Remember Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven? Throughout time, poets, painters and composers have used nature’s influences to create great art. But what about the electronica scene? Isn’t it captured in its own little space bubble, dreaming of the future, of the advances in technology and SF-related topics? In short: Don’t producers of electronica dream of electric birds?
If asked, most of the producers involved in this compilation album would clearly state that the Swedish forest does not influence their work. Yet, they would reflect upon this remixing experience as having been a hell of lot of fun. How much can a natural birdcall be remixed before it loses its meaning completely? Can it ever lose its meaning? Is it actually still a raven if, not Poe’s version of it, but the cold, focused minimal techno version by Anders Ilar; a Scarlet Rosefinch in the hands of experimental electronicatrio Midaircondo; Hans Appelqvist´s cuckoo anxiously alone on the African desert, accompanied by the year’s funkiest little piano tune; Sophie Rimheden´s highly digitalized nightingale just aching to go to the coolest club in town, and by that taking a part of the deep woods with it? The answers are unimportant; placing songbirds in the hands of some of the finest producers in Sweden creates mind-blowing results.
This album is much more than simply a compilation of cool digital birdcalls. It is also a memorial to by-gone days. For 42 years (yes indeed!) Swedish National Radio, P2 hosted a show dedicated to the birds in our northern country. Along with explanations by ornithologists, radio listeners also heard the call of each bird. The show “Månadens Pausfågel” (The Pausebird of the Month) was shut down. As a celebration of this cool show, another radio show, Ström (Current started on the 18th of January 2006) wanted to commemorate the silenced “pause birds” in some way. Although the show is not linked to a natural theme, but to the wonderful world of electronic music, the idea of combining birds and electronica was born.
The weekly remix of birdcalls was indeed a new (and precious) thing for Swedish radio listeners. A number of ten producers were asked to participate. They all turned up with inventive and bold versions of the natural sounds. Whether keeping it mostly analogue (as saralunden´s mockingbird) or giving the bird a real treatment of zeros and ones, as Ola Bergman did for his Tengmalms Owl, the results are stunning.
The remixes included on the album feature not only the ten that were broadcasted on Ström, but also bonus tracks from two of the giants in Swedish electronica: Håkan Lidbo and Andreas Tilliander, the latter under his moniker Mokira. The Golden Oriole and the Curlew have never sounded more beautiful and odd. That’s a promise.
Apart from being producers and bird remixers, Andreas Tilliander and Håkan Lidbo together with journalist Mats Almegård produce the mind-blowing radio show Ström.
01 svarthättan/svarthättan behöver ingen tatuering -- PST 03:53
02 gök -- hans appelqvist 04:06
03 näktergal -- sophie rimheden 04:00
04 pärluggla -- ola bergman 03:36
05 rosenfink/for scarlet -- midaircondo 03:27
06 korp -- anders ilar 03:42
07 nötväcka -- tape 03:29
08 härmsångare/slightfeeling -- saralunden 04:44
09 sångsvan -- son of clay 03:59
10 rödvingetrast -- folie 04:30
11 storspov -- andreas tilliander 04.00
12 sommargylling -- håkan lidbo 04.00
Pausfågeln on Swedish TV: