An intriguing new release and solid record (some pun intended) out on New Speak by the founder and owner Ola Bergman. The label was activated the same year as Electronic Desert and that would be Anno Domini 2002 (wait a year and it’ll be an even move of ten). The latest New Speak recording was 2009’s ‘Recast’ CD compilation featuring an array of talented electronic musicians.
‘Quizzical’ is actually a two part album and this is indicated by the first part’s subtitle ‘issue 1’. The four-track 12-inch has an equal distribution of tracks and makes for an enjoyable meeting with Ola Bergman’s musical world. And it is in every aspect an electrofied, heavily analogue, melodic and danceable encounter.
The opening track ‘Fearcast’ (which simply must be a play with words of the 2005 ‘Forecast’ release and track) is a piece of well-crafted, slightly nostalgic and all around nice sounding music. The drum machine on ‘Radiosonde’ is as solid as it has got pedigree and it is accompanied by a gentle melody, yet it still manages to be a definite dance floor adept. The B-side features ‘Pollination’ and ‘Crescent Nebula’ and both the tracks are sound wise more steadily focused on the shores of America rather than Europe. ‘Pollination’ also incorporates processed vocal elements.
‘Quizzical’ is another top quality release on New Speak and if you like New Speak and Ola Bergman’s music I strongly suggest you get a copy fast. The release is limited to 100 hand printed copies and they will not last.
“What You Want Isn’t What You Need” is the title of Lackluster’s full-length release on New Speak and by the looks of it is also possibly the last New Speak release ever! On the album Lackluster has searched his extensive archives and comes up with 10 tracks produced during the years 1996 – 2006. His +3 hour live extravaganza at New Speak for Beginners 3 the 29th October 2005 demonstrated just how extensive this archive is with the outmost clarity. And as you would expect from Lackluster and New Speak it’s a collection of high-quality electronic music that is contained on the album. Ranging from down tempo to up-tempo, with house-influences and without, all in all generally beautiful and well-produced electronic music. Actually the first New Speak release Ola Bergman’s “The Great Family Hotel” coincided with the first ever ED-event and if this really is the eight and last New Speak release, they’re already sorely missed!
Oh man is this ever a good idea! Ola Bergman’s “The Satellite City” is a digital summary of his more or less hard to come by 12-inch New Speak vinyl singles. New Speak of course being his very own prolific label (this CD release surely already has watered the mouths of the filesharing community outthere). Apart from the awesome collection of tracks that the singles themselves form. You also get some never heard before tarcks directly from Mr Bergman’s spacious bag of musical tricks. For example the excellent “Fivecast” and complete with analouge bassline and amplitude of athmosphere or the Kraftwerk hommage “No Policy” or the exceedingly beautiful “Otra Vuelta”. The 14 tracks also demonstrates another fact in a very clear and concise way and that is the musical development that has taken place. The very same fact that has also demonstrated itself on numerous occasions in the recent live performances made by the artist in question. The dance floor is getting closer and closer (it’s true that it has never been all that far away, but bare with me here…) and the beats getting rougher by the minute, yet always firmly grounded in the electro soil. Having said that it is of paramaount importance to me to point out that Bergman’s electro-based forward moving electronics are truly unique and defying categorisation in the most effective of ways. In conclusion: no matter if you already know or if you simply want to know what all the fuss is about I strongly suggest that you get a copy of “The Satellite City” an outstanding collection of modern electronic classics!
“Furious Styles” is a superb 6-track release by Ludvig Elblaus out on New Speak (Hey, whatever happened to EDr?) and also his first release as a solo artist. (As you may or may not know Ludvig Elblaus is exactly one half of Frank and Bill.) One recurring trade or pattern is Elblaus’ strong focus on the rhythmic elements in his compositions with an acute sense for grooves, beats and percussive elements. None of the tracks on “Furious Styles” is an exception from this pattern. Each and every track has rhythms and basslines to die for and they all more or less carry the microscopic and subtle dub-influence that has been incorporated by Elblaus the past year or so. This EP moves forward like a freight train and has gotten literally everyone in the know on their toes, from distinguished record stores to respectable label managers, don’t miss out on the Furious Styles!
It should be a project doomed to fail, a 12 track remix compilation of the same unreleased song. But “Skåne Revisited” is all but a failure and it works like a charm. The fourth New Speak release is just that a compilation CD with twelve remixes of an unreleased Komp track from 1998. As it turns out it seems like the remixee Komp is none other than Mr Tilliander himself. The remixers are a regular who’s who in Swedish electronica. Komp remixing himself, Ludvig Elblaus who is half of renowned duo FAB, Pluxus, Mitek’s Folie, Bill Yard, The Policy Unit, Bauri and Xela (well John Twells’ not really all that Swedish but bear with me here…). Ludvig Elblaus delivers a funked up, bubbling remix with microscopic dub-influences thrown in for good measure. Miami Bass Machine lives up to its name with a stripped down bass version. And the list goes on and on… By the sound of things you’re unavoidably led to suspect that label owner Ola Bergman has indeed laid his hand on quite a few of the remixes. But let it be said that it is pure speculation on my part and a strictly personal reflection. The point is that in the end the compilation is the perfect testament of what New Speak is all about as far as a recording label goes. A unique take on electro/electronica that leaves the hungry music masses craving for more.
After the delightful second release courtesy of Bauri, who will be performing live at ED109 by the way, New Speak presents the third instalment “Pseudocarp” by Ola Bergman. However, by the time this review gets posted it is most likely already sold out, but any efforts to obtain a copy will be worthwhile! Actually I saw some copies at Snickars records store in Stockholm just this past week (Oct 2003). There’re five tracks on the nicely package 12-inch starting off with “Pseudocarp” and its brilliantly programmed beats and sound choices for melody all held together with just the right amount of melancholy. “Limma”, downplayed and cunningly constructed beats and bass follow it. Third track on the first side or “Here” as it is written on the centre label is “Snake Meadows” an electro influenced track which has quite a temper, beginning with an intro and straightforward handclap it evolves into a veritable monster, apparently a very well liked monster at that, by all the positive reviews it has got. As you may or may not know it is included on Electronic Desert Recordings’ very first compilation “Sandwaves” released in Feb 2003. A growing number of the 13 tracks from our compilation are getting released elsewhere, which is great fun! “Vulture’s End” displays the raw talent of Mr Bergman in an unmistakable way in this electro infused treat, filled with atmosphere and high paced rhythmic elements. The trademarked Bergmanian take on electronica is devastatingly effective and very beautiful. “Cypsela” takes the tempo down a notch or two and delivers deep bass fused with light treading beats and an amplitude of strings alongside the backbone of the song – the sweetest of melodies riding along perfectly. You just want to hear it over and over again. New Speak keeps delivering the goods and by the look of it there’s an audience as well, I know I am anyhow. Buy this release before it’s to late…
Another excellent release by our friends at New Speak and this the second piece if new speak features Bauri and a Bauri in form I might add. There’re six tracks on this slab of vinyl and all of them are highly well produced piecies of lush and warm electronics the difference between them being a question of mood and/or tempo. The opening track “Seagull” is classic Bauri stuff, with down-tempo beats, a soothing melody and that Bauri crispness in the sound treatment, not forgetting the bass. It’s followed by “Machina”, that is more up-tempo and sinister, once again excellent beats programming and expertly chosen sounds, great atmosphere. Finishing off the first side is “Cold Mittens” featuring Yellow6 on sweet sounding guitar, in this melancholic track. Flip “Everything Will Be OK Again” and you get to hear “Quasi Jazz” opening the second side is relying on hip hop influenced beats and a quirky melody, it’s followed by “Roid Bline” reversed bassline riding alongside solidly programmed beats and dreamesque melody. The last track bearing the same title as the twelve-inch is an atmospheric mellow string-filled piece of music. This is another quality release and I suggest you get a copy before they’re all sold out if they’re not already.
The first release on New Speak Records is the 12″ “The Great Family Hotel” by talented Ola Bergman. With one previous release under his belt, the acclaimed Geiom split 05/06 12″ on Smak his latest released work shows great maturity. There’re blissful melodies and straightforward drum programming throughout the six track EP. Noticeable are the clear electro influences contained in the productions however far from falling into the category itself. Nice stuff! Mr. Bergman is also an apt live performer which he has demonstrated at several occasions both in Spain, England and Sweden and last but not least in the Electronic Desert! Since it’s been a while since the release you might experience some problems getting hold of the record itself, but rest assured it will be worth your every effort. If you’re out of luck or patience keep a look out for nspk002 that is supposed to emerge any time now.