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ELGGREN, LEIF - Das Baank

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Rekem Records / Fragment Factory REKEM09/[FRAG36]
Release Year: 2016
Note: subtitled "A New Era Of Economical Growth And Prosperity And Safety And Power", this is a very though-provoking, political release by Swedish most idiosyncratic conceptual sound-artist LEIF ELGGREN; thematically based around USURY in the historical & actual perspective (extensive liner notes on backcover), the 8 tracks range from sharp droning noise to alienated/processed sacral music... a very strong release ! lim. 300
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"A New Era Of Economical Growth And Prosperity And Safety And Power. Edition of 300 on vinyl LP. Rekem Records and Fragment Factory are proud to present a solo album from veteran Swedish artist Leif Elggren. Skirting both the area of pure sound, as well as that of symbolism, the record is a powerful statement on the limits of social and political absurdity and corruption in our present time. 'Das Baank' is notable for the absence of its creator's voice, as the sound of Elggren's characteristic spoken word is nowhere to be found. Instead the music traverses between carefully paced dramatic musical passages, and sections of pure and often confrontational noise. Opener DasB1' features a haunting chorus of ghostly voices submerged within a quasi-orchestral movement, whereas each track that follows mostly goes deeper into industrial-sounding territories that provide an antithesis as well as an exhilarating liberation from the shackles of established normality and complacency. Elggren here takes on the issues of repression, violence, fear and power; the tracks are generically named but each is notable for its clarity and lucidness, and their focus on individual sound-worlds sees a direct correlation to the importance their author sees in each singular being against the greater absurdities we face. Its deeply philosophical stance makes this album an imperative appeal for our times. Mastered by Henrik Rylander. Leif Elggren is a Swedish artist who lives and works in Stockholm. Active since the late 1970s, he is a writer, visual artist, stage performer and composer. He has many soundworks to his credit, both solo and with the Sons of God (with Kent Tankred), on labels such as Ash International, Touch, Radium and Firework Edition Records (which he co-runs with Kent Tankred). His music usually presents carefully selected sound sources over a long stretch of time and can range from quiet electronics to harsh noise. His wide-ranging and prolific body of art often involves dreams and subtle absurdities, social hierarchies turned upside-down, hidden actions and events taking on the quality of icons. Together with artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff, he is a founder of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV) where he enjoys the title of king." [label info]

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"It has been a while since we've experienced the wonderfully absurdist cataclysm that is Leif Elggren. He who has crowned himself co-king of Elgaland-Vargaland. He who has claimed every yellow and black piece of striped automotive signage as his own paintings. Leif Elggren. Das Baank is an incendiary piece of acoustic noise that hits more on a Matthew Bower / Stephen O'Malley aesthetic of scalded distortion, that sound more like a power sander than analog electronics, even as that's the likely source material. He couples this with backwards recordings of monastic chants, stretched and dragged out to haunted drones. All of this is aimed as something of an exorcism of the corruption from the usury that is a central tenent of the capitalist system. The liner notes go to great length to showcase the historical denigration of usury as morally incompatible with Christian and Muslim teachings, highlighting the irony that religion is often couched with conservative agendas to promote the extremes of capitalist exploitation for the benefit of a few. Sonically, it's one of the most compelling pieces of sound demolition we've heard from Elggren in quite a long time. Brilliant stuff." [Aquarius Rec.]