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HOGA NORD

Dark Strands

Unknown Truths

    Unknown Truths is the debut album from Tony Beardsley (aka Dark Strands). What can be said about this album…for one, it is a body of work that has been crafted as a labour of love with sources of inspiration taken from the late 80’s underground warehouse parties and clubs where no one speed or style of music was played…curve balls as they say, was a good thing. Ambitious maybe…but the only aim of the album was to actually not to have one. No one genre or concept can be applied, but this is not by design, purely accidental as the music weaves between various electronic strands and rhythm forms. It’s fair to say that his music has not been compromised to follow latest trends or fashion. It is for everyone, but no one. Its only true purpose is to liberate senses and provide a lasting sonic soundtrack to the modern age.

    Osynlige Mann

    Airports / Exodus

      Well renowned bass player extraordinaire, Osynlige Mann (URAN GBG, The Exorcist) from Gothenburg releases long awaited new solo material On Höga Nord Rekords. This 7” contains high voltage material; “Airports” and “Exodus” brings tense seventies synth and early eighties electro to the table. The A-side “Airports” is a Kraftwerk inspired elegy over the lumpenproletariat of the machines – aeroplanes. ”No sleep for the big machines, no rest for the sad machines”. The B-side, “Exodus” carries more obvious characteristics from Osynlige Manns other projects and sounds like a more electronic version of URAN GBG! Man and machine can live in peace. But a machine never forgets… 

      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!

      Hoga Nord return with their unique take on ritualistic-pagan-electronix, enlisting Mythologen aka Alexander Palmestål for a new EP entitled "Church Music".

      Although sounding decidedly 'Tod-ish' to our ears (hailing from the Calderdale Valley in West Yorkshire), the EP is infact a love declaration to London's various nightlife spots, with song titles referencing said area or venue.

      Like I said though - the sound is a million miles away from the cold, futuristic & vacuum packed sounds of grime, dubstep or jungle. This is more free party in nature, wearing patchouli instead of D&G and dressed in dreads, rags n mucky boots rather than sharp tracksuits and Nike trainers. Breakbeats and acid sounds rub up against eastern or exotic melodies, with a distinctly loose and baggy feel throughout. When it bangs, like it does on "Canavan's Peckham Pool Club" it does it in an unabashed and smiley fashion harking back to the golden days of Snake's Pass and the Smarties Factory. RIYL: Suns Of Arqa. 


      Golden Bug

      Viaje A Tenderlion / Hitodoma

      Antoine Harispurus was raised by a robot called V.I.C.T.O.R. The robot took care of little Antoine and early on he gave him music lessons and also the right equipment, for example a Roland 808. Robotic, mechanical precision became significant for Antoines music and soon he left the safety of his mothers toy store for the huge European club scene under his new pseudonym ”Golden Bug”.

      The A-side, ”Viaje A Tenderloin” sounds like the inside of an East German military liaison in 1975 where the tabulating machines haven’t had service since the raise of the Berlin wall. On the B-side ”Hitodoma”, guest vocalist Jessica Ho is plays with her voice in a bubbly way above Golden Bugs characteristic metallic, world music influenced sounds and beats. The music would fit perfectly in a vast alien mountain landscape. In conclusion, the music on this 7” is the sound of human and robot in close symbiosis - Golden Bug is music by robot and human for robot and human. 

      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!

      Ultra Satan

      Freedom Rock / Anti-Clock

      On Ultra Satans second 7” release on Höga Nord Rekords, the band is developing a new genre and concept: ”Freedom Rock”, which is also the title on one of the tracks. ”Freedom Rock” is a step beyond ”World Music” which would be the wrong label when Ultra Satan sounds too spaced out and out of this world. On the second track ”Anti Clock”, Ultra Satan hit strikes against the hysterical Swedish mortgage market, how safety destroys creativity and also against the worthless tokens of appreciation you receive from our corrupt and ultra capitalistic society. Ultra Satan is like a space being, living alone in an enormously big and empty space station, orbiting our planet. With mathematical precision this genius creates music that effects us earthlings on a transcendental plane and shakes the foundation we lead or lives upon. 

      Druk 11000

      Zamboling / Sibsoo Bazaar

      This 7” is a collaboration between Silverbullit, Fontän and the Bhutanese group AA Yang - Ensemble. The project took shape during a mythical trip to Bhutan where the Swedish composer and multi instrumentalist Johan 'The Count' Westman who’s living in the country, hooked the altitude sick Scandinavian musicians up with AA Yang - Ensemble. The local monks then blessed the musicians under mystical ceremonial procedures. With protection from the dragon of thunder, Druk 11000 has produced some of the most powerful, loving and life embracing music yet to have been released on Höga Nord Rekords! The songs springs toward the top of Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutans highest mountain, building a mighty storm, noticeable all the way to the Scandinavian woodlands!

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Hoga Nord continue in earnest, on one of their most lysergic trips to date. Druk 11000 sound like the most sherm-riddled band off a lost Light Sounds Dark comp - but is actually a modern day amalgamation of Himalayan and Swedish talent - the result is a technicoloured, magic carpet ride into mountain voodoo rock - and is very good indeed!

      Rickard Jäverling

      Album 3

        Rickard Jäverling, born and raised in Borlänge, Sweden, and now living and working in Stockholm is a wayward and productive musician. Besides releasing material under his own name, Jäverling is/has been part of constellations such as Dödens Dal, Liljor and Jäverling <> von Euler. Album 3, released on Höga Nord Rekords is his third solo album. Album 3 breathes psychedelia, dub, Swedish folk, “progg” and continental vintage electronic music. The songs on this album are in a way like a compilation of short stories rather than chapters in a novel. The common factor in this album is Jäverlings’ exquisitely worked out melodies and the warm, round production but the songs can, due to the rich storytelling qualities of each one of them, almost be regarded as small albums of their own! The music made by Richard Jäverling is an embrace, a relative with a house by the Swedish west coast or a day off, midweek in April. This album is inviting and calming but also as solid and mighty as a Dalecarlian beech tree. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Shout outs to Laura for pushing the latest Hoga Nord release under my snoozing snout! Rather than the synth-psych or freak funk we’re used to from the excellent imprint, this LP from Rickard Javerling is an altogether folkier affair - all earth songs, sunset vibrations and Knopfleric flourish. In other words, well Balearic!

        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. 

        Västlänken

        Moebel / Autobaba

        Founding member of Uran GBG with a past in Swedish cult bands such as Lava, and appearing on stage and in studio with some of Gothenburg’s more prominent acts, Jerker Jarold is one of the cornerstones in the city’s psychedelic scene. By the name of Västlänken, Jarold is now making his first release as a solo artist on Höga Nord Rekords. The music on tracks "Autobaba" and "Moebel" is a mixture of dub, ambient, kraut and techno where a few but tasteful components builds the sound. Västlänken's transcendent qualities lies in Jarolds ability to limit himself in matter of recording techniques and instrumentation; one synthesiser , one delay pedal and one mobile studio is all he needs to make these delicate but highly tuned musical utterances. 

        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.

        Fontän

        Fontän

          There are many ways for a band or an artist to compile an album: some make it in a week and some let the process go on longer. The latter approach does often mean that that the record will not be better than had it been recorded and mixed within a short amount of time, rather the contrary. However, there are those albums that just could not be made within in a week or a month, those compilation of songs that needed the time to melt together to form an album. Fontäns third album titled “Fontän”, released on Höga Nord Rekords is that kind of an album. Put the opening track “Mangsebung” on, then stay with the record until the closer “Shadows” rings out and you will go clear, sharp, and mildly messed up by the listening experience because this is an extremely well directed trip in mind-altering music!

          This album needed time to reach such heights. The width of range in influences has become somewhat of a trademark for Fontän. Magma, Pink Floyd, Bhutanese and Nordic folk music, Manuel Göttsching and Ashra, Robert Fripp and King Crimson, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Talking Heads, DJ Shadow, Brian Eno, Boards of Canada, are some of the music that has made a mark on the psychedelic duo. One of the main differences though between Fontän and other bands with a similar setup of names to drop is that many cannot transform those musical traditions into timeless and boundless songs like those in Fontäns catalogue. With Johan Melin’s and Jesper Jarold’s love for music and non-sentimental creative approach, this album proves that the band never gets hung up on trying to sound like the past masters, but to develop what they once started. 2017 will be the year when Fontän once again challenges the framework for genre bending music. “Fontän” captures the inspired and unafraid feeling from their releases in 2016 but is managed and even more refined on this album. This is Fontäns evolution.

          Al Lover Meets Cairo Liberation Front

          Nymphaea Caerulea EP

            San Francisco based DJ Al Lover’s list of collaborations contain names like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Goat and White Fence, and he has remixed bands like The Night Beats and Thee Oh Sees. Except from producing mind-altering music, Al Lover is also the official DJ of Levitation and tours Europe extensively. Al Lover’s double album release “Zodiak versions” on Höga Nord Rekords (2015) opened up for a beautiful cooperation between the label and the artist and now the two parts are taking it to the next level with the release of The Nymphaea Caerulea EP. On this picture disc EP, a third player flavors the music and that is Cairo Liberation Front (CLF). Residing in Amsterdam this collective represents the future of European club music lends equally from House, punk and psychedelia, filtered through generations of hedonistic groove. The six tracks on this picture disc EP holds the essence of what psychedelic dance music is about – escapism. Where to escape? Well, due their sound, CLF could just as well be from where their name implies because this record oozes more of northern Africa than of northern Europe. It puts the listener outside of time somewhere on the banks of the Nile, just before dawn. The combination of Al Lover’s use of samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and analog synthesizers, clashes beautifully with the fierce energy of the CLF’s sound of cracked software, American hip-hop, Euro house and Arabic rhythms. 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Limited Picture Disc

            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! 

              SPR!

              Mental Health

                Albert Sjöstam and Christoffer Fransson are behind the seven tracks that will force you to some ass and mental bending. Höga Nord gladly supports that type of activities and delivers 300 copies of pure white vinyl. Opening track Cha cha cha goes in like russians on a tour de france frenzy. The album continues with Second hand smoke - pure hypnotic chaotic anarchoi kraut. Beautiful and toned down Turn your illness into a weapon will mellow your mind to (un)comfortable numbness. Closing track Dope Rider aims deep down for the underground. Proper music to go mental to while studying health with your brain is one way to sum it up. Good music another one. Regardless: Stay safe. Hate will eat you whole even tough you might fail when you must sail. Stay Höga! 

                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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