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ELGGREN, LEIF - Is there a Smell on the Other Side?

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Firework Edition Records FER1062
Release Year: 2006
Note: definitely one of the most intense ELGGREN albums, this one-tracker (62+ min) with dramatic orchestral string music samples & loops as basis, giving ground for ELGGRENS spoken and shouted words about the mystery of the human body, digestion and creation, death and where we come from at all.. about urine and shit and other body fluids, why does it all exist, how does it work, a heavy 'tour de force' through a despaired, ever reflecting brain... very intense & unique !!
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"Oh yes, this eternal materialisation, this chance of a body, an opportunity. As I write this they report in the media that the population in Sweden has just become nine million bodies. Nine million bodies that come from where? From where? ? I remember that when my kids were big enough we could, in one way or another, communicate verbally. I used to ask them where they came from. ? Where do you come from? Do you know? Do you remember? I was wondering if they had some small reminiscences left, some small memories or so. They were still so close. So close to that incomprehensible. So close to that threshold just recently passed."
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"It's a strange one, as is to be expected from herr Elggren. Basic material is very simple, short loops of orchestral string music + percussion, repeated ad infinitum, slight variations and aberrations applied throughout the disc. Like a chaotically skipping cd-player from an alternate universe, a mix of sweet nostalgia with utmost bizarreness. On top of this we have Elggren's creaky (slightly distorted) voice narrating stories and texts about mortality, the passage of time, the passage of food through the mouth and out the ass, his biological father as a sewage system worker, the intestines of dead Swedish royalty etc. At some points he gets into a proper frenzy and one can just imagine the spit and foam ejecting from his mouth. Like the deranged guy at the street corner, rambling about crazy things that make TOO much sense for your liking... you just cannot stop listening.

Clearly not for everyone, 60+ minutes of this is not for the faint of heart. But personally I'm totally enthralled by this album. There's something about his voice and delivery, they smack of total conviction and obsession. And even though the texts don't really make too much sense on the surface, they all fit together somehow. There is a theme there, a plot, even if I cannot completely grasp it right now (or maybe I'm just successfully scammed...). And the looped music feels nicely discomforting by itself, like the David Jackman disc we discussed in another thread (though Elggren is not as subtle as Jackman), a fine combination of familiarity and "wrongness". 10/10 points for total mind-fuck.

"why are we shitting and pissing in drinking water? we are not pissing in wine, or coca cola? ... a bit of white froth at the corners of the mouth, almost like a kind of sticky, grey-white, thick grease, creates a certain feeling of disgust, distaste.. but it is also, unequivocally, a physical indication of bodily decay, of death that is everywhere approaching, in every nook and cranny..."

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