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- Schmattes by Ester Elster
8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 25 January 2012
First up, I hate reviewing records with earphones on, especially when I'm stuck between the office hi-fi speakers and can hear the record Mikey is reviewing as loudly as my own. Don't know when we turned into a review factory but there you go, apologies if my evaluations are a little aggravated today. Right - Reverb Worship hit us with two new releases this week with 'Schmettes' being the prize addition. As usual, there's no press info as the label owner likes the music to speak for itself so I'll avoid the temptation to look them up online and review this blind...but with another record playing quite loudly in the background. 'Schmattes' is quite an unusual choice for Reverb Worship as it's surprisingly upbeat in its instrumentation, combining drone, krautrock and psych elements with electronics and spoken word narratives to excellent effect. Sounds like the voice is Swedish and I've no idea what is being said but musically, this is excellent. Lots on boundary pushing and genre mashing going on here with strange sounds and cosmic experimentation being key. It's very atmospheric without being a drag and leaves you wanting a little more. What more could you ask for. If only I knew Swedish. Available in the usual run of 50 copies.
Roger Linney said:
Let me introduce you to Ester Elster.They are a superb duo from Gothenburg, Sweden.Ester Elster is Oscar Sjölander : lyrics and Peter Olof Fransson : music.Together they create the most wonderful music.'Schmattes' was recorded during 2010 and 2011.It contains twelve tracks and is very, very good indeed.When I played the album it reminded me of being at school and encountering krautrock for the first time.So ,if you love Neu!, Cluster, Can and Kraftwerk this album will really float your boat.Peter has told me that from the beginning Ester Elster didn't start off like a musical act at all, but was more an attempt to create musical background to Oscar's poetry. Obviously it transformed to something else when Peter started to involve the Farfisa organ into the music.For live events they are maybe more inspired by theatrical acts like Arthur Brown and then obscure german polit-rock-cabaret krautrock acts like Floh De Cologne, Checkpoint Charlie (the record 'Grüss Gott Mit Hellem Klang), german avant garde music such as Anima-Sound (Paul & Limpe Fuchs)…. and from Sweden of course: Åke Hodell, Bo Hansson, Cosmic Overdose etc... The inspiration of the bands/artists that have been mentioning are maybe not so easy to detect within the kind of music that has been created, and the music that you will hear. Again Peter states that on record is one thing and Ester Elster performing live, I guess will be a completely different thing with more theatrical and unpredictable moments on stage.The album comes in a hand numbered edition of 50 copies.The covers are printed onto 230 gsm hand hammered white card.This release gets the highest possible recommendation from me.
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