Tuesday, September 9, 2008

mossebo by johan agebjörn

I'll have to admit, I talk about electronica the same way I talk about most professional sports ("I love when he wins at the game that he plays"). The difference is of course, I actually care about my favorite beat-makers enough to keep talking and make a bigger fool out of myself. Oh boy. Here we go again....

Today, I flaunt my ignorance to shill for the latest offering from Sally Shapiro mastermind, Johan Agebjörn. His newest album, and first official solo release Mossebo was released yesterday, an event that dovetailed nicely with my eMusic downloads renewing. Go synergy!

The problem I have with a lot of electronica is just that. It's electronic music. Machines don't have a soul. (Although once I did see a drum machine with a "Drum Machines have no soul" sticker, a moment that made my evening.) Agebjörn clearly understands that the will of the artist must show though the medium1. Swapping the trashy yet addictive dance beats of Sally Shapiro's Disco Romance for the understated synth drama of Mossebo, he creates a world that's both epic and peaceful. It's a bit like watching a CinemaScope version of a 1980s snowfall, without, y'know the pesky frostbite and day glow leggings.

Since each track flows into the next, returning to theme variations throughout the entire album, it's difficult to parse specific tracks without again showing the breadth and depth of my ignorance. (I imagine the conversation would go something like, "I like the part where he goes bloop bleep bleep...") However I will say that the smooth cohesiveness of the album, augmented with samples of singer Lisa Barra's otherworldly soprano, makes for a compelling late night listen. Or...whatever that is in "electronica speak."

1. Sorry, that's three years of college art appreciation classes talking.

mp3: "Ambient Computer Dance " by Johan Agebjörn
mp3: "Digital Norway" by Johan Agebjörn
mp3: "He Keeps Me Alive" by Sally Shapiro

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