Exposé Online banner

Sven Grünberg — Hingus
(Bureau B BB241, 1981/2016, CD/LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-05-10

Hingus Cover art

Estonian soundtrack composer Sven Grünberg began his career while still a music student in 1974 by founding the progressive rock band Mess. After the band broke up he started exploring the field of electronic ambient music, and he was the first musician in Estonia to use a synthesizer. Sven composed and recorded his first solo album Hingus between 1978 and 1980, releasing it on vinyl in 1981. I purchased my vinyl copy in 1983 and have longed for it to be released on CD. The vinyl album was reissued multiple times in the 80s on the Russian label Melodiya and also resissued on CD by the Russian label Boheme Music in 2000. Now Bureau B’s reissue is the first by a Western label. In the late 70s not much Western music made it through the Iron Curtain, so Sven relied more on his own creativity for Hingus (Breath) than being overly influenced by the Berlin School. Sven used various electronic instruments, some built by Estonians Härmo Härm and Koit Saarmäe (HH Synthesizer, HH Percussion Synth, and KS Synthesizer). He also played a Selmer Clavioline, an ARP Omni, and a Logan String Melody. Side One, now the first four tracks, contains the four parts of “Hingus.” There are no driving sequencers or rhythm, just minimal ambiance with tons of reverb, organ, synths, and abstract sounds. The other two tracks, which were on Side Two, “Teekond” and “Valgusois” are not quite as abstract. “Teekond” has a melody line and a slow beat, still with tons of reverb, electronic swells that make it difficult to identify the sound source, and wordless vocals. “Valgusois” has cascading notes, mono synths, sounds of wind and birds, and a beat that enters in the final three minutes. The overall sense you get from this album is the music could have been a soundtrack for an Eastern European sci-fi movie. And to top everything off, the cover art is a photo of the Sombrero Galaxy that greatly contributes to the cosmic ambiance of Hingus.


Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 1981 recordings

Related artist(s): Sven Grünberg

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

IQ - Ever – After two almost-completely duff studio albums and a long hiatus, it's good to see that the leading purveyors of the neo-Genesis sound are again living up to their good reputation. What does that...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues