds from the alt dancefloors of the universe. Recommended!




      For starters: to pin down and value Andrew Weatherall’s musical deed takes more space than available in a press release text but here is some of many highlights. As a producer, Weatherall has since he first shook the foundation for modern pop music with ground breaking and genre bending remixes of Primal Scream (Loaded), My Bloody Valentine (Soon) New Order (World In Motion) and many other influential acts, continued to push sounds in to unknown territories. His importance as a musician is as big, with bands like the iconic Sabres Of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen in the 90’s and top quality solo records from the 00’s up till today.

      With the above In mind, Höga Nord Rekords are proud to announce the release of Andrew Weatherall new album Qualia! This album fits perfect in to the Höga Nord – Catalogue, which shows clearly already from the opening track Evidence The Enemy. This song is a monotonous yet uplifting piece of music, a case that holds for the album in full; Weatherall lets the melodies, built on a deep tradition of classical music and later developed by bands such as Kraftwerk, go in major scales, which lets fresh air in and creates a feeling of freedom. The music put you on top of Mont Blanc to overview the complete European music history. Qualia is soothing, harmonic and transporting. Within his framework, Weatherall knocks those frames out of place from time to time. When a song goes to much in one direction a new melody or a new instrument steps in to redirect and surprise the listener. This album is the perfect soundtrack to a road trip inside your own, ever-changing inner landscape. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Weatherall does it once again, and smashes out a refined and perfectly measured suite of cosmic electronic excursions, infused with the melodicism and songwriting prowess of a classic indie anthem. Will he ever make a bad record? It certainly doesn't look like it.

      Minami Deutsch

      Tunnel / New Pastoral Life

        Sunrise, Sunset, Wherever. And who are ya!? We are Höga Nord Rekords and we´re busy keepin on. This time with a fresh 7" release from Minami Deutsch. Pure kraut live and direct from Tokyo. The quartet released their debut during 2015 on Chapata Records/Cardinal Fuzz (UK) and Guru Guru Brain in Japan. Of course you can hear their love for kraut-rock legends such as Can and Neu! But more interesting is the bands members definition of themselves as repetition freaks.

        A-Side New Pastoral Life sounds like a repetitive mystic chant that wants to communicate with Klaus Dinger on a ouija board in a distant and deep forrest.

        B-side Tunnel offers a straight forward monokrautriot. Kyotara Miula (guitar, vocals, synthesizer), Taku Rauschenberg (guitar), Keita Ise (bass) and Hikari Sakashita (drums) surely comes from the same strain as Bo Ningen, Cybele no Nichiyobi and Kikagaku Moyo. Act like you know! 

        Al Lover

        Zodiak Versions

          San Francisco-based producer Al Lover has spent the last several years evolving a unique approach to psychedelic music by way of exploring the common threads within it’s various genres. His newest effort, ‘Zodiak Versions,’ sees Al exploring what he views as two musical styles that have defined modern underground music culture, Jamaican Dub Reggae and the German experimental “Krautrock” from the 1970’s. Sketching out repetitive dub baselines and leads using only the keyboard of his laptop as a musical device, Al formulated the basic structures of the what would become these versions. Reminded of what artists like Kraftwerk and Neu! attempted to portray with the driving motion with their motorik beats and expansive washes of analog synthesis, Lover felt compelled to write music directly within the environment that had once inspired the original ‘Krautrock’ sound.

          Once back in the states Al teamed up with good friends Burnt Ones in LA to add some touches of guitar and synth drone to the sketched out songs. At this time he was further introduced to the some of the lesser known efforts of Kraut pioneers that would later influence the rise of Ambient music. Returning home completely inspired, he added even more layers of analog Moog synthesizer, tribal percussion, and vintage rhythm box drum sounds before sequencing and mixing all the elements through a vintage Roland RE-201 Space Echo. The end result is is what you have here in Zodiak Versions. With his last few projects, Al Lover has been bouncing back and forth between a more sample based remix approach and actual synthesized music composition.

          You can hear elements of his earlier works - Distorted Reverberations (of Reverberating Distortion), Vodun Moon, Goat Remixes, Sacred Drugs, Cave Ritual (& Redux) - in Zodiak Versions, but the music is heading in a more textured, droned out direction. An experiment in maximized minimalism. Subtlety and nuance hidden within an intense wall of sound, as if the psychedelic aspects of everything that influenced the record have been extracted and reconfigured to produce the sonic dub version of a bad trip. 


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