Sagor & Swing


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This CD is striking for its charming naïveté and insouciance. Sagor & Swing is Ulf Möller on drums and Eric Malmberg on a good old organ with a Leslie cabinet, the exact same one that Bo Hansson used to record his LP Lord of the Rings. The 11 short instrumental pieces all feature a delicate melody, light accompaniment from Malmberg's left hand, and soft drumming, usually with padded mallets. It recalls Procol Harum, Hansson of course, but also Alain Goraguer's soundtrack for La Planète Sauvage, the music of '70s Italian groups like Celeste and Goblin (at their softest), and the post-rock stylings of the Boxhead Ensemble. Each piece has been carefully written and arranged, kept to its bare essentials to let the melody hypnotize the listener. Orgelfärger is as intrusive as can be, the pieces flow effortlessly, and upon first listen you might be tempted to dismiss the whole thing as lacking substance. After the second or third spin, the melodies stick and the bucolic mood becomes addictive. It may seem like a cliché, but this music holds something of the essence of Scandinavia's landscape. Furthermore, it is timeless, exempt of any element that could attach it to a period -- it could have been recorded in the '60s, the '70s, the '80s, or in 2031. If you like the sound of a Hammond organ and want to hear something pleasant, charming, and easy without being syrupy, then go for it.

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