Johan Agebjörn & Mikael Ögren — We Never Came to the White Sea
(Spotted Peccary SPM-3301, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-06-11
The White Sea is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea, located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia (formerly part of Finland, then an independent republic, then annexed by the Soviet Union and never given back) to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast. The whole of the White Sea is currently under Russian sovereignty and considered to be part of the internal waters of Russia. The album at hand, a collaboration between Swedish artists Johan Agebjörn and Mikael Ögren is billed as ‘the original soundtrack to the unreleased road movie of the same name,’ which follows a series of titles beginning with “As I Passed the Vyartsilya Border Crossing” on to things like “The Lights of Lakhkolampi Pass By” and “Aurora over Odega,” and so on, ending with “The Rajakarjala Forests” and “Sleepless on the Kostomuksha-Petrozavodsk Night Train.” Indeed, this ambient electronic soundtrack is very cinematic in scope, with plenty of soft padding and sampled effects, understated sequenced rhythms and bright melodies, part ethereal, part melancholy, and shimmering with beauty, everything evolving slowly as it goes organically. Apparently the movie was filmed, but remains unedited and unreleased. For most of the ten tracks it’s just Agebjörn and Ögren, presumably both on synthesizers. On one track there are vocal samples by Sally Shapiro, an Italian singer whom Agebjörn has produced, other tracks include more vocal samples by Anelli Andersson, some distorted by vocoder, and viola on a couple other tracks by Anders Frostin. While Agebjörn claims influence from Klaus Schulze and Pete Namlook (definitely detectable in the fabric of their sound), one might also detect some retro influence of Kit Watkins in his Sunstruck period at work throughout in a structural sense. This is an enjoyable journey of shifting moods and ever-changing emotions, one can only imagine the panoramic imagery that this was created to accompany. Maybe someday they will release it...
Related artist(s): Johan Agebjörn
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
SKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”
We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.