EM1009 – Elektrofoni

EM 1009 Elektrofoni - front


New electroacustic music from Sweden. Music by Dieter Quist, Christine Ödlund, Jamie Fawcus, Torsten Rutstam, Stefan Östlund, Iwo Myrin, Hans Fredrikson, Bert Rundqvist and Thomas Björkdal.


TITLE Elektrofoni
YEAR 2005
TYPE Digipak with folder
PRICE 12 Euro




1. eof by Dieter Quist, 6:00 min

2. Sissy Spacek by Christine Ödlund, 5:22 min

3. Adaino by James Fawcus, 5:04 min

4. 1,762 by Torsten Rutstam, 7:05 min

5. Katedral by Stefan Östlund, 5:53 min

6. Iwo Myrin, 4:37 min

7. Hans Fredrikson, 7:58 min

8. Bert Rundqvist, 7:17 min

9. Thomas Björkdal, 6:50 min




Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys, Finland

This album is precisely what its sub-title claims: ”New electroacoustic music from Sweden”. In other words, it follows the path set by previous Electron compilations, that of showcasing new talent from within the scene. Immediately at the first artist, Dieter Quist, it becomes obvious that what may be new for electroacoustic music may be old by industrial standards – after its promising start, ”eof” turns out to be nothing but uninteresting cut-up noise that sounds very clinical and very computer-like. In opposition to this stands Christine Ödlund’s ”Sissy Spacek”, in which the actress’ voice has been processed into something between laptop noise and drone ambient. The result is is a stylish track that is still quite boring at the core. The cause of this is not the song structure (which is very enticing), but simply the limited total scope of the sound-scale used.

Jamie Fawcus’ ”Adaino” has a wider range, but in its case the work’s impact is surprisingly lessened by the tone quality of the EMS studio – something that has been a clear strength in all previous Elektron releases. This basically nice cover track that uses a dispersed structure would in my opinion sound much stronger if it were given a more organic tone instead of the studio polish it has here. The fourth track of the album is ”1,762”, a vinyl manipulation work by Torsten Rutstam. It, in turn, would benefit from track compression and a rougher sound quality than the one on Elektrofoni. As it is now, the hi-fi production quality of the lo-fi music is at cross purposes with itself, which in turn leads to the main points of the work being lost. After these half-finished sounding songs, Stefan Östlund’s ”Katedral” hits like a hammer. It is somewhat like a hybrid of ambient artists like Raison D’etre and the classic works of sacral-style electroacoustics. Despite its clarity, the tone is quite rough and has the feel of both space and innovation. In addition to this, the structure made out of weaving minimalistic melodies together works marvelously.

Iwo Myrin, familiar to some from among the ranks of En Halvkokt i Folie, creates variations from one sole source, a Roland TR606 drum machine. He synthesizes the sounds and manipulates the magnetic tape which they are on so that something completely different-sounding is produced. This track – which along with Östlund’s piece is among the album’s finest – combines effectively the styles of experimental music from musique concrète to clinical sound processing and straight machine rhythms. The strong stream is further continued by Hans Fredrikson’s extremely stylish ambient work that imitates with studio equipment the way in which urban noises transform into a soundscape. Compared to these, Bert Rundqvist’s essentially clever re-modulation of a visual installation into sound patterns and the use of those patterns to transmogrify other sounds seems quite boring. It is easy to notice the piece’s creative merits, and to respect those, but the track itself does not move a listener in any way. The album ends with Thomas Björkdal’s strange song that originates from field recordings made in Tanzania, slightly manipulated and processed into new patterns. It remains just a series of combined fragments that could originate anywhere, though.

Elektrofoni left me feeling half-hearted. The great majority of its songs are in essence very fine, but in reality quite dysfunctional. In the interest of more strength, it would perhaps have been wise to look for techniques used in musical styles other than just electroacoustics. The exceptions to this were the songs by Östlund, Fredriksson and Myrin, all of which would be recommendable examples to experimental artists coming from industrial circles. The whole album is very much like previous Elektron compilations, presenting both well-thought and simply trickery-like compositions. Its primary audience thus will probably come from within electroacoustic circles, as only its few highlights will find resonance in friends of other kinds of experimental music.

Jiituomas, Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys