Exposé Online banner

The End — Svårmod och Vemod Är Värdesinnen
(RareNoise RNR097, 2018, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-01

Svårmod och Vemod Är Värdesinnen Cover art

One of the qualities I enjoy most in music is surprise. While there is a potential comfort in music that does what you expect it to, I value the disorientation that comes when creative artists let their freak flags fly, so to speak, and throw out whatever comes to mind without regard for convention. The End is a group that features musicians doing exactly that. This international collaboration features Mats Gustafson and Kjetil Møster on saxophones and electronics, both of whom we’ve encountered before in avant-jazz settings. Anders Hana (baritone guitar) is a former member of Jaga Jazzist — so again, a jazz guy, though of a fairly different stripe than the more experimental projects of the two woodwind players. Vocalist Sofia Jernberg is new to me, though her bio lists a variety of work in both jazz and modern classical music, leaning towards the experimental side. On drums we find Greg Saunier, an American known for his work in the band Deerhoof, which tends towards noisy improvisational rock rather than jazz. This makes for an interesting and unpredictable blend of sounds. Gustafson and Møster don’t often play saxes at the same time, so this isn’t as woodwind-heavy as you might expect — there are a lot of unidentifiable sounds I’m putting down to the credited “electronics.” There are moments of squalling feedback and craziness that don’t seem to be guitar-based, but also times when a natural sounding sax comes to the fore. Jernberg mostly sings in normal tonal ways (with a beautiful tone, I might add), but also ventures into ululating cries, growls, whispering, and other non-standard ways of using her voice, sometimes wordlessly, but often in English. Hana occupies the lower register, though without fulfilling what would be considered a normal “bass” role. Saunier provides timekeeping at times, but this is far from ordinary rock drumming. In some ways, the approach is more akin to some of the more boundary-pushing jazz players than anything you’d hear anywhere else. The six tracks range from under a minute to nearly 15, and feature both composed and improvised parts. All in all, it’s a fascinating glimpse into the minds of five unfettered talents, and a true adventure in listening.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Kjetil Møster, The End, Mats Gustafsson, Sofia Jernberg

More info
http://endisnear.bandcamp.com/album/sv-rmod-och-vemod-r-v-rdesinnen

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Monolith - Monolith – At first listen this k/b/d band delivers up derivative progressive rock of the highest order. However, I discovered that a good chunk of this was written in 1977, nearly predating the sound they lean...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues