Exposé Online banner

Tor Lundvall — Empty City
(Strange Fortune SF3, 2006, CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2008-01-01

Empty City Cover art

There’s Copeland’s Quiet City and some years on The Muffins’ Open City. And countless preceding and following metaphorical interpretations of the City as a force in shaping the human condition. Lundvall’s Empty City seems most interested in impression and mood. There’s a familiar reliance on things metallic and bluntly repetitive motifs, articulations that have long been associated with the urban soundscape. Straddling the boundaries between drone and more active ambient pieces, the progression follows a narrative that passes through half light to the lighter half, voicing to steadily purer tones, and finally incorporating acoustic and vocal sources. But as drone, ambient or electronic music the 12 pieces prove ultra-conservative in rhythm, instrumentation, processing, and structure. Usually built around an unfigured pattern, juxtaposed with some occluded clusters, the pitched information shies away from harmonic exploration or much reprocessing. Rarely are there more than two things happening at once among these dour timbres – a feature which proves a strength. Through these restrictions an admirable consistency emerges, showing compositional restraint in search of the absolute minimum elements necessary to convey its several crepuscular moods: “Early Hours,” “Grey Water,” “Buildings and Rain,” and “Night Work” form a gentle arc to the culminating “Clearing Sky.” Where this fits remains an open question about the persisting idea that instrumental music is still somehow obligated to narrative ideas. Which leaves Empty City as a work of electronic minimalism searching for a more rewarding context.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Tor Lundvall

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Aqua - Aqua – Aqua were a German band who had some success in the 80s as a mainstream hard rock band. What is little known is that they began as a progressive rock band, but unfortunately never released any music...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues