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HOGA NORD

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. 

    Tross

    The Overview Effect

      “Music of the stars” and “music to get lost to” are words thoughts expressed about Tross’ music. The band have always had the ability to place the listener in a bubble of introspection and escapism…in the most positive way! Hence such opinions. the band members themselves rate the joys of discovery and not looking back, two of the leading factors in creating their sound - no hesitation, no regression – and this comes clear on their second full length album The Overview Effect, released on Höga Nord Rekords. Captured on this album is the feeling of true presence created when musicians play together and not for themselves to prove their skills for each other and the listener. No show off – just boogie! Thanks to this holistic take on creating music, the sound is kept airy and the few overdubs made are carefully executed. The band focuses more than before on rhythm. On The Overview Effect, Tross have fallen deeper into Disco and Jungle Funk, approaching the nerve of their live appearances clearer than on their previous records, creating dance music for spaced out kids. So. Cancel all your meetings, stretch flat out, put on the first track, Synthesis, and feel the warmth of the earth’s core brake through the soil and embrace you like a soft blanket in a harsh reality. 

      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. 

      Höga Nord Rekord drop the sixth release of their UK 12” series. Jo Howard from Sunderland is a producer and DJ going by the Bird of Paradise moniker who came to prominence via his output on labels such as Jennifer Cardin´s Correspondant imprint and New York's Throne of Blood. "Smoking Weekend" opens with two haunted house thrillers, "Tito" and "Joy Rides". Both containing a spooky and juddering thud, the tense nature of both tracks is emphasized as much as possible in favour of more mellifluous elements. The B-side chugs on in much the same nature, with the title track and finisher, "Breather Resist" sending funky fresh flirtations to Andrew Weatherall's and Timothy Fairplay as they creep around the very fringes of the more freakishly inclined dancefloors. Ace!

      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!




      Max Von Sydow

      Insecto / Cardboard Pope

      Max Von Sydow AKA Jocke Åhlund (Teddybears STHLM, Les Big Byrd, Caesars.) drops some new material via 7” on Höga Nord Rekords. The music of Max Von Sydow is unruly and yet thoughtful in its approach, incorporating a wide range of musical traditions: psychedelic music from seven continents shares sound and arrangement in the two tracks "Cardbore Pope" and "Insecto". The instrumentation on the A-side is unclear in the most positive sense. The melodies soar higher and higher over acid drenched guitars and drums and takes new shapes as the instrument playing them varies, creating a sky for the listener to soar through. The thin and aggressive "Insecto" sounds as jerky and unpredictable as the title implies.

      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.

      Music must be free. Freedom in music is often suppressed by lack of, or by obstacles for creativity, which stops forward progression. The development that Fontän’s songs have gone through, reaching this EP is unexpected and surprising but still, the bodies and characters of the original songs are intact and recrafted with fingerspitzengefühle. From the core of Fontän’s psychedelic and dreamy music, the artists involved on this release have hit cuts and chips off like Cro-Magnon people creating specific tools. Tools with the power to blow holes open in the listeners mind.

      Fontän’s music has fascinated and captured a choosy audience for over a decade now, and many are those who have, or have wanted to remix their material. This time, in the shape of an ambitious 12” EP, various artists’ love for the band’s music shines brightly: The Covenanza Remixes is released on Höga Nord Rekords and is strictly limited to 300 physical copies. The record comes out by reason of Fontän’s gig on Andrew Weatherall’s prestigious festival “Covenanza” in September this year (2017). Fontän have had the honour to be remixed by some of the most interesting names in electronic music: Red Axes, Timothy J. Fairplay, Khidja, Mythologen and Pardon Moi give their take on tracks from the duo’s latest release Fontän (Höga Nord Rekords, 2017).

      The music moves in the landscapes of Leftfield, Techno, House and New Wave. The evolution of Fontän continues from the cold and barren landscapes of the Swedish west coast, through some of the deepest cave like studios in Europe, out on to the continental club scene.

      Pardon Moi

      Power To The People / Touch 2 Much

      Berlin based Pardon Moi, consisting of James Brook and Thomas Freudenthal, make music that would perfectly soundtrack a ride in a Ferrari GTO convertible, or on a transatlantic flight on Concorde. The music creates an air of luxury and decadence for you to fill your lungs with, prior to sniffing a massive line of 80's nose drugs. First on Hoga Nord after releasing material on Nein Records and Vocoder Electro. Pardon Moi’s sound is warm, creative, uplifting and retro thanks to the use of analogue synthesisers. The musical direction is toward the future , to a utopia built on a world where the 90s never happened. This is retro futuristic dance music at its finest.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Pardon Moi infiltrate Hoga Nord with a pair of chromed up robo-chuggers, liberally spaffing neon tinged sine-spray all over the show. Vocoder disco at its most stomping. Il Bosco's gotta be on it!?

      Ultra Satan

      USA/USB

        Ultra Satan displays with the two tracks "USA" and "USB", an almost unprecedented unrestrained creative force, stemmed from the ambition to destroy and rebuild. Rebuild something free and unexplored. Ultra Satan works with the concept of “More is More” and with that principal they capture the Zeitgeist of over consumption, global warming and skew resource allocation. The music presents one part of the whole ambition of this group, and is the strongest sounding source right now. But the more long going plans of this collective, band or whatever you want to call it, is by secret networks to connect all the freaks who also sense that the end of the world as we know it will come to an end sooner than later. Ultra Satan is ahead musically, philosophically, politically and spiritually. Join the gathering!

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: I keep on telling you - you just gotta check these Hoga Nord 7"s! Often operating at the funkier end of the psych spectrum, these pocket rockets pack a mighty power to weight ratio, and Ultra Satan's offering is no exception. The A-side is a full frequency assault of searing psych, while the flip slows the pace and ups the groove for an almost Balearic vibe.

        Timothy J. Fairplay returns Höga Nord Rekords in 12" format this time round. "Mindfighter" is described as 'photosensitive electronic music from one of the pillars of the modern meaningful dance music scene'. Personally, I'd plummet for 'lightspeed cosmic-acid ravager with added rave boosts"! This is really summat folks. Combining a dizzying array of swirling 303s, frenetic lo-fi beats and a massive rave stab harks back to '92 this is a lovely concoction of styles and executed with all the grace we associate with Mr. Fairplay. "Nightmare City" respectfully tips its hat to John Carpenter or Fabio Frizzi as minor key melodies immerge from the horror-movie sequences laid before it. "Lost In The Mirrow Maze" further cements the dystopian nature of the EP with more splurging synths meeting dusted drum boxes and plenty of minor key chord progressions. Finally, "Jennifer Has Some Strange Ideas" closes proceedings with old school jack rhythms and incessant electronic bass. The title of this EP comes from a cult computer game from the eighties. The game is about a boy with supernatural psychic abilities who wakes up in a post nuclear war Southampton, in an England run by right wing extremists. A theme not impossible to put in present time!

        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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