Sunday, 9 August 2015

Brustna Illusioner, a Swedish treasure from 1974 [no download, review only]

Now how about a really uninspired cover for a change?

But don't judge a prog album by its cover--because the inner soul of this record shines with a beautiful and long-shadowed light into the inner halls of the mind and, at least for me, will be remembered for a long time in those dark and cloistered passageways...

I will first thank the collector who shared this (as usual) expensive rarity and offer a song, the first and very representative:

I think I've mentioned before how often Scandinavian music features a melancholy substrate.   Altogether you will be reminded of the Greek Pete and Royce albums, with the oddish, languid and downtempo piano chords and the progressive angles here and there judiciously placed through the songwriting.  They truly get it over the top with the track called "Happy New Year:"

"There is no constellation and I feel sad-- oh--
everybody's gone, the last year has left for a new,
and I think it's bound to be bad..."

Notice how in the middle of the song, the drumset picks up and starts banging out a totally different song starting with a bass and fuzz guitar with this manic kind of duet chanting seemingly homeless-inspired, like a bum on a corner shouting out his clinical depression plus axis III (DSM-V) alcoholism, before we return to the same E minor we started with for an exhausted, spent recapitulation.  Does it get any better than this?  Brilliance.  Please-- everyone, let's all sing this song instead of the godawful Auld Lang Syne every new years eve from now on!

This is art at its finest: beauty and craziness, creative inspiration, the hollow echoey sound of the solo piano with the slightly off-kilter singing voice, plus a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour all rolled in one big fat luscious cabbage roll of a song... wow!  (In a song called "Duke of War" the lyrics start with "I hate the King of Norway...")

Notice there is a mix of swedish and English as was common from this country and Germany.  There are actually many Beatles influences (including their infamous backwards guitar solo that is, recorded to tape and tape played backwards) and some pop a la Pepe & Paradise. 

The last track is called "Stupid Record Company" and, again, I want to throw it out as a homage to the most slimy and disgusting, far-from-art form of art there is in this world altogether today, I speak of course of the music business:

Notice the great G minor intro chord with reverb and vibrato on the electric piano, with an initial melody that reminds me, suspiciously, probably unintentionally, of John Lennon's upgoing verse for Bungalow Bill.  But the lyrics are fabulous-- beyond brilliant.

"I've been writings songs for day and night, and I'm sending my work to the stupid record companies. 
Stupid record companies, why don't you like my music?
They say, 'no no no'...
I've been writing songs of life and death, and I've sent my work to the stupid record companies.
Stupid record companies, why don't you like my music?"

Why Indeed?  A question every unrecognized artist has asked themselves, but perhaps not with the same humour and skill as this songwriter.  Some database information here.  Notice there are copies for sale, and it generally sells from 100 to 300 USD, providing some measure of an explanation for why there is no download to follow in the nearest future.  But meanwhile can we provide some artistic justice and celebrate this magnificent set of songs for what it's truly worth, as a musical work of art?  Beg, steal or borrow, preferably the latter, to find this record, buy it if you have to, borrow it or trade something to get it, but believe me when I say it is worth hearing in its entirety...


  1. I found your blog today and I am impressed with it, congrats for this amazing work!

    A big thanks from Brazil!

  2. Hi, many thanks for this pointer as the music is really unheard and fine. Happy to say i fin dit for download @320 kbs on soulseek. Alas for the poor collector who would ask $300 for it... Great blog btw!

  3. oh wow, what a surprise! to think that my friend did indeed pay...