A.S. Swanski - Electro Noir
Post Punk, Experimental A.S. Swanski is Dutch born, and now based in Sweden, he made his debut in 1999 with 'Twist'. After a long break he returned in 2011 with 'The Assassination' EP, a mini album about the rise of extreme right politics in today's Europe. His new album 'Electro Noir' came out early in 2012. A.S. Swanski makes dark electronica music, and the basis of this latest album 'Electro Noir', is to paint a disturbing picture of today's Europe, where the personal is never far removed from the political. Vocals on the album are mainly from Swanski and Russian singer, La Gouzel.

"Moscow Hearts" makes a very intriguing start. My first thoughts are that his dark electronica is generally more esoteric than eclectic which I have previously seen it described as. I can so far see it as being understandable by only a prescient group. But then if you strip things down to the bare music forgetting any images it conjures up and brings into your mind I begin to understand, it is Krautrock in nature and is therefore eclectic. Its sounds range from psychedelic to progressive and classical music to jazz. The vocals by A.S. Swanski are in narrative form and work well in contrast to the excellent almost opera like female vocals of La Gouzel. So for me it very much paints a picture of contrasts, but its open for interpretation by the individual.

"Therapie (Tadada)" creates a very cinematic soundscape through the male vocals, and the female vocals are also very prominent as they are dramatic and disconsolate in sound. The music once again has an air of Cabaret Voltaire and Kraftwerk. The atmosphere is all so mysterious, ambient, cold and dark. This effect comes mostly from the combination of the haunting piano, vocals and spectral beat.

That piano comes almost straight into play once again in "l'Etranger" (The Stranger). Avant-garde and disturbing in nature to say the least, but more experimental than innovative. This is not something I could ever say I like to listen to but that is not its purpose. As always its cinematic and full of images. It tells a cold and dark story of a stranger, and having been a stranger in a strange land like Swanski its not hard to interpret this for myself. I am sure everyone in their lives can find a scenario to fit this track.

In "Freedom" the lyrics were inspired by statements made by Geert Wilders, a far right maniac from Holland, a hero of Anders Behring Breivik. Very topical as I write on this day of Breivik's sentencing for murdering 77 people. Again avant-garde, minimalist and experimental in sound.

"Kälte" (Cold) is another gloomy and very cold track but very atmospheric, creates a kind of edge of your seat cinematic experience. Ambient as its very dark in sound but without the discordant edge. Like a journey through a cold grey city or perhaps a life of drudgery and no purpose. The everyday journey to the valueless office, and the boring and worthless work.

Next we have "dsk (You Bring Me Joy)". Note from A.S. Swanski: "In 2011, a three-letter abbreviation conquered the media: DSK. Or: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Casanova of Currency who was accused of having raped a hotel maid. Did you know that DSK was also short for Nazi police unit Devisenschutzkommando (the currency protection unit ? what a coincidence)...". Getting more experimental than ever and again minimalist, with its repeating phrases. It unusually has spots of beauty within it and a catchy beat in places.

"Wolfgang" is a synthpop like track but also full of animal like sounds. It has a quite nice melody behind it but the rhythmic animal noises or whatever they are really started to drive me crazy after a couple of minutes. The album did feel like a constant journey with each track melting into the next, but with this track I decided to get off the bus.

We continue with "Burn The Dutch" which builds up a good rhythm and beat, although the intermittent whistling is very annoying. About half way through for me it really loses the plot or at least I do. Its like stop the bus I want to get off again, far to off the wall for my taste. I like it dark, strange and gloomy but this doesn't have anything for me to grab onto to bring back those filmic images andf therefore it all becomes painful.

"I Felt A Funeral In My Brain" revolves around a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), narrated by Nikolle Doolin. Swanski has built a framework of mechanical sounds around Nikolle's voice to good effect. The poem is also very well narrated which is important as its such an integral part of the track.

Our final part is "Noir" which has a beat and jazz edge. It has a different musical beat also from the other tracks through the almost tribal like drums, which are made to sound distant. It certainly creates a very dark picture. It evokes feelings of solitude, melancholy, confinement, and isolation. Which is probably why we have lines like, "To be invisible, is to be happy", and "no one cares".

Conclusion:
My best description: Its like a mixture of Thomas Dolby, Throbbing Gristle and Faust, in a free Jazz framework. Or even better in parts its like Beat Poetry, like Mike Myers performs in the movie 'So I married an axe murderer'. You don't pick a highlight from work like this in my opinion as its one journey and one story, and the story belongs to you. So time to do some thinking as you are not going to be spoon fed by A.S. Swanski.

The production of this album is excellent. Its dark, variegated, disquieting, unique and even hypnotic in parts. Should you buy it? Go on Bandcamp and try for yourself. If you order the CD, you also get the mp3 version and ebooks with credits, lyrics and more as bonuses. Buy the download through Bandcamp and you also get the ebooks.
4
Brutal Resonance

A.S. Swanski - Electro Noir

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2012 by Nova Kung
A.S. Swanski is Dutch born, and now based in Sweden, he made his debut in 1999 with 'Twist'. After a long break he returned in 2011 with 'The Assassination' EP, a mini album about the rise of extreme right politics in today's Europe. His new album 'Electro Noir' came out early in 2012. A.S. Swanski makes dark electronica music, and the basis of this latest album 'Electro Noir', is to paint a disturbing picture of today's Europe, where the personal is never far removed from the political. Vocals on the album are mainly from Swanski and Russian singer, La Gouzel.

"Moscow Hearts" makes a very intriguing start. My first thoughts are that his dark electronica is generally more esoteric than eclectic which I have previously seen it described as. I can so far see it as being understandable by only a prescient group. But then if you strip things down to the bare music forgetting any images it conjures up and brings into your mind I begin to understand, it is Krautrock in nature and is therefore eclectic. Its sounds range from psychedelic to progressive and classical music to jazz. The vocals by A.S. Swanski are in narrative form and work well in contrast to the excellent almost opera like female vocals of La Gouzel. So for me it very much paints a picture of contrasts, but its open for interpretation by the individual.

"Therapie (Tadada)" creates a very cinematic soundscape through the male vocals, and the female vocals are also very prominent as they are dramatic and disconsolate in sound. The music once again has an air of Cabaret Voltaire and Kraftwerk. The atmosphere is all so mysterious, ambient, cold and dark. This effect comes mostly from the combination of the haunting piano, vocals and spectral beat.

That piano comes almost straight into play once again in "l'Etranger" (The Stranger). Avant-garde and disturbing in nature to say the least, but more experimental than innovative. This is not something I could ever say I like to listen to but that is not its purpose. As always its cinematic and full of images. It tells a cold and dark story of a stranger, and having been a stranger in a strange land like Swanski its not hard to interpret this for myself. I am sure everyone in their lives can find a scenario to fit this track.

In "Freedom" the lyrics were inspired by statements made by Geert Wilders, a far right maniac from Holland, a hero of Anders Behring Breivik. Very topical as I write on this day of Breivik's sentencing for murdering 77 people. Again avant-garde, minimalist and experimental in sound.

"Kälte" (Cold) is another gloomy and very cold track but very atmospheric, creates a kind of edge of your seat cinematic experience. Ambient as its very dark in sound but without the discordant edge. Like a journey through a cold grey city or perhaps a life of drudgery and no purpose. The everyday journey to the valueless office, and the boring and worthless work.

Next we have "dsk (You Bring Me Joy)". Note from A.S. Swanski: "In 2011, a three-letter abbreviation conquered the media: DSK. Or: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Casanova of Currency who was accused of having raped a hotel maid. Did you know that DSK was also short for Nazi police unit Devisenschutzkommando (the currency protection unit ? what a coincidence)...". Getting more experimental than ever and again minimalist, with its repeating phrases. It unusually has spots of beauty within it and a catchy beat in places.

"Wolfgang" is a synthpop like track but also full of animal like sounds. It has a quite nice melody behind it but the rhythmic animal noises or whatever they are really started to drive me crazy after a couple of minutes. The album did feel like a constant journey with each track melting into the next, but with this track I decided to get off the bus.

We continue with "Burn The Dutch" which builds up a good rhythm and beat, although the intermittent whistling is very annoying. About half way through for me it really loses the plot or at least I do. Its like stop the bus I want to get off again, far to off the wall for my taste. I like it dark, strange and gloomy but this doesn't have anything for me to grab onto to bring back those filmic images andf therefore it all becomes painful.

"I Felt A Funeral In My Brain" revolves around a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), narrated by Nikolle Doolin. Swanski has built a framework of mechanical sounds around Nikolle's voice to good effect. The poem is also very well narrated which is important as its such an integral part of the track.

Our final part is "Noir" which has a beat and jazz edge. It has a different musical beat also from the other tracks through the almost tribal like drums, which are made to sound distant. It certainly creates a very dark picture. It evokes feelings of solitude, melancholy, confinement, and isolation. Which is probably why we have lines like, "To be invisible, is to be happy", and "no one cares".

Conclusion:
My best description: Its like a mixture of Thomas Dolby, Throbbing Gristle and Faust, in a free Jazz framework. Or even better in parts its like Beat Poetry, like Mike Myers performs in the movie 'So I married an axe murderer'. You don't pick a highlight from work like this in my opinion as its one journey and one story, and the story belongs to you. So time to do some thinking as you are not going to be spoon fed by A.S. Swanski.

The production of this album is excellent. Its dark, variegated, disquieting, unique and even hypnotic in parts. Should you buy it? Go on Bandcamp and try for yourself. If you order the CD, you also get the mp3 version and ebooks with credits, lyrics and more as bonuses. Buy the download through Bandcamp and you also get the ebooks.
Aug 24 2012

Danya Malashenkov

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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