The idea and conception of this album may be a first. Producer Rickard Sjöberg aka The Mountain Council was inspired by the Crap Art Movement and the An-Album-A-Day project to complete an album within a specific amount of time. With his self-titled album The Mountain Council Sjöberg gave himself 42 hours to finish. He started working on it on January 31st at 5 pm and ended on February 2nd at noon (Did he sleep? I don’t know). The results: Sjöberg was able to make an eclectic album infusing electronic music and organic instrumentation that blurs the line between shoegaze, pop and ambient. I have to wonder how many of these ideas or songs were written before the process started because some of the songwriting seems almost too fleshed out. That or Sjöberg is some kind of mad musical genius. The record is not only diverse in terms of style but also in terms of instrumentation. He used acoustic guitars, balafon, banjo, berimbau, caxixi, charango, clarinet, djembe, egg shaker, electric guitar, electric piano, field recordings, jew's harp, kalimba, laptop, nord rack 2x, tambourine, toy keyboard, udu, ukulele, violin and vocals to create this album
The album opens with “101,” which revolves around fantastic string work as it emits a lounge-y Brazilian vibe. It slightly reminded of the work you would hear from Madredeus. “The Night Before” is another instrumental track that works as it combines strings like guitar and banjo with bells. It has a tranquil quality that induces a state of relaxation. A similar vibe but more hypnotic presents itself on “The Morning After.” Sjöberg layers a number of different instruments to create an exciting concoction of sounds.
“We Are Everywhere” is quite a deviation from the first three songs. The song utilizes electronic drums, has vocals and sounded similar to something you might hear from Thom Yorke's solo work. “Slide” was the highlight of the album for me and contained a superb grand ending. It soars with synths, guitars and drums creating a nostalgic but empowering energy that sweeps you away. “White Blood” is a full electronic beast with a prominent kick drum and high BPM. You can’t help but draw some comparisons to The Knife with this track. The album closes with “All I Am” and relies on organic instruments with a banjo at the forefront and traditional songwriting. It’s a melancholy song and felt like a good way to end the album.
This may not be a cohesive album but it isn't supposed to be. The album is supposed to be about running with ideas and meeting a deadline. The most impressive thing about it is that the songs are more than decent. There are moments that not only showcase Sjöberg’s talents but are immensely enjoyable no matter how they were conceived. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and just wonder what an album of his would sound like with no time restraints.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook