gustafsson & stackenäs – swedish mountain blues

you might think there’s some modern appropriated folk at stake here. there is not. and yet, folk music in it’s fundamental form as a specific cultural expression seems to apply.

this connects to last night’s music in many remarkable ways. they’re actually very similar in sound, except that mats and david do it organically with just a saxophone and guitar, rather than technologically as exhaust did.

it is equally as demanding of constant attention. there is expression built into its core, and in how it exists in the world. where it strays is that it is more difficult to listen to as music, rather than as experiment.

the thoughts above were sparked by reading ken vandermark’s introduction to the album; particularly after his musings about how americans and europeans do things differently, his conclusion being that:

when i listen to this material it is coloured by american ears – and no matter how much time i spend in europe with european artists, i know that i will always be the american in the band. does this leave us at an impasse? will cultural separation (even in these homogenised times) always shade the content of expression, preventing any possibility of really understanding one another? thankfully not. for though it appears in these times that the human race is hellbent on destroying itself, everybody is built to feel. and in the end, maybe it will be this universality of feeling that saves us.

on a less serious note, “doing it” also seems to intone as an allusion in some of the song titles as well, such as built to do what you did last night and take your hand off it.

i can only find them separately (below), not together. but it’s unsurprising that collaboration is the feature of musicians like this, who can find the mechanisms to communication something wherever they go and whomever they are with.


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