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Added by Valerie on 26 Jan 2009 05:13
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Favourite Label [1] - Häpna

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Häpna H.1, CD
8 tracks, 71 minutes
Release date: November 1999

This is a CD of field recordings by the Japanese artist Toshiya Tsunoda. Microphones were placed inside small objects (e.g. bottles and drain hoses) located outdoors - either in an urban or rural sound environment.

The work of Toshiya Tsunoda is concerned with the relation between sound space and cognition space, and often investigates stationary waves formed by fixed conditions in closed systems.

He has previously released CDs on the WrK (Japan) and Selektion (Germany) labels. He also works with sound installations.

Tracks: 1. Bottle at mountain road, 2. Bottle at park, 3. Tub-type container, 4. Drain hoses, 5. Connecting duct, 6. Downpipe for rainwater, 7. Crack in the lid of a manhole, 8. Cavity in a cliff wall
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Djungelmusik Med Sang - Rüdiger Carl,Sven-Åke Johansson
Häpna H.2, CD
5 tracks, 44 minutes
Release date: November 2000

Recorded 1997 at the book and record store Andra Böcker och Skivor in Stockholm. This CD featuring two of the most innovative improvisors in Europe is the first released recording of the duo since 1985. Carl and Johansson’s music isn’t tied to any genre, but instead flows freely over both known and unknown territories, in its own unique way. Sound-wise, the CD has a special focus: every track on “Djungelmusik med sång” features at least one accordion, an element that holds the diverse material together.

Rüdiger Carl (November 2000), on the history of the duo:

“I first met Sven in 1966 or so in (West) Berlin, where I was living that time, and where he had just moved to. We started playing together in various combinations in clubs and at different events in town, and I remember doing our first duo-gig in a museum-art-show '68 there. That was also the times for hanging out together, party and having balls and fun, and enjoy the endless Berlin-nights.”

“In 1970 I left Berlin for Wuppertal, met the free-music-guys there, and got together with guitarist Hans Reichel (duo Buben). 1979 I joined a trio with Sven, Hans and Ludwig Petrowski, famous sax/clarinet-player from East Germany, and we built the meanwhile high historical Bergisch Brandenburgisches Quartett. After 3-4 years this forerunning ensemble came to an end, and Sven and me were thinking of how to continue after this high-fly time, including various tours (also a two-week US East Coast tour) and concerts. Then we did two very different decisions, after trying out some possibilities: we started to keep on our musical ideas as a duo, that seemed to be stronger than any other mixes that we had checked, and second we built the Swing Dance Band called Night and Day, playing some selected material of the forties as an acoustic band, for dancers in ballrooms, lovers in nightbars, and freaked-out artists on their parties. I played tenor that time and later also a bit of clarinet, Alexander von Schlippenbach did piano, Jay Oliver played the bass, and Sven was swinging on brushes and sticks. This went on for twelve years.”

“So you can say the duo started in 1984, and has been on the road in Europe since then. We did various recordings, live-broadcasts etc., but never released any of them. So indeed, the FMP-LP from 1985 is the last issued recording of the duo.”

Personnel: Rüdiger Carl: accordion, clarinet; Sven-Åke Johansson: accordion, drums and voice

Tracks: five untitled tracks
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The Guitar - David Stackenäs
Häpna H.3, CD
9 tracks, 43 minutes
Release date: November 2000

This is the first solo CD by Swedish guitarist David Stackenäs. The structure of the material builds on sketches, compositional ideas and improvisation. The refined form and development of the tracks makes an interesting contrast to the rawness and simplicity of the sound of the acoustic guitar.

Mats Gustafsson (October 2000), on “The guitar”:

in any possible direction
movements of his head phrasing explosions of energy
extensions of silence
wild attacks and sudden stops/starts
lines of angular beauty
backwards and forwards
attitude and dedication!”

“David Stackenäs’ way of playing the guitar makes me happy, happy as a tenor sax reed surviving a Peter Brötzmann attack! There is an honesty and dedication about David’s playing that I personally prostrate in front of. THIS IS THE SHIT!!! His attitude is rock, his technique is (already) unique and highly advanced - that really allows him to shorten the time of reaction in a group improvisation situation to an absolute minimum - and his wide open way of listening to others is worth checking out for anyone interested in creative music.”

“This CD, his first solo adventure, is for me a great symbol of what the Swedish improvised music-scene stands for. The new generation of players in Pippi Longstocking-country is having a great impact on the scene in Scandinavia right now and projects (quite a few including young Mr. Stackenäs) have already spread to the rest of Europe and North America.”

“I’ve been looking forward to this release since I heard David playing for the first time a couple of years ago. The only thing I’m really worried about is the reaction to the actual image on the cover! ‘John Blund’ means a lot (???) to generations of Swedes, but... What will people outside Sweden think? Who the f**k is that gnome, with his mouth full of overcooked spaghetti??? Anyway - as always, it should be stated: The music speaks for itself!”

Personnel: David Stackenäs: acoustic guitars

Tracks: 1. Plect-plucked, 2. Nüsnose, 3. Santa Coloma, 4. Once around, 5. Bauldi, 6. Salbastia, 7. The guitar, 8. Hallo guitar, 9. Zeromountain
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Sheriff - Sheriff
Häpna H.4, CD
7 tracks, 47 minutes
Release date: April 2001

Deconstructing the music we know as rock, just leaving the essentials - a chord, a phrase, a simple drum figure - and repeating it till something else appears...

Swedish duo Sheriff works with limited material and creates a world of their own. The intimate recordings create a restrained atmosphere where every beat on the guitar strings and strike on the drums is heard and vital to the whole. Their use of repetition suggests a link to minimalist composition, but is totally outside the academic world. Comparisons could be made to Palace Brothers, Gastr del Sol and others working in the field of low-key rock, but Sheriff has a strong integrity of their own.

These seven quiet and skeletal pieces, with the setting of just guitar, drums and sometimes piano and vocals, together provide an insight into these two uncompromising musician’s minds. Drummer Henrik Olsson is one third of Swedish improvising trio Gul 3 (debut album “Soul” on the Crazy Wisdom label) while Magnus Granberg has a background as a sax player. Both of them are living in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Personnel: Magnus Granberg: guitar, piano and vocals; Henrik Olsson: drums and cymbals

Tracks: 1. Untitled #1, 2. Lord have mercy, 3. God bless you everyone, 4. Untitled #2, 5. Untitled #3, 6. Thanks, 7. Untitled #4
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Orgelfärger - Sagor & Swing
Häpna H.5, CD
11 tracks, 38 minutes
Release date: April 2001

In the living room of a small house in Dalarna, the Swedish countryside, Sagor & Swing has recorded this timeless music evoking the surrounding landscape - the forests, mountains and lakes. Moody and simple melodies with echoes of old Swedish folk tunes and the nature in the paintings of John Bauer.

Some years ago, Eric Malmberg was given an organ from legendary Swedish organplayer Bo Hansson, one half of the 70’s drums/organ duo Hansson & Karlsson. This organ was the very one used on Hansson’s epic record Lord of the Rings, an influential record which combined jazz and rock together with minor key melodies of Swedish folk music. Sagor & Swing makes a more minimal journey. The melodies unfold at a calm pace and the whole album has a mesmerizing feeling to it.

This is music which could only have been made in Sweden. While the music of Björn Olsson, another Swede influenced by folk music, is connected to the archipelago of the Swedish west coast, Sagor & Swing has its spiritual home in the old forests deep in the middle of the country.

Eric is also an accomplished comic strip writer. His serial “Hansson & Karlsson i världsrymden” (“Hansson & Karlsson in outer space”) ran in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter at the end of 2000.

Personnel: Eric Malmberg: Hammond organ, moog; Ulf Möller: drums

Tracks: 1. Vals på vingar, 2. Melodi, 3. Andra melodin, 4. Sagoslottet, 5. En vandring i bergen, 6. Ljud långt bortifrån, 7. Ett, två, tre, fyr, 8. Mjuk skog, 9. Allt kommer att ordna sig, 10. Bordunens vandring, 11. Ljud långt långt bortifrån
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Three Henries - Pillow
Häpna H.6, CD
8 tracks, 43 minutes
Release date: July 2001

Häpna is proud to announce the release of Three Henries, the new record by Chicago quartet Pillow. Raw, quiet and minimal music with attention to details and emphasis on the group as a collective. Their way of playing and creating structures carries elements of Morton Feldman, AMM and the flowing electronics of Microstoria.

Michael Colligan - dry ice, reeds and tubes
Has worked with The Flying Luttenbachers, The Chicago Improvisors Group, Math, and a number of others including Kevin Drumm and Phil Niblock.

Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello and nyckelharpa
Perform and records with, among others, The Peter Brötzmann Chicago 10tet, The Boxhead Ensemble, Terminal 4, Freakwater, Ken Vandermark and Jim O'Rourke.

Liz Payne - bass
Plays with the chamber minimalist group Town and Country. They have released two records on the Thrill Jockey label and are currently working on their new record. She is also a member of Charles Kim's Sinister Luck Ensemble.

Ben Vida - guitar
Also of Town and Country. He is also a member of Central Falls. His first solo record “mpls” was released on Boxmedia last year.

Tracks: 8 untitled tracks
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Morphei - Ronnie Sundin
Häpna H.7, CD
1 track, 30 minutes
Release date: April 2002

Morphei is a soundtrack to a dream. A nighty-night record designed to make you WAKE UP and listen! Inspired by that in between state of wake and dreaming, when you’re not quite sure whether you’re asleep or not, this record presents a stream of realities seamlessly floating into each other, layers of events of acoustic and digital nature mingle; hear the Light-switch singing a duet with the Feedback-mixer, traces of Scandinavian wildlife intertwine with a tropical forest of digital insects, or hear the timestretched Teaspoon having a conversation with the Snow-balls of Thonk... you get the picture.

Ronnie Sundin (b.1973) is trained in visual art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå, Sweden and mostly works with sound or soundrelated matters in a borderland between the art-scene and the music-scene. In 2001 he participated in the critically acclaimed invalidObject-Series that was released by the cross-media publishers Fällt based in Northen Ireland and he also released a CD on the Californian Ground Fault Recordings.
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Melodier Och Faglar - Sagor & Swing
Häpna H.8, CD
10 tracks, 37 minutes
Release date: May 2002

Sagor & Swing is Eric Malmberg on Hammond organ and Ulf Möller on drums. This is the follow up to their debut album “Orgelfärger”, considered one of the most interesting records of last year by many Swedish critics.

“Melodier och fåglar” (“Melodies and birds”) is minimal and timeless, naive and simple. Eric calls his melodies “Nothing music”. Something to listen to when you almost want it to be quiet. When you are so affected by the noise from the media that you no longer bear with real silence. Then you may listen to “Melodier och fåglar”. By the time the record has ended, you may stay in the sofa and finally enjoy the quietness and stillness.

Personnel: Eric Malmberg: Hammond organ; Ulf Möller: drums

Tracks: 1. Apollons aftonsång, 2. In i skogen, 3. Klonkmelodin, 4. Flickan och jätten, 5. Valsen fortsätter vidare, 6. En dag i Ruperts rike, 7. Aningar, 8. Fantasilandet raseras, 9. Vagga min själ, 10. Efterklanger
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Opera - Tape
Häpna H.9, CD
10 tracks, 48 minutes
Release date: November 2002

Beetles rattled and whispered encrypted truths while hovering over the garden paths of the doctor’s mansion. Specimen found on the journey that don’t fit the theory haunts you, but be calm, we will quietly discuss them later. Impressions found in corallic limestone; you have rocks large as fists with you in the luggage, fine we will examine them tonight in the umbrageous light on the porch. You have rowan-tree here, he said. Old thyme, medicinal herbs, minfoil, a scrubby bush of some kind. Yes... was there anything curious about that? Was it criticism that the old friend uttered? Certainly, he was more incalculable than ever; I also read in the local paper about his infamous outbursts after he came home from his journey, but I must not think about it too much.

The temperature dropped. Night spiders and dragonflies flew in from the pond, in over the gates and through the iron fence. Spirals of cobweb was caught in the woodwork as we sat on the porch after our walk in the garden. Anomalies, tiny crooked bone pipes, notes cut out of malajic travel journals and pieces of wood, that to me at least seemed insignificant and not quite relevant to the subject; all this was presented on the table cloth under flickering kerosene light that somtimes widened our world and invited plants and moths to our conversations, sometimes shrunk it to a world of shadows with room just for the two of us. It was a strange collection of objects. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a feeling that everything was possible; the evolution had proceeded in radically different directions on various places on Earth; the world was open, it could bring forth every living being and object imaginable. From afar, the noise of thunder could be heard, and shivering I was reminded of that in noise every sound is present even if one can’t hear them, as every conceivable form thrive in chaos during a inhumanly absurd time scale. (from the Xesmarism, in Swedish)

Personnel: Andreas Berthling / Johan Berthling / Tomas Hallonsten
guitars, laptop, pedals, synthesizers, harmonium, melodica, field recordings, percussion, harmonica, zither, piano, flute, bells, glockenspiel, accordion, trumpet, paper, styrofoam, yongmei

Tracks: 1. Bell Mountain, 2. Fire made of bones, 3. Feeler, 4. Summa, 5. Radiolaria, 6. Longitude, 7. Noises from a hill, 8. Return to ship, 9. Terraces, 10. Rut
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My Days Are Darker Than Your Nights - Oren Ambarchi,Johan Berthling
Häpna H.10, CD
1 tracks, 31 minutes
Release date: April 2003

An eternity was coming to an end. The room grew steadier each time I closed and opened my eyes. Still muddled, my thoughts drifted without taking form, reality was not yet here. I had dreamt a lot. My dreams had not been vague but sharp, frightfully realistic; I didn’t remember this but rather felt it in my body. The detailed scenes of the dreams escaped my blunt analyzing powers as I slowly returned to consciousness, only to be replaced by undefined anxiety and a feeling of the loss of something that has been important in my life.

The presence of anxiety... Wasn’t it true that I, my whole life, had tried to arrange my everyday life so that this anxiety wouldn’t be there? Quit jobs, avoided responsibilities. Like birds that use their own bodies as templates when building their nest, so had I too formed my life: to avoid anxiety was my template, my guiding light in my life.

The hours passed slowly. I looked out the window, the wind played with the leaves. Remembrance of actual experiences was still rare, like driftwood in a river of time and evasive possible connections. The feeling of loneliness and unrest about the electromagnetic fields in the surroundings was worrying. There has to be a high-voltage generator in the vicinity or high-tension wires over the house. I didn’t remember the circumstances under which I was brought here, neither what the surroundings looked like, but I would examine these things later when my wounds have healed. If the fields influenced my views of life in the same way they made my nerves ring, I would not recognize myself when leaving this place. I couldn’t understand how I ended up sacrificing my independence and became drawn into this. (from the Xesmarism)
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Att möta verkligheten - Hans Appelqvist
Häpna H.11, 3"CD
3 tracks, 21 minutes
Release date: June 2003

“Att möta verkligheten” consists of three tracks based on stories from ordinary people. The record has a strange atmosphere: the interplay between text and music makes a listening that is both sad and joyous, playful and serious, personal and general.

The voices and the songs are in Swedish, English, Chinese and German. The persons speak openly and sing well-known or less well-known poems and songs. Together with the instruments - foremost piano, mandolin and flute - these encounters become much more than interviews and plain everyday stories.

“Att möta verkligheten” is to be considered in its own, not as a part of another project. This record differs in some ways from his debut “Tonefilm” (Komplott) and points out a new direction in his music.

Tracks: 1. Zenna & Marie, 2. Xiang, 3. Ruth
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Allt Hanger Samman - Sagor & Swing
Häpna H.12, CD
11 tracks, 43 minutes
Release date: October 2003

The myth of Sagor & Swing tells that they are children of nature that grew up in the forest. That they at an early age built their first instruments and isolated from the noise of civilization invented a music of their own. What we know for sure, however, is that they make wonderful organ music and have been doing this for some time now. This is their third album, “Allt hänger samman”.

The woods have thickened. The melodies have become more intricate and the idyllic scenes now have a darker tone. One slips away on excursions in the faintest sounds through passages where the organ is a tone generator built to recreate the sounds of the forest - the wind, the singing of birds, the creaking of roots.

As soon as the majestic introduction “Återkomsten” begins, one senses that something is going on. In “Lövverk” echoes are heard of Kraftwerk and their endless ostinati and the final “Alla sagor har ett slut” is a magnificent, minimalistic bookending. The moods that are summoned in between the songs keeps one helplessly in the world of Sagor & Swing.

Their previous two albums “Orgelfärger” and “Melodier och fåglar” are both small gems deserving wider recognition.

Personnel: Eric Malmberg: Hammond organ; Ulf Möller: drums

Tracks: 1. Återkomsten, 2. Lövverk, 3. Vid en tjärn, 4. Grottmusik, 5. Polska från Insjön, 6. Längre in i skogen, 7. Längst inne i skogen, 8. Det sista äventyret, 9. Vandring bort, 10. Flyttfåglar, 11. Alla sagor har ett slut
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Arborvitae - David Grubbs,Loren Conners
Häpna H.13, CD
5 tracks, 34 minutes
Release date: October 2003

The most surprising part is that it hadn’t happened before.

Loren Connors and David Grubbs first performed as a duo on May 30, 2003 at the Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel in Brooklyn, N.Y. Green-Wood Cemetery is one of Brooklyn’s landmarks - it’s the highest natural point in the borough, and an unexpected expanse of tranquility in the midst of the city. The stone interior of the chapel makes the quietest of sounds audible, and Loren and David played a remarkably quiet yet extraordinarily varied hour of improvised music. Energized, they repaired to the studio to record “Arborvitae”.

It certainly could have happened earlier. David first heard Loren’s “In Pittsburgh” LP (St. Joan) in 1990, and felt it a revelation. Loren’s example of creating silences, of singing - with the guitar - in silences, was crucial to David’s shift from the rock trio Bastro to the often percussionless Gastr del Sol. David and Jim O’Rourke reissued “In Pittsburgh” several years later on their Dexter’s Cigar label, and Loren and Gastr del Sol performed a number of shows on the same bill, including the 1996 Table of the Elements Yttritum festival in Chicago. Jim produced the self-titled “Hoffman Estates” album (Drag City), which featured a core duo of Loren and Alan Licht surrounded by the cream of Chicago’s improvisers. But never the twain did meet and play in duo until this year.

“Arborvitae” opens and closes with the pairing of David on piano and Loren on an electric guitar played so quietly that at times his pedal-stomping is wondrously distinct. “Blossom Time” and the title track positively float, with Loren alternating between soaring single-note lines and playing the rough, barnacled anchor to David’s relentless tide. David’s approach to the piano recalls his playing on Palace’s “Arise Therefore” (Drag City) and his own “Banana Cabbage, Potato Lettuce, Onion Orange” (Table of the Elements). Loren hypnotizes throughout. This is one of the rare instances in his career that he’s recorded in a commercial studio, and his playing time and again rewards such a detailed representation. “The Ghost of Exquisite” and “Hemlock Path” are two slow-motion lockings of guitar horns. “The Highest Point in Brooklyn” isn’t the place to be in an electrical storm - but it rolled in all of a sudden and there we were, uncovered and open to the elements...

“Arborvitae” proudly features cover artwork by the mercurial, demanding Cologne artist Michael Krebber.


Loren began releasing his first LPs in 1978 on his own Daggett imprint. He has appeared on more than fifty albums under the names Loren MazzaCane, Loren MazzaCane Connors, Loren Mattei, and Guitar Roberts, many of these with the vocalist and songwriter Suzanne Langille. He has performed with a virtual who’s who of contemporary guitarists - John Fahey (who praises Loren in his forthcoming book “Vampire Vultures”), Thurston Moore, Henry Kaiser, Jim O’Rourke, Rafael Toral, Alan Licht, Dean Roberts, and numerous others. In 1999 Glass Eye Books published “Autumn’s Sun”, Connors’s first trade publication.

David Grubbs has been releasing records since 1982, but he’s not as old as you’d think. He was a member of the groups Squirrel Bait, Bastro, and Gastr del Sol, and has appeared in that famous non-membership organization The Red Krayola. He ran the Dexter’s Cigar label with Jim O’Rourke, and now directs Blue Chopsticks, which has released recordings by Luc Ferrari, Derek Bailey and Noël Akchoté, Workshop, Mats Gustafsson, and others. David’s 2000 album “The Spectrum Between” was named ‘Album of the Year’ in the London Sunday Times. His upcoming releases include a FatCat Split Series 12’’ with Avey Tare and an edition for the EN/OF label.

Personnel: Loren Connors: electric guitar; David Grubbs: piano, electric guitar

Tracks: 1. Blossom Time, 2. Arborvitae, 3. The Ghost of Exquisite, 4. Hemlock Path, 5. The Highest Point in Brooklyn
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Milieu - Tape
Häpna H.14, CD
8 tracks, 33 minutes
Release date: December 2003

Tape is a trio from Stockholm, Sweden, building their music from a whole array of acoustic instruments, computer and field recordings. Their first CD “Opera” got excellent reviews in international press and was compared to artists such as Talk Talk, Gastr del Sol, Fennesz, John Fahey and Faust. See the web page for full info and reviews about “Opera”.

Their new CD “Milieu” shares the same basic premises as “Opera”. All kinds of sound sources are used and organically integrated in the songs, which move freely somewhere between the composed and the improvised.

Even if “Milieu” makes use of experimental methods, the album is argumentably more songbased than “Opera” and therefore maybe more accessible.

Personnel: Andreas Berthling / Johan Berthling / Tomas Hallonsten
banjo, violin, guitar, synthesizer, computer, organ, harmonium, accordion, harmonica, trumpet, field recordings, percussion, concrete sounds, vibraphone, glockenspiel, chinese flute, alto recorder, piano, melodica

Tracks: 1. Oak player, 2. Sponge chorus, 3. Crippled tree, 4. Edisto, 5. Golden twig, 6. Long bell, 7. Root tattoo, 8. Switchboard fog
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Kolväteserenader - Patrik Torsson
Häpna H.15, CD
11 tracks, 51 minutes
Release date: May 2004

It happened in turns during five years; Patrik Torsson spent one month at sea and one month ashore. Six months on a tanker and six months at home every year. The month at sea as first mate on a product tanker included navigation and the handling of refined petroleum products. The free month at home was spent exclusively on making and developing music.

After working like this in five years, Patrik decided to take a break from the sea. The free month was not worth the 84-hour weeks in the North and Baltic Sea. It was as much about recovering a tired and exhausted human being as it was about the need to fully concentrate on music for a longer period of time. A cold November evening in Holtenau, where the locks of the Kiel Canal open out into the southern Baltic Sea, Patrik went ashore for a longer period of time.

The full-length debut “Kolväteserenader” (“Hydrocarbon Serenades”) is a recollection of the moments that Patrik remembers the most from the five years at sea. It is about small observations and phenomena. Meeting and talking with people. Weather phenomena, things that stood out of the grey everyday life. “Kolväteserenader” is about how life as a sailor can be in the 21st century. The music is made with instruments such as guitar and piano, electronic sounds and field recordings. The sound is deliberately left quite raw and unpolished as a personal statement on today’s hyper-produced popular music. “Kolväteserenader” is instead meant to sound like ‘at home’ or ‘cassette recording’, a feeling that hopefully feels warm and inviting.

Tracks: 1. Vattenfärden, 2. Stora Bält-passagerna, 3. Kommunikationerna, 4. Brofjorden-åskan, 5. Tromberna, 6. Påmönstring, 7. Vindväggen, 8. Lotsenbrüderschaft Elbe, 9. Flaskposten, 10. Avmönstring, 11. Nattglimmer
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Orgelplaneten - Sagor & Swing
Häpna H.16, CD
10 tracks, 42 minutes
Release date: May 2004

Just half a year since “Allt hänger samman” and the fourth album from Sagor & Swing, “Orgelplaneten” (“The Organ Planet”) is here. The energy has been turned up quite a bit. This more energetic side of their sound has been showing a whole lot during their concerts, but this is the first time that it has been captured on record, as a document of how the duo have sounded live. It also stands out from their three earlier records by adding Moog and accordion to the usual setup of organ and drums.

A more playful and joyous atmosphere runs through the record. Many of the songs e.g. “8-bitarspolskan” and “Äventyr i Alperna” have an electronic sound reminiscing of synthesizer experiments á la Jean Jacques Perrey. “Distro” and “Postmodernism” are both full-on instrumental pop songs while “Smedjebacken by night” echoes of lazy hotdog-stand reggae. But the fairyland-music and Sagor & Swing’s unmistakable touch is still there, just below the surface.

This album marks the end for Sagor & Swing. Echoes and shadows will certainly turn up in the future, but “Orgelplaneten” is the final record from the group as we remember them.

Personnel: Eric Malmberg: organ, Moog, accordion; Ulf Möller: drums

Tracks: 1. Henriks födelsedagsmelodi, 2. Äventyr i alperna, 3. 8-bitarspolskan, 4. Rymden på 50-talet, 5. Distro, 6. Smedjebacken by night, 7. Postmodernism, 8. Bora bora, 9. Baklängesvisa, 10. Idiom
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Gasthamnar - Patrik Torsson
Häpna H.17, 3"CD
7 tracks, 18 minutes
Release date: June 2004

The Swedish summer is the season that draws out the most joy of life and outdoor activities from the population, but it’s as much a form of preserving traditions that is rooted centuries back in time. The summer 2004 resembles in big parts the summer of 1938, 1956 or 1972. People make use of the light, the warmth and love to strengthen oneselves before the coming cold. The Midsummer pole is raised, the fresh potatoes are harvested and the cans of herring opened. Bathing places are filled with laughter and life. The terraces of restaurants and bars fill with people. Life and movement are established and becomes amplified.

“Gästhamnar” (“Guest harbours”) is about one of the most obvious things of summer: the life of people in small boats. The coastline and the archipelago are embellished with white sails on the horizon. People are mooring and fendering. Side by side lie the seasonal adventurers protected by the sheltering piers, by wooden jetties from the north to the south and let the ship and its crew rest for the night. The guest harbour is an oasis for sailors and motorboat people. Clothes can be washed, provisions be obtained and fuel filled up. The children can run on dry land for awhile.

This record paints, through its quotations from the Swedish Coastguide, detailed pictures of these temporary homes. The simple and unaffected sound supplies the feeling of holiday, the silence and in part the sad insight that this paradise is something perishable. “Gästhamnar” is a pilot that guides us into the warm Swedish summer months.

Tracks: 1. Klintemåla, 2. Blankaholm, 3. Händelöp, 4. Loftahammar, 5. Valdemarsvik, 6. Lagnöströmmen, västra sidan, 7. Arkösund, Kvarnberget

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On Tape - Stephan Mathieu
Häpna H.18, CD
1 track, 32 minutes
Release date: September 2004

Stephan Mathieu is an electronic musician from Saarbruecken, Germany. Starting out as a drummer in various improvised contexts he made the switch to working mainly with computers in the late 90’s. Since then he has released a string of highly acclaimed recordings on labels like Ritornell and Orthlorng Musork. From his interest in design and work with installations he has acquired a fine-tuned sense of form. His music is mostly based on acoustic instruments but so far they have always been more or less heavily computer processed. “On Tape” is a pivotal work for Mathieu as this is the first time we hear him leaving his source material unprocessed by digital means.

Stephan started building this piece from recordings provided to him by Swedish trio Tape and saxophonist Magnus Granberg. Adding his own subtle drumming, field recordings and a focus on reworking the sound material exclusively with classic editing techniques this is a beautiful album that weaves elements from the electronic and acoustic worlds to a seamless whole. A very clear and uncomplicated atmosphere around this piece distinguishes it from a lot of electronic music.

Tracks: 1. On Tape
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Get Off - Pita
Häpna H.19, CD
8 tracks, 35 minutes
Release date: December 7, 2004

This is the fourth solo album from groundbreaking sound artist Pita (real name Peter Rehberg). His previous solo albums as Pita (all on the Mego label) have all been landmarks in electronic music. His sound ranges from furious to minimalistic, but always with the same uncompromising attitude. To be true to ones ideas when trends come and go is something admirable in every artist. “Get Off” is his most varied album to date.

“Get Off” was made over a two-year period, with most of the material originating from various 'live' situations. It was then compiled and completed during the summer of 2004 in relative isolation.

Apart from his solo work, he also collaborates with choreographers Gisele Vienne (DACM) and Chris Haring, as well as being a member of the MIMEO project.

Tracks: 1. Eternel, 2. Like watching shit on a shelf, 3. Resog 45, 4. More break after the terror, 5. By both, 6. Babel, 7. Luzthm, 8. Retour

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Free Pulse - Sinistri
Häpna H.20, CD
10 tracks, 54 minutes
Release date: February 22, 2005

Sinistri manifesto
Giving up the intention is the preliminary condition, only the silence is unintentional. The sound is a condition of the silence, the silence is a condition of the time. We play the silences that wrap around and lie within the sounds. Playing amplified music is taking away sounds to the noise rather than adding sounds to silence. The technique's root is the instantaneous intuition, the discipline requires the destruction of ego, the musical form comes out from a process.
You don't have to confuse music with sonology, the main point in music is the time, not the sound. Our music is not constituted from different sounds distributed in a uniform time, but from a single sound that bounces in multiples time. In other words, all the sounds are the same sound, vibrating a countless amount of times, in the state in which all the times are present. (music is the time that exceeds itself)

About our music (music beyond ego)
In a certain way we play concrete music, but we don't use bruitism or pure electronic - that is "non-musical" material - to make music, we use elements and techniques from rock music tradition as source material to make "non-music". We take away each elements of expressiveness from music properly "expressive" as rock or blues, giving a "neutral objectivity" to music styles that, by definition, are never "objective". We don't operate the deduction of meaning through mechanical or digital process, but through a discipline that allowing us to give up our ego.

Sinistri, formerly known as Starfuckers, is an experimental music unit based in Italy. Starting from an original, raw, minimal and high power approach to the rock language, they soon developed a personal direction exploring the space between proto-punk, black roots and contemporary classical music. Sinistri is a trio who uses electric, electronic and acoustic instruments, operating under the principles of intuitive music, exploiting asyncrony and non-metrical rhythms. Sinistri's music comes out from an evolving process and appears like a steady aperiodic pulsation which filters, through a minimal rock perspective, archetypal prototypes and elements from jazz, funk, blues, concrete and electro-acoustic music.

Personnel: Manuele Giannini: guitar, amps, echoplex, wah, speaker, computer; Alessandro Bocci: computer, sampler, mixer, synth, turntables; Roberto Bertacchini: drums; Dino Bramanti: real-time processing/live mixing, sampling, MaxMSP code

More info about Sinistri at www.sinistri.org

Tracks: 1. Smooth Fried Tk2, 2. Bluesplex Pt1, 3. Pre-Verb Fried Funk, 4. Holes In Between, 5. Black Vamp #1, 6. Ampstone, 7. Cold fried Tk4, 8. NY Vamp (Second Set), 9. Deep Squeak, 10. Red Angular Feelin'

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Gesine - Giuseppe Ielasi
Häpna H.21, CD
6 tracks, 31 minutes
Release date: February 22, 2005

New solo work from this Italian experimental guitarist and electronic musician. Known for his solo work (his first solo cd, ‘Plans’, was released on Sedimental in 2003), his collaborations with Dean Roberts and for various collaborations in more improvised contexts. These six pieces are all made up of guitar and percussion in different forms, sometimes electronically treated, but in a very organic manner. Drones, guitar techniques derived as much from folk as the experimental music field, and a calm, haunting atmosphere make up the basis for this beautiful album.

More info about Giuseppe at www.bowindorecordings.com/artists/ielasi.html

Tracks: 6 untitled tracks
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Den gåtfulla människan - Eric Malmberg
Häpna H.22, CD
8 tracks, 40 minutes
Release date: April 13, 2005 (Sweden), early May (World)

Eric Malmberg is something of an enigma. How he without apparent effort brings forth these timeless melodies we don’t know - only that the music is classic organ pop that aims straight for the heart.

During the past years, he was the songwriter and organ player of Sagor & Swing. Soon after that band broke up, after four records, this productive musician started to sketch the main guidelines for a new solo album. A year later it's finished. An album made entirely on ORGAN and completely one man’s vision, recorded in Insjön, Sweden. A highly personal record, a travel into the human psyche as illustrated by the song titles.

Contrary to some beliefs, the only instrument used on this CD is the organ. The same is true for two of the previous Sagor & Swing albums, “Melodier och fåglar” and “Allt hänger samman”. No synthesizers are involved. We know of no artist that has gone into more depth regarding the treatment of the Hammond organ as a general sound generator than Eric Malmberg.

For press photos, see the artists page.

Tracks: 1. Det högre medvetandet, 2. Undermedvetandet, 3. Jaget, 4. Överjaget, 5. Delpersonligheterna, 6. Språk och tankestrukturer, 7. Människan och tiden, 8. Människan och evigheten
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A Taste of Ra - A Taste of Ra
Häpna H.23, CD
11 tracks, 31 minutes
Release date: May 18, 2005 (Sweden), early June (World)

Free flowing folk from one of Sweden’s most unique voices. The album is song-based with a very relaxed atmosphere. Organ, piano, guitar and flutes blend with percussive elements and sounds from open windows. This together with the highly original vocals and a permitting attitude toward recording technology make this a very special album!

Imagine a spirit awaken when it’s too dark to see, but the bright lights that make you pass through life’s octaves burst the gates of heaven with a tune that fills one’s chest, and can be seen as a gospel for the bright side each morning tells you about. If you listen carefully his friends are everywhere. They make the soil bend beneath your feet while the sharp light reaches your soul like spears (di spears). So beware and inhale, when you finally embrace A taste of Ra.

Tracks: 1. Lovearth song..., 2. Indian love call, 3. Prowl round about blues, 4. Miracle wait, 5. Wind and the mountain III, 6. Ride your smile, 7. Indian love calls again, 8. Can you?, 9. Final embrace, 10. ...break it down lovearth, 11. Hidden reminder
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Ridge of Undulation - Toshiya Tsunoda
Häpna H.24, CD
8 tracks, 39 minutes
Release date: December 13, 2005

“The vibration of a thin metal plate and the huge waves of a vast seashore... similar phases can be observed between them... like wrinkles on clothes remind us of mountain ridges.”

New release from Japanese Toshiya Tsunoda who was the first artist to be released on Häpna in 1999. This household name in the art of fieldrecordings has produced a discography of highly sublime recordings capturing the finest details of sound, and Ridge of Undulation is no exception. This new work is exploring sonic phenomena of very different magnitudes, from roaring waves at sea to experiments with high frequency sine waves and vibrating objects. Piezoceramic sensors were placed on the objects and the vibrations were transmitted in voltage, which can be recorded.

Toshiya Tsunoda is a Yokohama based artist who has studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music. Tsunoda is concerned with the relation between sound space and cognition space and the hidden beauty in the tiniest sonic details. Since 1994, he has been operating the WrK label, which he co-founded with Minoru Sato. He has previously released works on the WrK, Selektion, Lucky Kitchen, Staalplaat and Häpna labels. His work has been shown at the ICC, Tokyo, and the Kawasaki city museum, among others.

Tracks: 1. Sine waves mixed with the sound of a vibrating surface_1, 2. Seashore, Venice beach_31 Jul 01, 3. An aluminum plate with low frequencies_1, 4. Metal pieces with high frequencies, 5. At stern, Tokyo Bay_11 Dec 97, 6. Arrival, Kisarazu bay_11 Dec 97, 7. An aluminum plate with low frequencies_2, 8. Sine waves mixed with the sound of a vibrating surface_2
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Rideau - Tape
Häpna H.25, CD
5 tracks, 46 minutes
Release date: October 24, 2005

On October the 24th the Swedish trio Tape will release their eagerly awaited third album – “Rideau”. The main idea behind this record was to make something that differed from the two previous albums that were recorded by the group members themselves, and also to try to work with another person to push the music in another direction. The choice fell on Marcus Schmickler, German musician and producer and the album was recorded in his studio in Cologne, winter/spring 2004-2005. Another way of working had to be found and the concentrated atmosphere that was established was soon transferred to the recordings. The surroundings of Cologne made for sure an imprint as the previous albums were recorded in rural Sweden. The songs have a more architectural structure this time, a sharper sound, more rhythmical elements and a grandeur that hasn’t shown before.

Tape’s music moves between experimental music and pop without effort and has been recognized internationally for it’s particular sound where electronics blend with all sorts of acoustic and electric instruments.

Tape was formed in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling together with Tomas Hallonsten. Their first recording Opera came out in 2002, the second Milieu in 2003, both released on Häpna. Tape has done shorter tours in Europe, the US and Japan. In August 2005 Staalplaat released a live CD of Tape in their “Mort Aux Vaches” series.

Marcus Schmickler is a musician, producer and composer with a broad range. He makes pop with Pluramon (with Julee Cruise), experimental computer music solo, and composes contemporary music for choir.

More info: tape.se

Tracks: 1. Sunrefrain, 2. A spire, 3. Sand dunes, 4. Exuma, 5. Long lost engine
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A Year of the Aural Gauge Operation - 3/4HadBeenEliminated
Häpna H.26, CD
9 tracks, 59 minutes
Release date: December 13, 2005

3/4HadBeenEliminated was founded in Bologna, Italy, in 2002. Starting as a trio (guitarist/double bassist Stefano Pilia, turntablist/sound assembler Claudio Rocchetti, sound architect Valerio Tricoli), the drummer Tony Arrabito was added to the line up in 2004.

Their first self titled record (bowindo, 2003) was released after playing a series of live concerts in which the group attention was strongly focused on the performative/theatrical/ecological aspects of the event. Comprised of a large number of electronic and acoustic instruments, the album mirrors the disparate musical influences and aesthetics of the group: live electronics, electroacoustic composition, field recordings, drones...

In the following two years, after exploring and experimenting with self invented recording techniques, 3/4’s modus operandi focused on live interaction between electronic and acoustic instruments within a context in which the studio itself (tape machines, mixers, effects...) and the actual space in which the interaction took place (weird microphoning, feedbacks...) were considered and manipulated as instruments themselves (not by chance 3/4’s are fans of musicians such as This Heat, P16.D4, Todd Rundgren...). In this process, improvisation and group playing were the main issues, whereas 3/4’s first release was more based upon electroacoustic découpage.

The goal 3/4’s is trying to reach is that of unifying in one moment the three steps of songwriting, recording, and electroacustic post-production. This is done in a brilliant way on their new album, A year of the aural gauge operation, which was recorded in their own studio in Bologna in 2004. It features nine songs composed after live improvisations, all of them quite different in genre, but again 3/4’s aim is to create a psychedelic musical flow, one in which new elements and different styles can be superimposed to enrich and develop the peculiar narrative of the album. 3/4’s generally thinks of it as an opera.

More info: shiftingposition.org

Tracks: 1. Widower, 2. Labour chant, 3. Shifting position, 4. Wave bye bye to the king, 5. Monkey talk, 6. Loop recorder in the patient with heart disease, 7. In every tree a heartache, 8. Fun with nails, 9. As of yore
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Häpna H.27, CD
3 tracks, 39 Minutes
Release date: May 2006

Hundloka (cow parsley) is one of our most common meadow flowers; a weed whose distribution is restricted with great difficulty. Hundloka is also the name of three pieces of music which, in similarity to their namesake, grow in areas between the wild and the cultivated, ´twixt nightly woods and lit up cities. Hundloka is the music of the late afternoon, a catnap of the civilization where awake and dreamt hardly will be distinguished from each other.

Track listing:
1. Hundloka - Guitar, Bouzouki, Violin, Prepared Speakers
2. Hundloka - Percussion, Guitar, Bouzouki
3. Hundloka - Clarinet, Recorder, Computer, Guitar, Bouzouki, Percussion
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Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
Häpna H.28, CD
5 tracks, 41 minutes
Release date: May 2006

The new untitled album by Giuseppe Ielasi lives in a land of lights and shades. The mist lies thick but close to the ground it’s glowing and sparking. Reflections shoot wildly in ambiguous patterns. The log-cutters are working with their loved and hated timber. This is GIs most complex work to date, both in regard to instrumentation and compositional form. A well-prepared decoction of dark cinema, wanderlust and experimental sound manipulating techniques.
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Between Neck and Stomach - Andrea Belfi
Häpna H.29, CD
6 tracks, 38 minutes
Release date: September 2006

Andrea Belfi was born in 1979. He has been playing drums since the age of fourteen. He studied art in Milan and has been working in the experimental music field since 2000. In 2002 AB embarked on a vast project, which, in time, would become Between Neck & Stomach. The first recordings took place at Valerio Tricoli's (member of 3/4HadBeenEliminated) house in Bologna.

Between Neck & Stomach is grounded on two core elements: the first is the material collected during the unique experiment of turning a house into "a living creature with its own voice" (just one example: a synth emitting one continuous note shaking a cupboard filled with pots, pans and plates). The second core element is the choice of just one thematic note per song, around which each track is built and balanced.

In this challenging album the acoustic elements and the electronic ones mingle, intertwine and sometimes switch places: the acoustic sounds are treated as they were electronic, and the actual electronic ones are played at the very moment. Rhythmic patterns go beyond the mere beat as AB shapes them in cycles, ever-circling but ever-changing, both reassuring and surprising. This album sketches imaginary landscapes where drums, guitars and voices blend into a bunch of eclectic tracks, which, in spite of their radical minimalist roots, are definitively worthy of the name 'songs'.

Andrea Belfi's skills in composing and editing is electro acoustic works were clearly perceivable in his 2002 debut album, Ned n°2, warmly welcomed and well reviewed by magazines such as The Wire, Bananafish, Sound Projector.
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A Taste of Ra (II) - A Taste of Ra
Häpna H.30, CD
9 tracks, 35 minutes
Release date: October 2, 2006

When your ears are gates and they're wide open
Levels of sound will chase you down, collide, kiss and fight
In the yard that you now found;
The past will meet the present, you're paying past with present
When you finally hear her voice that make you leave your body behind and meet as gods...
Sound will evolve and something that was once heard by the keeper of the horizon is now heard by you.

This is album number two in the A Taste of Ra trilogy.

Tracks: 1. 37 Turns 'Round You, 2. Di Spears, 3. Wind and the Mountain II, 4. Flowers, Bats and Boats , 5. Ra is Movin' Through the Octaves, 6. Indian Love Call (Continues to Call), 7. Mother, 8. The Fox and the Frog, 9. Radhe-Shyam in Bliss Land
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Naima - Hans Appelqvist
Häpna H.31, CD
21 tracks, 49 minutes
Release date: November 6, 2006

”After two years of work since my last album ’Bremort’, a new album is finished. This time, the record is about Naima, an entity who in different ways is present to the persons on the album. Sometimes she interferes with their lives and speaks directly to them, sometimes her presence is only communicated through her musical theme, Naimamelodin (Naima’s melody).

Somewhat pretentiously expressed, the album is an answer to a longing for more fixed references. In less joyous times, I often wish for someone or something that could tell me how to be and behave, and through this advice free me from responsibility and thoughts about whether my acts are right or wrong. Someone who says: ’You ought to do like this, it is just the way it is’. Imagine how wonderful it would be if there was an entity with a pelican’s head who one had endless confidence in and who one could ask for advice every time one did not know what to do.”

In 2004 Hans Appelqvist released the album “Bremort” which got a lot of attention and among other things won the Swedish Radio’s Pop Record of the Year award. The record was staged in a fictitious small city in Sweden, where one as a listener could follow daily life during three days for some of the people living there. Hans Appelqvist has previously released ”Att möta verkligheten” on Häpna.

Tracks: 2. Naimamelodin, 4. Underbar var jag ännu, 6. En lektion i ansvar, 8. www.naimachat.se, 10. "Du, min Naima", 12. Vi lämnar staden och går mot stranden, 14. "För mig är det inte verkligt", 16. Små människor utan hår, 18. On the Beach, 20. "Se hur det dagas", 21. Naima tecknar i ditt skrev: Kärlek ger vila
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Amazing Daze - Marcus Schmickler,Hayden Chisholm
Häpna H.32, CD
2 tracks, 45 minutes
Release date: May 8, 2007

Marcus Schmickler is internationally well known in heterogeneous contexts of contemporary music. He is closely associated with the a-Musik label and over the last years he has worked in different fields of electronic, instrumental, improvised, experimental and new music. His latest releases feature choir and chamber music pieces, a new computer music composition as well as a new release under the banner of Pluramon with Julee Cruise. His continuous collaborations feature settings with analogue synth wiz Thomas Lehn and British pianist John Tilbury. He is also member of various ensembles such as MIMEO and Pluramon. He has received numerous prestigious prizes and his work has been represented all over the globe. He lives in Cologne.

Hayden Chisholm is a saxophonist and a composer internationally well known for his work with the artist Rebecca Horn and as a performer in jazz and contemporary music. Originating from New Zealand where he won the Young Achievers Award, he studied music and philosophy in Germany, India and Japan and has since performed at major festivals all over the world. He currently performs with Burnt Friedman, Root 70 and Pluramon as well as creating music for several of Rebecca Horn's installations. Although only 31 he has spent 8 years of his life on concert tours. He currently lives in Barcelona and Cologne.

Tracks: 1. Amazing Daze (for Phill Niblock), 2. Infinity in the Shape of a Poodle (for Björk Gudmundsdottir)
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Verklighet & Beat - Eric Malmberg
Häpna H.34, CD
10 tracks, 42 minutes
Release date: Sept 12, 2007 (Sweden), mid October (World)

Eric Malmberg’s music is a small miracle.

I don’t want to call him a genius, because I don’t want to jinx him. But I will say that he’s a complete original, in addition to being a vastly talented musician. I will also say that his recordings and the two performances that I saw by Sagor & Swing merit a place on a short list of most enjoyed musical experiences of the last half decade. I could bleat about the quality of the work, but “most enjoyed” to me carries the stronger charge.

Verklighet & Beat, meaning “Reality & Beat” (as opposed to “Sagor & Swing”: “Fairytales and Swing”), is a second high point in Eric Malmberg’s career. The first came with 2001’s Orgelfärger, the first album by Sagor & Swing. S & S were the duo of Eric on his beloved Hammond organ and Ulf Möller on sympathetic, timeless drums. The obvious comparison was to Hansson & Karlsson, the Swedish organ and drums duo from the 1970s. Indeed, Eric is the author of a number of comic books detailing the adventures of Hansson & Karlsson. (He’s also the author of the comic Happy Hammond in Slumberland.) Bo Hansson returned the favor by giving him an organ—as well as by appearing on synthesizer on Verklighet & Beat.

Orgelfärger came out of a clear blue sky. A brisk, chilly blue sky over a kind of stubbornly verdant rural landscape that I can easily picture but have never actually seen. It charmed by seemingly having zero connection to its era. A Hammond-whirlpool of minor-key melodicism. A snare, a brush, a mellower Mitch Mitchell. A sense with each new composition of starting back from the same place, of getting exquisitely lost in the woods each time, differently. Eleven songs, eleven paths. Listening to this album again, I can’t imagine how it could be improved. (Do I have to spell it out? Time on this planet is brief. If you haven’t heard Orgelfärger or the follow-up Melodier och fåglar, you need to be taking better care of yourself.)

Sagor & Swing reminded you that the Hammond organ was once a medieval instrument.

All of which brings us to Verklighet & Beat. Sagor & Swing disbanded after four albums, and this is Eric’s second solo release. The first, Den gåtfulla människan, finds Eric alone at the Hammond, with the occasional desolate rhythm-box accompaniment. Verklighet & Beat is an entirely different animal, a beautifully arranged and fully realized vision of how to present Eric’s music.

Verklighet & Beat has two obvious hits. “Till minne av Lilly Lindström” is the album’s effortless high-water mark in providing instrumental coloration for what had previously been implied by Eric’s bare-bones melodies. Are those guitar strings fifty years old? Sleigh bells haven’t sounded so good since the first Stooges album. Then the descending disco strings carve up the dance floor. A tip of the hat to producer/musician Jari Haapalainen. The other surefire smash in the Top 40 of my mind or dreams is “Söndagskonsert,” which holds its own when compared to the most moving of Peer Raben’s scores for films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Verklighet & Beat suggests that an impeccably programmed movie theater has opened in Eric’s neck of the woods.

The album’s opening track, “Finalen” is a signature gesture of Eric’s, wherein stirring, nearly martial melodies are rendered with maximum Hammond mellowness. A number of these pieces are essentially marches, and yet they could hardly be less bellicose. “Finalen” is another in a series of Malmberg earworms: melodies that after a few listens seem as if you’ve known them since childhood.

“Min kompis Anton” is another bittersweet, inward-turned march. It incorporates the musicality of distantly heard recordings of kids’ laughter – an intuitive gesture that seems so right as to preclude further comment. Synth is using sparingly, to merely indicate the stratosphere. “Slutet på en epok” is hard-rocking and frantic, much more like the S & S live sets, and a style only occasioned hinted at by previous studio recordings. Ascending modulations are handled in the style of a surf instrumental. The brushes are out on “Leksand, tidigt nittiotal,” a series of reexaminations of a single melodic line.

A key fiddle can sound as lonesome as any harmonica.

Verklighet & Beat is paradigmatic of Häpna in that its execution is improbably beautiful. It’s better in practice than in theory. And Eric Malmberg’s vision now radiates color.

- David Grubbs, New York, March 2007

This is Eric Malmberg’s second solo record on Häpna. He did four records with his previous group Sagor & Swing. This record is his first with a larger personnel. Featuring musicians like Goran Kajfes, Lars Skoglund, Johan Berthling, Cecilia Österholm and legendary organist Bo Hansson. Produced by Jari Haapalainen.

Personnel: Eric Malmberg: Hammond organ, synthesizer, piano, Farfisa organ, celesta, Clavinet, church organ, bells; Jari Haapalainen: electric guitar, tambourine, bells, maracas, castanets; Johan Berthling: electric bass, double bass, bells, Hammond organ; Lars Skoglund: drums; Bo Hansson: synthesizer; Goran Kajfes: trumpet, pocket trumpet, cornet, trombone; Cecilia Österholm: key fiddle; George Kentros: violin; Anne Pajunen: viola; Lisa Rydberg: violin; Leo Svensson: cello

Tracks: 1. Finalen, 2. Min kompis Anton, 3. Till minne av Lilly Lindström, 4. Slutet på en epok, 5. Leksand, tidigt nittiotal, 6. Söndagskonsert, 7. Milda döden hämtar oss alla till slut, 8. Ackordflödet och evigheten, 9. Varat fanns någonstans i röran, 10. Styx
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Sifantin Och Morkret - Hans Appelqvist
Häpna H.35, CD+Video
12 tracks, 25 minutes, 1 video
Release date: May 8, 2007

"Me, a cuckoo. Of all the great things in Africa my eyes have met, one I can never forget. On the savannah a rhinoceros stood proudly, gazing into the distant. Its belly ripped open in battle with the one that always wants more."

Hot on the heels of his last record Naima, released in November 2006, Hans Appelqvist has a new album ready. It's called "Sifantin och mörkret" and is his third release on Häpna. The music shows Hans from a new side, the album being more open and spontaneous than previously. It oscillates between the sweet and grotesque, nice and ugly, harmony and terror, sifanti and darkness...

More info: myspace.com/hansappelqvistnaima

Tracks: 1. Wanxian, 2. Tänk att himlens alla stjärnor, 3. Mormas fågel, 4. Freckenåges spa, 5. Tiggången, 6. Skundgässhallen, 7. Sju i tre, 8. Jag en gök, 9. Tilli talli tulli, 10, Full the Moon, 11. Iestapiona, 12. Talkijangnas akt
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Morning of My Life - A Taste of Ra
Häpna H.36, CD
1 tracks, 42 minutes
Release date: Sept 19, 2007 (Sweden), mid October (World)

“When we moved to tent and the light was golden and we were young, and the magazine was all there was to bring, and you woke in the night when the birds were singing just for you and the smell of soil and the warm breath overthrew you, ohh it moved you. All there was to it, was the morning of my life.”

The overall idea behind the first two A Taste of Ra records was for me to work with my voice, instruments and recording techniques on a more personal level.

On this final record in the trilogy, I’ve taken a different approach. It started off with one song that I developed and visualized together with Jari Haapalainen into six movements. Together they create a sense of a film-like dramatic pattern. Then we tactfully decided on the right locations and casting for the recordings, while Johan Berthling made some beautiful arrangements for three of the movements. After recording and mixing, I realized that we had created a musical monster that will challenge and hopefully inspire listeners for a long time to come.

- Nicolai Dunger

Personnel: Nicolai Dunger, Jari Haapalainen, Johan Berthling, Thomas Tjärnkvist, Santiago Jimenez, Bengt Berger, Mats Öberg, Daniel Bingert, Jean-Louis Huhta, Per Texas Johansson, Jonas Kullhammar, Johan Arrias, Andreas Berthling, Anna Rodell, Emma Lindhamre, Lars Warnstad

Tracks: 1. Morning of My Life
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Tan-Tan Therapy - Tenniscoats
Häpna H.37, CD (sold out)
8 tracks, 39 minutes
Release date: November 7, 2007 (world, excluding Japan)

To live music. It’s an expression one probably has heard some time, but never has it been more appropriate than to describe the lives of married couple Saya and Takashi Ueno, also known as Tenniscoats. We in Tape have known them for almost two years now, and we have time and time again been astonished by how many hours they spend on music in a day. New songs are written in the tour bus, new songs are rehearsed for the evening’s concert at the soundcheck and later, after the concert, they literally play and sing themselves to sleep. They catch some sleep here and there, and wake up to musical work again with coffee and cigarettes as the only fuel... A wild pace and a flow of musical expressions that have been tremendously inspiring to take part of.

Their starting point is pop songs, but with a staggeringly free approach: psychedelic folk tunes, complex instrumentals and short pop jewels side by side, everything is possible. A song can be performed in a myriad ways. Their interplay is angular and at the same time the most sensitive one has heard. A feeling of a music that constantly goes on, whether Saya and Ueno are on stage or not. A music free of pretensions, but urgent as few things I have heard.

-Johan Berthling, Tape

Tan-Tan Therapy is a distillate of the last two years, when Tenniscoats and Tape have socialised, toured together and exchanged musical ideas and experiences. The album gives a slightly new picture of Tenniscoats. Found here is a fuller dynamic spectra and richer use of diverse sound elements than usually found in their live shows. Yet the album has a concise pop feeling to it, in a calm and multi-faceted way. The level of details and the different sound world is to a large extent due to the musicians of Tape, as they have been involved both in the production and the writing of arrangements on the record. To Tenniscoats’ original setting, various horn instruments, double bass, zither, organ, glockenspiel and electronic instruments have been added. The recordings were made in an intuitive way during a couple of days in Stockholm and Cologne with Tape (Andreas Berthling, Johan Berthling, Tomas Hallonsten), Andreas Söderström (Ass), Leo Svensson and Lars Skoglund and fellow musicians.

Saya and Ueno are also members of the Japanese music collective Maher Shalal Hash Baz. They live outside of Tokyo.

Saya comments on the tracks and the album

1. Baibaba Bimba
One warm flash lights by flocking together appear and wink
with good smell
Starting of departure has been stimulated and rhythmed up by breathing
The sea who waits our navigation is becoming big or small
with good-bye and hello.

2. Oetsu to Kanki no Nanoriuta (Given Song by Sob and Joy)
If there is just one truth and we have love for it,
a song can be appeared.
Then we start to understand about the song.
This song was written in 2003 at first
from our friend's chord and lyric.

'Give me just one world
It comes around and carry off our meetings
By and by, we leave here and come around
and come to here
In this song we see one world'

3. Marui Hito (Everyone)
This song was written from ueno's waving guitar
which was overdubbed experimentally to the recorder.
And Saya found melody.
We can put the any point on this song.
Because this song rythm is like circle.

4. One Swan Swim
Prolonged moments like afternoon sleeping
I love it!

5. Umbarepa!
Fairly song

6. Abi and Travel
My one friend has been in sadness on a few month.
And she went to travels on that time.
I thought her sadness was beautiful anyway.

7. Rolling Train
When we went to the tour with tape (and this recording),
In the train to the Narita Airport, I wrote this lyric with seeing early autumn of Japan.
Tan-Tan Therapy's beautiful photo (by klas) is very similar to japanese autumn.

In the rice field after harvesting,
a white heron stand
The grove look after
with nobody's noticing

The ivy of morning glory
Growing over the roof
Their bright colors
Shining in the sky clearly

8. Uta ga Nainoni (Like No Songs)
In the night which i can sing
There seems to be no sound
Moon lighted here and my singing
Like there is no other sound

I remember well that me and ueno's mind were uneasy standing at skavsta airport/stockholm until we met with tape accidentally.
Their smiling made us gradually comfortable, and we noticed our adventure has started.
On recording, we could play naturally with them and Hapna's friend musician's spontaneously playing and ideas.
Simple lines became to be beautiful million over first imagination.
We love their love for phenomena of life / music.

-Saya (Tenniscoats)

Personnel: Saya: vocals, piano, choir, glockenspiel, synthesizer, Pianet; Takashi Ueno: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, alto saxophone, choir, whistling; Johan Berthling: bass, zither, choir, whistling, bells; Tomas Hallonsten: harmonica, pocket trumpet, Hammond organ, synthesizer, glockenspiel, accordion, E flat horn, snare drum, bells; Andreas Berthling: electronics, field recordings, choir, whistling; Andreas Söderström: acoustic guitar, breathing, trumpet, lapsteel, hand drum, choir, whistling; Lars Skoglund: drums, bells, choir, whistling; Leo Svensson: cello

Tracks: 1. Baibaba Bimba, 2. Oetsu to Kanki no Nanoriuta (Given Song by Sob and Joy), 3. Marui Hito (Everyone), 4. One Swan Swim, 5. Umbarepa!, 6. Abi and Travel, 7. Rolling Train, 8. Uta ga Nainoni (Like No Songs)
Valerie's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
Jag Fick Feeling - Anna Järvinen
Häpna H.38, CD
10 tracks, 37 minutes
Release date: October 3,2007(Sweden), Jan 22,2008 (World)

“The wind started blowing, the clouds scattered as if they had been ripped open and now there are stars in the sky. I went for an evening stroll, I looked at the junipers and the low pine trees that crouched down. I had the feeling I was on the right track, the poems are there, waiting, I can sense them in the shadows, there is always that much light. In the day I met some children, they formed a ring around me and pointed at my bandana: “What’s that?" "I'm an Indian." "Mom, mom," the children ran and yelled, "We've seen an Indian!" I read something on a board that said the speed limit on the island is thirty kilometres per hour. I thought about something, don't know what, but during the evening it occupied my mind, I looked for it on my walk just now, now I'm putting it on the balcony, behind the door, like the tea pot so I'll remember to empty and rinse it when I go out. Tomorrow I might be wiser.”

from Pentti Saarikoski: Urgent Or Not

Born in Helsinki, at the age of six moved to Täby outside Stockholm due to mother's new marriage, always had a longing back, will not return. Sang and wrote songs in Granada 1998-2004. Granada released three albums and one ep produced by Björn Olsson and Mattias Glavå on record labels Universal, V2 and Look Left Recordings. This record was recorded in the Kungssten industry area in Gothenburg during a rainy summer and cold winter with among others Dungen as musicians and Mattias Glavå as an indisposable producer. Tried to make music I've always loved, melodies I grew up with (the soundtrack to Brideshead Revisited, Carpenters, Elton John's darling seventies' tunes, Vesa Matti Loiri's interpretations of Eino Leino's poetry, Woody Allen movies, Saarikoski) nature poetry drug-and-alcohol abuse, nostalgia, the Finland of my dreams, falling in love, sorrow, homesickness. I've tried to not be too shy and inhibited. I've made it I think he he.

- Anna Järvinen

Personnel: Anna Järvinen, Mattias Glavå, Fredrik Björling, Gustav Ejstes, Reine Fiske, Mattias Gustavsson, Christoffer Gunrup, Stefan Sandberg, Fredrik Swahn, Oskar Borgenheim, Christian Dyresjö, Edvard Hernevik, Truls Möörk, Stefan Sporsén, Erik Bodin, Mikael Fahleryd, Matti Ollikainen, Björn Olsson, Algot Bengtsson, Antonio Hallongren, Philip Runsteen, Samuel Runsteen

Tracks: 1. Götgatan, 2. PS, Tjörn, 3. Koltrast, 4. Kan du gå, 5. Nedgångslåten, 6. Leena, 7. Svensktalande bättre folk, 8. Helsinki, 9. Vårmelodi, 10. Kom hem
Valerie's rating:
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Lutie Lutie / Come Maddalena - Tenniscoats,Tape
Häpna H.39, vinyl 7"
2 tracks, 10 minutes
Release date: October 2008

Side one:
Lutie Lutie by Tenniscoats features Saya on vocals, pump organ, melodica, synthesizer and Ueno on guitar and drum machine. Kazumi Nikaido sings choir and Tomas Hallonsten plays glockenspiel and synthesizer.

Side two contains:
Come Maddalena by Ennio Morricone arranged by Tape with the voices of Kazumi Nikaido and Saya and Ueno from Tenniscoats. All other instruments and voices by Tape.

Recorded and mixed by Tape at Summa, Stockholm july 2007.

This is a split single with Tape and Tenniscoats released in conjunction with their tour of Japan, October 2008.

Tracks: 1. Lutie Lutie, 2. Come Maddalena
Valerie's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Opera Plus - Tape
Häpna H.40, CD
13 tracks, 60 minutes
Release date: April 16, 2008

It was in April 2003 when I met Tape’s Johan Berthling and Häpna co-founder Klas Augustsson in Stockholm for the first time. They handed me a proper pile of CDs, and to me it was love at first sight. I was truly intrigued by Häpna’s colourful blend of different releases covering a spectrum from sound art, field recordings, improv, minimalism, folk and ( – for lack of any better words to describe Sheriff's outerworldly music – ) chamber rock. And there was Opera, the debut by Tape, which managed to sum up the labels brilliant catalogue.

A week after this meeting I wrote in a review –

”Using a wide array of instruments like guitar, harmonium, melodica, field recordings, percussion, computer, harmonica, zither, piano, accordion, soprano sax and trumpet, Tape's music lives at the intersection of a 21st century chamber music and an imaginary folklore. I write this on a train from Weimar to Berlin (the distance to my girls at home is growing bigger and this always makes me feel a little melancholic), riding through the marvellous green and sun-flooded Mark-Brandenburg countryside. Slowly passing by vast yellow rape fields and ancient, abandoned factories, the music on my headphones seems to fit almost too perfectly. The sun and nature are certainly core ingredients of Opera and its slowly floating melodies carry the spirit of travel, not on an aircraft, but submerged in a landscape instead.”

In the meantime Tape have distilled their sound with their following albums Milieu, Rideau and the most recent collaboration with Tenniscoats more and more into an organic song-like format. While all of them are excellent, Tape’s essence can be found in Opera.

Listening to Opera again after almost six years, it proofs to be a truly great and timeless album.

– Stephan Mathieu, January 2008

Opera Plus is a reissue of Opera (Häpna H.9), with three new tracks taken from the original 2002 sessions. Now in digipak with new cover art.

Tracks: 1. Bell Mountain, 2. Fire Made of Bones, 3. Leafed Hands, 4. Feeler, 5. Summa, 6. Cookie Drum (Reads Too Much), 7. Radiolaria, 8. Longitude, 9. Noises from a Hill, 10. Return to Ship, 11. Terraces, 12. Chord Mountain, 13. Rut
Valerie's rating:
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Milieu Plus - Tape
Häpna H.41, CD
12 tracks, 52 minutes
Release date: April 16, 2008

When Milieu, the sophomore album by Stockholm based trio Tape, first came out at the tail end of 2003, it sounded like nothing else.

Seemingly improvised but still so tenderly composed, it took cues from both the most gentle free jazz and Brian Eno’s ideas of ambient music but at the same time leaning against both Swedish folk music and broken pop balladry. In the end Tape created something entirely unique.

For quite some time it felt like they – brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten – were on their own, whether anyone bothered to listen or not they’d still be walking deeper and deeper down their own musical path, into a very private forest of their collective heart and mind.

Slowly, almost as pacelessly as the music itself, they started making friends. And in the process they sold out all copies of the record. That is why Milieu is finally being reissued and restored in this expanded format.

While doing so Milieu – together with its forerunner Opera – became something of a stepping stone - some of us would argue it was the blue print – for, if not a new pop the at least a new way of approaching it and a new way of what it could achieve.

Tape had very little to do with traditional experimental music, they never fitted into jazz and – although many tried to – their beautiful songs could not by any means be labelled electronica.

Instead it was the genuine gentleness itself of Tape’s music that spoke to their soul mates across the world. Milieu opened a door to a musical heart their contemporaries had been trying to reach for a long time. Tape now presented them with the key.

At least that’s what it felt like for me.

Wherever I went the following year I seemed to make friends through Milieu. In Berlin, in Glasgow, in Tokyo. In a book store in Chicago, at a tiny concert with Tenniscoats, Maher Shalal Hash Baz and the pianist Bill Wells among the dragon flies in the southeast of Japan and in an empty Scottish vegetarian café – the love we felt for Tapes music brought us together. We’re all still very close.

I guess what makes Tape’s music so special is that it plays just like short stories. The trail of thoughts I want to a great short story to start in my head and heart. Where the sentences, the dialogue, are just a blank canvas for the reader to project her own loves and regrets on. And in music there’s no need for translation.

The sound of Milieu remind me of the books of Tove Jansson, the Finnish writer of the beautiful stories from the Moominvalley (especially the masterful Moominpappa at Sea and Moominvalley in November). I’m never sure if they’re really about childhood summers and winters long gone, the ones that I somewhere deep inside just know never really were as good as they seem when I try to remember them.

Or if they’re about me now, all grown up and pushing 40.

Tape stir up such forgotten feelings, they restore fading pictures we don’t really want to share with anyone else. Or in some cases have forgotten they were ever there in the first place.

The aching slowness of these melodies awaken reluctant nostalgia; a forced sentimentality. And they do so without the aid of words, only with the purest music; the electricity in the air that surrounds the captured moment.

– Andres Lokko, London W11, January 2008

Milieu Plus is a reissue of Milieu (Häpna H.14), with four new tracks taken from the original 2003 sessions. Now in digipak with new cover art.

Tracks: 1. Oak Player, 2. Sponge Chorus, 3. Star Skid, 4. Crippled Tree, 5. Augustan Chateau, 6. Edisto, 7. Spruce Horns, 8. Golden Twig, 9. Rocked Root, 10. Long Bell, 11. Root Tattoo, 12. Switchboard Fog
Valerie's rating:
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Luminarium - Tape
Häpna H.42, CD
10 tracks, 42 minutes
Release date: May 7, 2008

"Dreaming the same dreams, not knowing of each other. Invoking old times at new places, side by side, not knowing of each other. Longing for yearning; light of dawn and midday sun. A world which lets itself be sensed, not known; the first light of your rosy-fingered youth; birches and concrete, touch and go.

The new album by Swedish group Tape is a luminarium of sound where past and present merge at the speed of light."

Tape is the trio of Andreas Berthling, Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten from Stockholm, Sweden. This is their fourth album and it was recorded in their Summa studio in Stockholm.


Swedish trio Tape was set up in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling with Tomas Hallonsten. Taking cues both from pop, experimentalism, and minimalism their sound has become recognized internationally and is clearly something of its own. Their first album Opera was released on the Häpna imprint (which Johan is a co-owner of) in 2002. Working intuitive, all by themselves, they created mini symphonies out of electronic sounds paired with a stunning melodic lyricism. With an array of electronic and acoustic instruments at hand they recorded at a small stone barn on the island of Öland, east of Sweden. 2003 saw the release of Milieu, recorded at the very same barn. These recordings had a more arranged feeling and a clear pop sensibility in some parts. In 2005 they went to Cologne to have Marcus Schmickler produce and record their third album Rideau. This was done in his Piethopraxis studio in Cologne and his involvement left traces; an almost architectonical approach was taken and some of the intimacy that characterized the first two albums were replaced by a harder edge.

In 2006 they collaborated with Japanese duo Tenniscoats on their album Tan–Tan Therapy (Häpna 2007). The same year they recorded in Tokyo with Japanese quartet Minamo, which resulted in the record Birds of a feather (HEADZ 2007).

In the years, their touring has taken them to places like Japan, Taiwan, USA and most parts of Europe.

Tracks: 1. Beams, 2. Moth Wings, 3. Fingers, 4. Reperto, 5. Mystery Mutiny, 6. Dripstone, 7. Altamira, 8. Parade, 9. Illuminations, 10. Beams Out
Valerie's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Man Var Bland Molnen - Anna Järvinen
Häpna H.43, CD
10 tracks, 43 minutes
Release date: Mar 23, 2009

Anna Järvinen's debut album "Jag fick feeling" ("I Got Feeling") received a substantial amount of attention when it was released in October 2007. The follow-up "Man var bland molnen" ("One Was Among the Clouds") is produced and recorded by Gustav Ejstes (from the band Dungen), who also plays a variety of instruments on the album. Other musicians are Reine Fiske, Fredik Swahn, Johan Holmegard, Leo Svensson, Mattias Bergqvist and Anders Nygårds.

The collaboration with Dungen was initiated already on Anna’s first record where they participated on the main part of the album. Concerning the choice of Ejstes as producer, Anna says in Sonic Magazine (Sweden) that ”nobody has like Gustav, silently and immediately, understood my music. I wanted to try and leave the songs with him so he could put his mark on and in them.”

Seldom have we seen such a break-through for an artist on a small label in Sweden, as with the release of “Jag fick feeling”. Anna was nominated for the Swedish Grammy and P3 Guld prize, won the paper Stockholm City’s music prize, and was interviewed in virtually every Swedish paper. The record also got a lot of attention in Finland and Anna toured in both countries during fall 2007 and spring/summer 2008.

The first single from “Man var bland molnen” is the track “Äppelöga”, (“Apple-Eye”).

Anna played and sang in the band Granada up until 2003 when they disbanded.
Valerie's rating:

Swedish label run by Klas Augustsson and Johan Berthling.

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