Another good release via Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records out the last 23 of September. This time we have to do with a duo coming out from Stockholm, Sweden. Composed by Daniel Collas and Morgan Phalen, yet involved in other musical projects, their project, Drakkar Nowhere and so the history of their eponymous album (that it is actually also their first one) started in the summer of 2012.
We are so talking about something who has been concretely created through the years and that during this time has been involved in working with Collas and Phalen a lot of other musicians from Sweden, among them there were also members of Dungen and of The Amazing and of course Moussa Fadera who played drums into the entire album. Impossible not to mention then the 70s singer-songwriter Ned Doheny (born in Malibu, California, in 1948), that the duo met in Los Angeles and that gave his voice to the third track of the album, ‘Higher Now’.
Influenced of course by what it is actually a good tradition in Swedish psychedelia and by pop sonorities of the sixties and of the seventies, ‘Drakkar Nowhere’ it is in reality an album which contains in itself a lot of surprises.
It opens with a track ‘Any Way’, who has got some inevitably influences from the songwriting of Lennon-McCartney, but with a particular use of the drums with evidences of influences by the jazz music. The mixtage of influences becomes much more evident going on listening to the album, where in particular elements of cosmic jazz and a certain soul music are at the fundament of most of the songs from ‘How Could That Be Why?’, ‘Higher Now’, ‘At The Edge Of The Mangroves’ (shit, in some passages this tracks makes me think to The Police!), ‘Did It Ever?’, ‘The Line’. What to say, in the end, about the last track, ‘Salutation To The Sun’? A cosmic free-jazz space composition of about nine minutes, that started furiously before ending in a certain kind of quiet that it seems to sound like deep mantra music and movie soundtracks of the sixties and a track, that in a conceptual way but also in a figurative one, it reminded me of the sci-fi Italian-Frech movie ‘La decima vittima’, directed by Elio Petri and from a short story by author Robert Sheckley (‘The Seventh Victim’). A movie in which the main characters took part to a sort of world competition that with the final objective has got to limitate the use of violence, provides that the competitors had to kill between themselves. The two main characters of the movie are actually Marcello Poletti (Marcello Mastroianni), a minister and a devoted to the cult of ‘I tramontisti’, a mixture between a religious movement and hippie culture of people who are actually devoted to the sun. The other main character she is the cold and fascinating Caroline Meredith, interpreted by Ursula Andress, the first ever bond girl.
We are not talking about something that it is necessearly too much original, but consider if you’re going to listen to something that melts together some crazy elements of George Clinton and his ‘gangs’, the sensibility of Marvin Gaye, some cosmic psychedelia, a regard to the fascination of the enchanted forest that sorround the neighborhoods of Bagarmossen and Midsommarkransen in Sweden and a pop taste typical of bands like Tame Impala. The result it would be without any doubts something captivating, groovy, fucking sexy, in practice something actually requires to be listened to.
Daniel Collas and Morgan Phalen started their travel in 2012 and from that moment they took on board to their viking ship, their magic drekar (actually Drakkar, in Sweden) a lot of musicians and listeners. Be among them because there’s still place and you know, vikings have always been among the greatest navigators of the world. Were they or not to discover the America or he was Colombo? Or people that came eventually from Siberia or just simply the Americas were discovered about 14.000 years ago, when it was for the first time inhabited. A-ah. A too controversial question, I would say, let’s discuss about this another time and just pay attention to the music now.
You can also read this review at machchapuchchare