Review: Vägskäl - This Could’ve Been the Beginning of Something Great (2007)


Väg­skäl
release: This Could’ve Been the Begin­ning of Some­thing Great
format: MP3
year of release: 2007
label: Test Tube
dur­a­tion: 44:04

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

This Could’ve Been the Begin­ning of Some­thing Great is the latest release by Erik Svensson’s Väg­skäl pro­ject, and appar­ently the last - some­thing cor­rob­or­ated by the title, at least. And a fit­ting title it is, because I def­in­itely think this is the best release of the pro­ject thus far.

The album departs a bit from the ‘warm dark ambi­ent’ sound­scapes of As Sum­mer Comes Creep­ing. While retain­ing the oth­er­worldly, estranging feel and melody, this one adds a strong dose of elec­tronic beats and rhythms, which adds acces­ib­il­ity and vari­ation to the mix at the same time. Tracks like “These Woods Were My Home” and “The Fall­ing Star” are fine examples of Svensson’s abil­ity to cre­ate moody ambi­ent pieces, whereas the title tracks and espe­cially “New Worlds Ahead” dis­play an almost poppy mix of dance and ambi­ent. In a con­text like this, I find both styles very much to my lik­ing. “Like Glass” also deserves spe­cial men­tion with its glitchy exper­i­mental sounds. The abso­lute high­lights of the album are the two ver­sions of “Deep Inside”, though. The first one is a remix (I think) by Jari Pitkänen, which basic­ally takes the vocals from the reg­u­lar ver­sion of the track, strips them down and mangles them into an ori­ginal whole. The reg­u­lar ver­sion is even bet­ter, com­bin­ing haunt­ing melody waves with a great dance rhythm and afore­men­tioned female back­ground vocals. The album, and sadly, the pro­ject, ends with “Someday, Some­where”, a calm dark ambi­ent piece fin­ish­ing with clouded samples of music from a faraway time.

I def­in­itely hope Erik Svens­son will con­tinue to pro­duce music in some form, because this album left me crav­ing for more. This is a free net­re­lease from the ever inter­est­ing Test Tube label, and as such, there’s no reason not to get this right now if you’re a lover of exper­i­mental elec­tron­ics.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. We Shine Brighter Now (5:28)
2. This Could’ve Been the Begin­ning of Some­thing Great (3:42)
3. New Worlds Ahead (5:23)
4. 23 Years and Dreamin’ (4:14)
5. These Woods Were My Home (3:36)
6. Deep Inside (Through You by Jari Pitkänen) (5:41)
7. Like Glass (3:00)
8. The Fall­ing Star (6:04)
9. Deep Inside (3:32)
10. Someday, Some­where (3:24)

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