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Building on nearly a decade of friendship, with an evolving creative partnership spanning roughly half that time, Swedish / Australian synthesist, John Chantler, and Danish saxophonist, Johannes Lund, return with Andersabo, their second outing as a duo. An intricate, thrillingly unbridled blast of carefully controlled sonic anarchy, pushing at the perceptual boundaries of conversant sound, Andersabo captures the collision of two sympathetic, but often radically different, creative pursuits - Chantler’s subtle complexity, composing for electronics, modular synthesis, and acoustic instruments, and Lund’s full tilt constructions for various saxophones, pointedly defying long standing expectations and syntaxes applied to his chosen instrument — in open dialog with landscape beyond.
Recorded during the summer of 2019, while the duo were on a residency in rural Sweden, the album’s three works present a radical rethinking of aural collectivism. Each is a space within which the environment and its many actors — the floorboards of a barn, a grassy field, distant hills, insects, the pulse of an electric fence, or a passing tractor, threaded with the tones and responses of Lund’s saxophone and Chantler’s pump organ and synth — are given equal presence and voice. A clear, conceptual extension of both artists’ long standing pursuits of collaboration and the building of context, whether creatively or as facilitators, notably via Chantler’s Edition Festival in Stockholm, and Lund’s work within the Danish community as a founder of the legendary space, Mayhem. Andersabo represents a rigorously forward thinking rendering of utopian sound, inextricable from the joy, playfulness, and humour with which it was made. Two artist bound by friendship, dramatically opening the sense of creative possibility for the next.
A poignant reminder that art and its making, as serious as it is, can be thrilling, adventurous, and fun, the album’s opener, Back of the House, weaves an immersive and emotive tapestry of dancing texture and tone where the identity of generative sources flutter in and out of view, stripped of hierarchy. Shifting gears with the final minutes of the first side of the LP, Open Field & Forest packs a remarkable density into its length. Long, harmonic tones of a pump organ fall within a cavernous landscape, captured from beyond the farmhouse walls, its breadth riddled with unplaceable rumbles, clatters, and chirps, giving way as the animalistic howl of saxophone takes hold. With Under Barn Floor, stretching across the entirety of the LP’s second side, Chantler and Lund depart into a gripping, abstract portrait of time and place. Playfully pushing at the conceptual boundaries of drone, the hand of the artists rise and fall as the low frequencies of the bass saxophone and Chantler’s synthesized organ tones are challenged with interventions of insect sounds and countless, happenstance incidents, dancing with electronically generated images of themselves. A journey toward the future, locked within a discrete moment in time, which culminates as a collective intervention between voice, geography, ideas, and chance. An unpredictable bridge between electroacoustic and electronic composition and field recording, Andersabo offers a remarkable image of the rewards found through friendship, community, and uninhibited experimentation.
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