The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nordic Taste

Star: Polaris (From the constellation Ursa Minoris)
Mood: Chilly

Let's hit Scandinavian uncharted territories. And for that, we'll seek the North Pole. Who would guide us better than Polaris itself in this chilly winter?
The yellow supergiant Polaris is the brightest star in its constellation, Ursa Minoris (the Small Bear, known as the Little Dipper). Her main value is that it is seen as the Pole Star since it is very close to the North Celestial Pole.
Polaris takes us on a ride to check the music of the Scandinavian territories. The rhythms, often seen as icy and cold, pierce your heart like no other. Grunge, Jazz, Electronica, Blues, and even Ambiant music... A perfect mixture of things...
Here are some artists and my favorite songs of theirs. Let Polaris roll you in!

01. Enjoy (Bjork) – from the album Post [1995]
With Bjork, it's either a love or a hate affair. I still don't manage to mash her voice in my head. But she sure is a truly unique artist. And when she experiences with electronica, an infusion of sounds emanate from her music. Enjoy was my most-listened-to track in late November - early December. It's a pure sexual call, but the real threat is the music. Electronic beats meet grunge-like rhythm. Pure rawness. The whole album is fantastic actually.

02. Believe (Gus Gus) – from the album Polydistortion [1997]
Next is this this fabulous trip-hop track by Gus Gus. I was introduced to this Icelandic act by my wonderful friend Olli whom I call my Nordic expert in music. This song is a metrical juggernaut. You can't but move with it. The beginning is awesome, with the drum machine kicking in. By the end, it gets menacingly great.

03. Staralfur (Sigur Ros) – from the album Agaetis Byrjun [2001]
World cannot say how much I love Staralfur. Sigur Ros are maybe the most famous group in Iceland (Yes, we're still in Iceland). So much sanguinity, freethoughts and evasion in this track. I don't understand a single word in the sparse chanting, but why would I mind? This track flirts with perfection.

04. Daybreak (Lisa Ekdhal) – from the album Sings Salvatore Poe [2000]

Moving from Iceland to Sweden. Alright, some call this album Jazz, others view is as Bossanova. Daybreak, the album's opener, got stuck in my head for merely a month after I heard it at my cousin's house. It is a perfect blend of emotions. Screw Diana Krall and Norah Jones, get Lisa Ekdhal instead!

05. Portuguese Nights (Ernesto's) – from the EP Portuguese Nights [2003]
If early-December was Bjork's Enjoy time, it switched in mid-December to this track which I can't kick out of my head nor player. I don't want to call this a new hybrid form of blues, yet it is. The perfect bland of the voice of the 24-year old Swedish singer Jonatan Bäckelie with some triply beats make this track look like a lost angel on the new music map. A must hear!



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