Release: July 7, 2023
The concept of strict musical genre has arguably been dead for decades, and the latest offering from Danish powerhouses Gustaf Ljunggren and Emil de Waal once again reinforces this notion.
Their third collaborative album ‘Stockholm København’, a spacious, cinematic and boundaryless exploration of their shared musical connection is set to release on July 7th on April Records.
Emil de Waal has been one of Denmark’s leading drummers for three decades. Gustaf Ljunggren initially studied the saxophone at the Rhythmic Conservatory of Copenhagen, where whispers spread throughout the school that he was the best saxophone player in town and yet never practiced. His career has seen him prove that he can bring grace, musicality and heart to any instrument he touches, from the pedal steel guitar, to the bass, piano, and more.
In the words of Danish multi-instrumentalist Kresten Osgood, “Although an instrument may be new to him he is able to play it like he has had a lifetime of experience working with it. Over the years I think the only instrument I haven’t seen him play is the drums.”
‘Stockholm København’ has a vast array of influences including Jazz, Americana, Film Music and Electronica. It is full of space, coaxing the listener into a meditative state and inviting them to drift away with their own imagination.
The record plays as a series of open-ended sketches or moods, absent of big defining melodies or familiar song-like structures. Each piece evolves over time, providing musical interest in the form of rhythmic ideas, rich harmony, texture, and repetitive melodic patterns from a guitar or rhodes.
Imaginative electronic production techniques combine the warm sounds of acoustic instruments with a constantly developing palette of otherworldly textures and effects. Grounded by an unwavering pulse, the combination of programmed beats and acoustic drums provide the hypnotic foundation over which the pair explore and challenge their common musical ground.
The album closes with an intimate recording from a performance at STUK in Belgium, with a comforting guitar-led Americana tune bringing the listener back into the room and sharing in the joy the duo have felt in playing together over the past twenty years.
Gustaf Ljunggren | Fender Rhodes, Synthesizers, Guitars, Programming, Bass
Emil de Waal | Acoustic and Electronic Drums and Percussion, Electronics, Programming
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