Boomkat Product Review:
Late, great Swedish post-classical composer Marcus Fjellstrom’s sophomore album available on vinyl for the 1st time. A collection of surreal, creepy sound stories originally issued by Lampse in 2006, now reissued by Erik Skodvin’s Miasmah, ‘Gebrauchsmusik’ is essential listening for followers of early Jóhann Jóhannsson, Akira Rabelais, Deaf Centre, Lynch/Badalamenti/Hurley
The title given to this second album of post-classical electroacoustics from Swedish composer Marcus Fjellstrom translates from the German as "Utility Music" and, accordingly, each piece here is designated a specific theme and purpose. Along the way, Fjellstrom manages to take an entire orchestra by the scruff of its neck and make it all his own via an array of unique sound design motifs.
The opening 'Reanimation Music' takes a quivering female vocal recording and drags it through a process of electronic dismantlement and regurgitation. As the title suggests, this is sound being torn apart and reassembled in order to become something new, and rather terrifying - an auditory Bride Of Frankenstein. Elsewhere, 'Fairytale music, 1st Perspective' achieves a rich, dreamlike quality, the thick vinyl crackle and impenetrably muffled, slowed-down spoken word evoke a surreal Philip Jeck-like tapestry of found audio.
It's a testament to the range of Fjellstrom's compositional skills that on the one hand he can make the motorised prepared piano of 'Dance Music, 1st Perspective' sound like Autechre Unplugged, while on the other, conjure the staggering, ethereal microtones of 'Consolation Music. Far grander in scale than its predecessor and masterfully executed, Gebrauchsmusik is a magnificent deconstruction of modern composition.