Title: S/T (The Crab)
Artist: Olsson, Bjorn
So far the Swedish composer/multi-instrumentalist has yet to disappoint. This is his fourth album, the third in the seafood-themed series, this one with a crab on the cover. Like his previous discs, this one begs the question: what would Bjorn Olsson do without spaghetti westerns? I don't know if we'll ever find out and that's ok. However, while the spaghetti western style whistling that was so prominent on his last album (one of the best whistling records EVER) is still present, it takes a back seat to Bjorn's guitar.
This is his most guitar-centric disc to date, and it means that the melodies with which he's so marvellous seem here seem to possess a definite rock lineage. Certain tracks will seemingly contain echoes of some Beatles, Stones or Stooges song into which it seems Bjorn's guitar strum will soon coalesce, but instead his instrumentals always drift off into a looser, more droned-out zone. Yet the tunes seem so totally familiar, that's his knack. You think you kinda know these songs already, but can't quite place your finger on 'em. Brilliant, 'cause he obviously owes so much to certain other composers (Ennio Morricone!!) yet makes something that you can't really hear anywhere else than on a Bjorn Olsson album.
Though, listening to this we can make tenuous connections to such disparate artists as the Sun City Girls (hints of their more garagey folk style), the desert instrumentals of Calexico, and the drone ragas of Henry Flynt. A lot of that has to do with the grimy, dusty quality of the recording. We suspect that Bjorn's tape recorder slowly falling apart, as each album he makes gets more and more lo fi -- which is a good thing! This one's got all kinds of hiss and hum and drop outs and grit that make his music all the more dream-like. Wonderful!(www.gravitation.nu) (www.aquariusrecords.org)