Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review: MOSSEBO Special Edition

I care about animals, global justice and the environment. I am a vegan and I try to purchase ecological and fair trade products as much as I can. - Johan Agebjörn
Some albums are worth revisiting; MOSSEBO is one of those albums in the Ambient Electronic realm, recently remastered and reissued by the team at Spotted Peccary Music in Portland, OR. 

The Los Angeles Times’ August Brown called the original MOSSEBO “a more melancholy and ambient tone poem of an album,” and e/i Magazine wrote that it’s “like some brilliant bolt out of the blue, unexpected, surprising, ever-rejuvenating.” The collection of ambient pieces was composed between 2004 and 2007, and one additional track that was created in 1996; it is an album that is both electronic and organic at its core, with wordless vocals by Lisa Barra winding their way through many of Johan Agebjörn’s dazzling synth compositions.

The acclaimed Swedish electronica (Sally Shapiroproducer’s highly-anticipated MOSSEBO Special Edition: Remastered + Bonus Tracks “Kyrie Elesion” and “Unhappy Love,” evokes human warmth in a wintry landscape. An ambient sci-fi forward motion sound with shimmering electro beats, expertly juxtaposing intimacy and isolation, to which you can both dance and dream. This remastered, digital-only edition is available now only  through and

Barra’s childhood journeys through India led her to an appreciation of the folk music of different cultures, and that passion comes through on these tracks to express an array of emotions that range from soothing to foreboding, to uplifting; challenging emotions to convey in the world of electronic music. The socially-aware artists have agreed that the entire artist’s share of the royalties for Mossebo are going to be donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Agebjörn recalls the origin of the album: "In 2004-2005, I experienced a period of illness and unemployment, locating myself in a 19th century cottage in Sweden, called Mossebo. There, isolated in the countryside, I started composing, mainly acoustic piano music and electronic ambient music, influenced by the landscape around me.”

The angelic voice of Gothenburg-based vocalist Barra graces more than half of the tracks. Agebjörn heard her in 2003 at a performance for an animal rights event, and started to sample her sound for his ambient creations in 2004. “I sent her the results, and she liked what I did, so we started to record some new songs in a studio. We also performed the songs live at a concert in Linköping in 2005.” The performance was aired on regional TV and a small part of “Unitas Vitae” is on YouTube:

There are two Bonus Tracks on the new Special Edition. “Kyrie Eleison” (“Lord Have Mercy”) with Barra’s ethereal vocals, and the bittersweet “Unhappy Love.” The new tracks add a spiritual dimension and a thoughtful romantic epilogue. Overall MOSSEBO has an expansive, techno-ambient, melancholic feeling, with a lush textural color range, expertly mixed, produced and mastered. A remarkable journey through electronic terrain.

This special edition of Johan Agebjörn‘s full length debut, MOSSEBO, includes the original album plus the two previously unreleased tracks from the era, all meticulously remastered by Howard Givens in 24-bit clarity from the original mixes.

Speaking from Lund in May 2019, Agebjörn adds, "This remastered version of Mossebo includes a previously unreleased track from that 1996-1997 era called ‘Unhappy Love’. The main melodic sound on this track was actually sampled from a Commodore 64 computer storage tape, played on a tape-recorder and slowed down a few octaves. This same sound was later used on ‘Dulciter Somni’ – and on ‘Kyrie Eleison’, another bonus track exclusive to this edition of ‘Mossebo’. ‘Kyrie Eleison’ was also the first track I made using Lisa’s vocals. Have a listen.”
1 Dulciter Somni (Remastered) 07:07
2 The Sound of Snowflakes Touching the Ground (Remastered) 08:45
3 Mossebo (Remastered) 01:08
4 The Sea (Remastered) 03:51
5 Ambient Computer Dance (Remastered) 05:39
6 Shoreline (Remastered) 03:20
7 Unitas Vitae (Remastered) 06:27
8 Putting More Wood in the Fire (Remastered) 02:07
9 Siberian Train Part I (Remastered) 08:43
10 Siberian Train Part II (Remastered) 08:10
11 A New Day Arrives (Remastered) 04:55
12 Kyrie Eleison (Bonus Track) 04:50
13 Unhappy Love (Bonus Track) 08:39

Mossebo: Special Edition is accessible in most formats via Spotted Peccary Music.

Monday, November 4, 2019

MUSIC VIDEO Mini-Review: "Autumn in a Forest Glade" by Rudy Adrian

This peaceful video was called "resplendent" and "anointed" when it debuted on a Facebook Watch Party. If you love Autumn, forests and crisp walks as much as I do, this video may become your favorite for instant relaxation, meditation, or mindfulness sessions. 

Shot as if one is walking - and sometimes flying - through the forest of changing light and color, one marvels at the massiveness of redwoods and the delicacy of dewy ferns. One senses the stillness and wonder of walking in the wood, enhanced by Adrian's unobtrusive soundscapes.

 Composer-musician Rudy Adrian's career in Botany and Forestry is evident in the music of Woodlands, a reverent new ambient electronic album presenting 13 tracks including "Autumn in a Forest Glade." Video created by Daniel Pipitone of Spotted Peccary Music, the Portland-based label whose apt slogan is: Music is Art.

Enjoy it in full screen on YouTube anytime life gets too busy.