LEIF ELGGREN
The Cobblestone is the Weapon of the Proletariat
Is There a Smell on the Other Side?
LEIF ELGGREN & CLAUDE MELLAN
The Sudarium of St Veronica
MICHAEL ESPOSITO, LEIF ELGGREN, EMANUEL SWEDENBORG
The Summerhouse

[Firework Edition Records, www.fireworkeditionrecords.com]

Leif Elggren is what you would call an all-encompassing artist. Besides music, this Swedish creative soul is heavily involved in publishing, stage performances, installations and composition. Along with dozens of records to his own name and as many works in other disciplines, he is probably best known for creating KREV [Kingdoms of Elgaland/Vargaland] - a virtual country that comes with its own unique constitution, national anthem and various departments. Since 1988, together with Kent Tankred, he is a part of the Guds söner [Sons of God], a duo whose unconventional methods of presenting their forum has raised many accolades and eyebrows at the same time [for one infamous performance, the duo drove a number of chairs across the stage, while another performance featured the duo striving to make a carpet fly with little success]. While these four Leif Elggren releases from the Firework Edition catalogue are separate identities and stand well on their own accord, the common thread running through these is the sheer determination and guts of this artists to make his undiluted work filter directly through to the listeners' ears.
On June 15th, 2001 a cobblestone was thrown on the street outside of the Firework Edition studios in Stockholm. That one sound [the stone was only thrown once] forms the basis of the sound material for most of the material on "The Cobblestone is the Weapon of the Proletariat". While some material is fairly straight-forward buzzing drones, other stuff is much more obtuse. It's difficult to get a grasp on some of the more oblique material, though one gets the sense that this is the whole purpose of this exercise. The cobblestone is not meant to be recognized, as the electric shifts in the soundwork take precedence over everything else. Is it the egg or the chicken that came first, one begs to ask. "The North is Protected" is a recited work produced specifically for the Nordic Pavilion at 2001's la Biennale di Venezia. Elggren yells that "The north is protected from Elvis Presley. The north is protected by the king. The north is protected from musical influences." Taking cues perhaps from Bern Porter's "The Last Acts of St. Fuck You", Elggren's rant is as hilarious as it is straight-faced in its delivery.
"The road: The mouth, teeth, gullet, throat, stomach, intestines, rectum. A movement intended to be one-way throughout, but which in many cases constitutes a dead end. Stops in the stomach and returns the way it came. Wants to get out again. Doubt. Regret. - A bit of white froth at the corners of the mouth, almost like a kind of sticky, gray-white, thick grease, creates a certain feeling of disgust, distaste (Wipe your mouth, for Christ's sake!). But it is also, unequivocally, a physical indication of bodily decay, of death that is everywhere approaching, in every nook and cranny." Over the next 65 minute span, Elggren spews out a litany of disgust and demoralizing mantra. "Is There a Small on the Other Side?" is not easy listening for it is the sound of decay. This is the sound of a repeated sample of a record played over and over, while the author rants his fears associated with life, death and ultimately disintegration. Scary journey but one worth taking at least a few times, in order to get a grasp on this man's thought process.
Source material for "The Sundarium of St Veronica" is a copper engraving by French artist Claude Mellan from 1649. The portrait is that of Christ and it's engraved through a continuous spiral line that begins at the tip of his nose. A reproduction was made of the original, which was a photo etching done in copper. This plate was played back by specifically designed turntable and recorded for this CD. There are three variations documented here. First one is the most minimal of the three. This one involved the plate being spun by hand with a dry-point needle. The rough glitches are sparse, while the spacing between sounds is stretched out. When the plate is played back at 33 RPMs, the sound becomes much more aggressive and suddenly comes alive. By the middle of the piece, one gets the perception that we're stuck in the middle of a hail storm that won't let up. When the plate is put on a table while the needle is moving in the third variation, once again the sounds become sparse and intermittent. Highly revolutionary, consider this recording a soundtrack to an art masterpiece.
Swedish scientist and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg began to speak to spirits in The Summerhouse in Swedenborg sometime during the middle of 1700s. Leif Elggren and sound fisher Michael Esposito traveled to the location in July of last year to record the ghostly happenings inside this house. Esposito used Electronic Voice Phenomena [form of communicating with the dead] to record the mysterious, other-worldly occurrence inside the mansion. Whether what we hear on "The Summerhouse" is Swedenborg speaking to angels or not, I don't know. Certainly, there are voices heard throughout the recordings, oftentimes repeating the same phrase or just individual words. Add to this footsteps, mysterious knocks and taps, static and drilling and you get a completely messed up work. Scary as hell! Did I mention there's a recipe for authentic Swedish Semlor printed inside the CD booklet.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Accomplice Affair - Jezioro Wspomnien
+ Sekkutsu Jean + Kawataba Makoto / Sekkutsu Jean + Kawataba Makoto
+ Zdzisław Piernik/Piotr Zabrodzki - Namanga
+ The Limit - Reinventing The Sun
+ Woody -Selected Works 2002 - 2006
+ Rick Wade - The Good, The Bad & The Deep
+ The Vegetable Orchestra - Remixed
+ Soul Designer - Evolutionism
+ James Ruskin - Dash
+ Alexander Roland - Nada Irama
+ Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity
+ Pluxus - Solid State
+ Savas Pascalidis - Deep Red
+ Osborne - Osborne
+ Muting The Noise
+ My Favourite Things
+ The Mole - As High As The Sky
+ Jack Marchment - Corydon & Manjrekar
+ LoSoul - Raw Beauty
+ Frank Kusserow - Atomsplit
+ IMPS - Bring Out The Imps
+ Housemeister - InOrderToDance
+ Housemeister - Who Is That Noize
+ Chris Fuentes - Noir Seven
+ Fenin - Been Through
+ Electric President - Sleep Well
+ The Black Dog - Radio Scarecrow
+ Diamanten & Raketen II
+ Delon & Dalcan -Tanz
+ Classic Cuts - Mixed By Serge
+ Grand Cru 2008
+ Feeling Strange - Jennifer Cardini
+ Falco Brocksieper - Heavy Day
+ Boogybytes Vol. 4 - Mixed By Ellen Allien
+ Bobby & Blumm - Everybody Loves
+ Axel Bartsch - Kiss
+ Antonelli - Soulkiller
+ Alter Ego - What's Next?!
+ Muariolanza - Po drugiej stronie Przemszy
+ Satanicpornocultshop - Takusan No Ohanasan
+ Klangwart - Stadtlandfluss
+ Pedal - Pedal
+ Jasmina Maschina - The Demolition Series
+ David Maranha - Marches of the New World
+ Free Spirits - Out of Sight and Sound
+ Hamid Drake & Bindu - Blissful
+ Kaiser/Noyes/Park - Invite the Spirit. 1983
+ Sound of Feeling - Up Into Silence
+ Michał Jacaszek - Treny

- - - - - - - - -

+ EIGHT PENCE CHAINS - Music is Matter / ELLIOTT SHARP - Octal: Book One / GIL TRYTHALL - Country Moog / Nashville Gold / SOEREN KJAERGAARD / BEN STREET / ANDREW CYRILLE - Optics / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Classic African American Gospel / FRODE GJERSTAD TRIO - Nothing is Forever / ERIK LEVANDER - Kondens / BERSARIN QUARTETT - Bersarin Quartett / M.A.N.D.Y. - Fabric 38 / OH ASTRO - Champions of Wonder / THE WRONG OBJECT - Stories from the Shed / MILTON NASCIMENTO - Pietá / BOBBY AND BLUMM - Everybody Loves? / DJ DOLORES - 1 Real / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Wild Style - Original Soundtrack / BENEVA vs. CLARK NOVA - Sombunall / TSURUBAMI - Tenrin / STEVE LACY - The Forest and the Zoo / MORGAN MITTAG - Digiwatt Lydt / AARON DUGAN + JEFF ARNAL - Dog Day / RENDERIZORS - Submarine / SAMUEL BLASER QUARTET - 7th Heaven / CRACKLE - Heavy Water / MARIE QUEENIE LYONS - Soul Fever / CLARK - Turning Dragon / FRICARA PACCHU - Midnight Pyre / BOXDESERTER - TwoRevolutions / THE FALL - Live at the Knitting Factory L.A. - 14 November 2001 / CLIVE BELL / BECHIR SAADE - An Account of My Hut / COSTA MUSIC - Lighter Subjects / PADDED CELL - Night Must Fall / KLAUS TREUHEIT - Madrigali, 1° libro / PURE SOUND - Acts of New Noise / BORIS - Smile / ARANOS - Mother of Moons Bathing / SCOTT TUMA - Not For Nobody / ETRAN FINATAWA - Desert Crossroads
+ YOSHI WADA - Lament for the Rise and Fall of the Elephantine Crocodile
+ GORDON MONAHAN - Theremin in the Rain
+ SOLO ANDATA / SEAWORTHY / TAYLOR DEUPREE - Live in Melbourne
+ BORN RUFFIANS - Red Yellow & Blue
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Graceful Degradations: Variations
+ THE ADVISORY CIRCLE - Other Channels
+ YITZHAK YEDID - Oud Bass Piano Trio - Suite in Five Movements
+ ORLANDO JULIUS - Super Afro Soul
+ DEBASHISH BHATTACHARYA - Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey
+ FREDERIC BLONDY / THOMAS LEHN - Obdo
+ GABLE - Seven Guitars With a Cloud of Milk
+ FUCK BUTTONS - Street Horrrsing
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Otherness / Periferico - Sounds from Beyond the Bubble / Blood, Muscle & Air - The Intimate Voice
+ GLOBE UNITY ORCHESTRA - Globe Unity - 40 Years
+ ERIC BROCHARD / JEAN-LUC GUIONNET / EDWARD PERRAUD - [on] / JEAN-LUC GUIONNET / TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA - Map
+ CIRCLE - Panic / Rakennus (Live)
+ BILLIE HOLIDAY - Rare Live Recordings 1934-1959
>> LEIF ELGGREN - The Cobblestone is the Weapon of the Proletariat / Is There a Smell on the Other Side? / LEIF ELGGREN & CLAUDE MELLAN - The Sudarium of St Veronica / MICHAEL ESPOSITO, LEIF ELGGREN, EMANUEL SWEDENBORG - The Summerhouse
+ ANNA JARVINEN - Jag Fick Feeling
+ KADAVER - This time...it's cancer
+ MALVINA REYNOLDS - Sings the Truth
+ ROBERT PIOTROWICZ - Lasting Clinamen

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Arsenal of tracks - wywiad z Rickiem Wade'em
+ Smutek gra mi w duszy - Michał Jacaszek
+ CoCArt Music Festival 2008, czyli ulotne brzmienie obrazu