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Review: 'Hans Lundin'
'The Solo Years 1982-9'   

-  Label: 'Tempus Fugit/SPV'
-  Genre: 'Eighties' -  Release Date: '29.3.19.'

Our Rating:
This is a 6 cd box set of Hans Lundins solo albums that came out in the 80's plus three bonus discs of outtakes Demo's and rarities from the leader of Kaipa most of this material hasn’t been out on cd before and has all been remastered.

Hans Lundin was at the time experimenting with all the new technology in Synthesisers and studio equipment and most of the music in this boxset was recorded at his home studio making him almost an 80's equivalent of Bo Hannson.

The first disc is Tales that to my ears in large part is great instrumental beds that would be perfect to use as soundtrack music for all sorts of Scandi drama's and the dips and peaks in the music would be in line with whatever is happening on the mean streets Of Gothenburg. With track titles like Eyes Of A Creature or Narrow Escape giving a good indication of the action they are soundtracking as the synths rise and fall and at times seem like a cross between Tradgard Algarnas and Harold Faltermayer as the music washes over me and I know it would also be perfect for a long journey as driving music.

Narrow escape itself almost sounds more like cartoon chase music that sort of starts on foot before they jump into motors and roar off.

View From A Cliff sounds like they are standing on the cliffs overlooking Gothenburg harbour trying to see through the fog it has a feeling of foreboding and some very sparse percussion from I guess an early drum machine. Before the fog clears and you can see some ripples that an astute viewer will notice is the sort of swell you get just before the Whirlwind hits and the keyboards evoke the titles of the pieces very well. I like the way the synths almost sound like clucking hens with a slight Chinese influence on Henhunt that takes the action out to a farm near Boras.

Messenger introduces some flute and almost chiming bells to get the message across as the Bass almost taps out a morse code message. The vocals that come in on Bilia remind me of both Red Box and Johnny Clegg with a bit of a nod to Jerry Alfred backed by an accentuated clap track. Awareness that closes the first cd is almost like they want you to just drift off somewhere nice and calm.

The Second CD is Visions Of Circles Of Sound that is split into two long pieces in 5 parts each what would have been the A-side of the vinyl are the 5 parts of Visions Of Circles and the music does feel circular with repeating percussion and the synths going in and out as the other sounds and affects make this sound like it could soundtrack the Indie 500.

In places this side is reminiscent of Yello. The B-side Circles Of Sounds is more upbeat and evokes Electric Dreams in parts with some interesting barked backing vocals. The quieter parts of this suite of music sound almost like a piece of church music.

The third disc is the album Houses that was originally released only on what was then the new-fangled medium of CD and features Roine Stolt On Guitar.

The opening Hasslebro sounds like it should be played over a shopping mall's PA to keep everyone calm and spending money or just to relax too, it often sounds like they have pan pipes playing.

In The Red House could be the soundtrack to a Horror movie and who knows what might happen in the Red House. Large parts of the cd however just become background music which is fine if you like background music. Hangar is as mellow as it comes and sounds like they are sound tracking a space flight.

Things liven up on Nightlighthouse that is as close to a danceable piece of music as Hans has got so far in the first three albums it's slinky almost funky disco. The album then goes back to pure soundtrack to a preppy movie for the final two tracks.

The fourth cd sees the first release of The Veiled Seveneyed Dancer that would have been Hans Lundins Third solo album had it come out when it was first recorded. This could have been the soundtrack to a dystopian modern ballet and the opening title track is moody and slightly threatening. The titles of the music give a good idea where this is headed Northern Lights Embrace The Starry Night sounds like music to get stoned with some Northern Lights lay back and look at the Northern Lights. Dark and Golden Mountain Mirages is every bit as dreamy as the title suggests.

Obviously Long Left Unicorn Tracks will appeal to anyone with a unicorn obsession and as the soundtrack to a cartoon with lots of Unicorns. The we are tripping along to A Walk By The Forever River that could be background music at a crematorium. The cd closes with the rather downbeat sounding Young Folke that almost sounds like Contact or Kebnekaise.

The 5th Cd is In Search Of The Green Glass that contains outtakes from the first two cd's in this box set that opens with the rather melancholic Windflowing Meadows before The Moon Caught In A Spiders Web feels all soundtrack or Library music to zone out too.

Dust devils and Watersprouts takes us out into proggy soundtrack mode via an immense guitar part that knows how to widdle. Changeshifting Horizons however opens with some lovely Piano and atmospherics that feel like a breath of fresh air. Feeling The Presence Of Phantasmagorial Animals adds nice spacey sounds and very string sounding synth sounds with a Cluster feel to them.

Enchanted Ruins Of Rocky Hills sounds like a chase sequence. The Lively Death Of A Chrysalis is probably the best title of any of the tracks on here and should be the soundtrack to a nature dock where some predator or other eats the chrysalis.

The 5th cd closes with In The Griffon's Den that feels like something of a tip of the hat to Bo Hannson's Magician's Hat.

The sixth and final cd in the box is Okant Ode an album of outtakes and demos from his time with Kaipa and solo stuff from 1979-84 it opens with a windswept ballad Dina Monster Dina Jupp and carries on in a sort of Tron goes To Stockholm and he's cruising through heading to Gamla Stan or something.

This is probably the cd that will appeal most to Kaipa fans and lovers of monumental prog in general, most of the songs are long and involving and are very late night driving music or going through the snowy mountains music.

The Kaipa demo Nytt Blod Rusar Fram is as close to a normal verse chorus rock song on the box set and comes as a nice change at this point with a very wild guitar solo. Folke however sounds like it was aimed at the Bertagen or Nordic roots series of albums sort of a bit folk rock.

The box set closes with Dromskuggornas Aterkomst a slightly doom-laden keyboards and string piece that just helps us all to drift off as the drums come in this is a gentle and mellow end to the album.

This box set is obviously aimed at Hans Lundins fans who will adore it and the more adventurous Prog listeners out there. Find out more at http://kaipa.info/hans-lundin/index.html
  author: simonovitch

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