Daniel Rozenhall;

Daniel RozenhallEyeland
Firework Edition Records FER 1042
(vinyl 33 rpm; 1000 copies)
Duration: 39:39

1. A Plumage Man With a Plastic Bag [3:43]

2. Eyeland Part 1 [16:38]

3. Eyeland Part 2 [19:17]

Daniel Rozenhall
(photo: ingvar loco nordin)

Daniel Rozenhall is the young vice-president of Fylkingen Records in Stockholm – but he has released a couple of 33 rpm vinyls on another label; Firework Edition Records. It is not as strange as it may seem, though. The proprietors of Firework Edition RecordsLeif Elggren and Kent Tankred – are longtime members of Fylkingen. I don’t know, but they may well have been Fylkingen members longer than Daniel Rozenhall has existed in his current body, so there…

The pieces on this vinyl –
Eyeland – were recorded at EMS (Electroacoustic Music in Sweden); the foremost electronic music studio (actually a set of different studio facilities) in Sweden, situated close by Fylkingen in Stockholm.

The first of the three parts of
Eyeland, i.e. the first track on side A of the vinyl (I’d almost forgotten how those work…), is called A Plumage Man With a Plastic Bag. That is just about 4 minutes long, directly followed by Eyeland Part 1, until the end of side A.

There is a peculiar – or maybe peculiar only to older farts like me – vogue to issue new recordings on vinyls. This is mostly true for singles or single size 33 rpms, but now it also involves full size 33 rpms, and I’m not talking popular music or youth culture music, but so-called serious music (what a stupid term!), i.e. contemporary music that isn’t a part of youth culture per se. From my point of view this can only depend on the age of the young contemporary artists, who regard what they didn’t experience when coming of age (the vinyl), as an art object in itself. This may be seen in these releases by Rozenhall, but also in releases from
Fylkingen Records – but then I immediately contradict myself, because they have issued older seigneurs on vinyl, like Sten Hanson, in addition to the youngsters of art. Anyway, it has to do with the vinyl in a magic sense, as much more than a sound carrier; more of an art object. This could be taken further, though, for in Great Britain – where else! – there is a company that records and distributes new 78 rpms – mostly from original metal masters! Yep!

Enough of that – I’m not being ironic or sarcastic; I’m just observing! I think a vinyl feels good in your hand too, and it sure gives more space for a visual artist than a CD cover.

Daniel Rozenhall has done some serious work with his vinyl covers; intricate patterns of (to me!) unknown origin. I’ve scanned as much of the covers as my A4 scanner can manage…

One of the EMS studios, here with Johan Boberg
at the controls
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

A Plumage Man With a Plastic Bag comes on like a classic static-noise musique concrète piece to begin with, like cut up chunks of shortwave static, delivered and distributed Koenigwise – but sooner than later a comic effect is introduced; a speedily wobbling laughing-gull cartoon progression in the higher pitches, flying up and fluttering around wildly, panning madly, choking, feathers flying, beaks in turmoil, the wharf filling up with the accumulating bodies of dead Hitchcock birdies…

The sound gets ever denser, casting sonic shadows forth in various tempi, confusing you just as good as Henri Pousseur ever did! It’s amazing what you can do with a number of channels, if you’re up to it! This is both fun and enjoyable for the connoisseur of electronics.

Eyeland Part 1 hooks up seamlessly, but comes soaring in an ominous, hard wind that carries with it forlorn remains of bells or elves’ organs inside the snow – or it could be the last shivering visions of childhood security in a consciousness of someone who is about to leave his body vehicle in this life to travel his bardo unto his next vehicle; those dreamy states of hypothermia which cause the winterstorm-dwellers to tear off their garments and fall out into nothingness, into the blissful void of starlit expanses…

The wind picks up in horrendous timbres, layer after later of
EMS overtones heaving ahead like a stray locomotive through Allen Ginsberg’s Grandfather’s night in Kansas… and it’s just a hobo’s lullaby, a senseless, deafening journey out of this meaty and fleshy life, a Rolf Enström last breath of Final Curses, a private life gone haywire or a world gone wrong…

As the sound thins out, as the backdrop recedes, pulling with it the dense cloud of thunderous noise, a carillon of bells start ringing, crystal clear, clean as 1980’s electronic offerings by Michael Obst!
The dark band of serious audio doesn’t disappear altogether, but stays back there as a dark memory on which the close-up bells dance like fireflies of fragmented thoughts. It is a very, very beautiful – and effective – passage!

Voices of spirits rise like thin bands of smoke from behind, sounding much like the little girl abducted by evil forces in
Poltergeist, calling her mother through the television static. Rozenhall turns occult! Yes, and he has a good historical hereditary disposition, living in Swedenland – I’m thinking of Friedrich Jürgenson, who worked with the sounds of spirits in the Sixties. At least her thought he caught their voices in the static between stations on AM and shortwave; later also on TV. Rozenhall has a more artistic attitude, though, as his electronic art turns somewhat spiritualistic, intentionally or not…

For a while this magnificence goes on; the dark rumble, the wheezing of spirits and the dancing bells up front. Marvelous!

The web of sounds crawl up tight and good, getting ever denser, while growling and springing vocal-like audio turns and whirls in turmoil, shredded and spat around the perimeter of what feels like the enclosure the size of a cement mixer, completely surrounded by sharp birds of steel and granite, pecking at your means of survival, at – as in the Greek tales – your liver... Yes, the music gets very serious now, grave, difficult – life in a shredder, a city in ruins, a mind under attack!

Automated responses have taken over; unmanned choppers fill the sky like grasshoppers in the Bible; forget flesh and blood, go go go off the globe… the Valleys of Doris are barren and scarred, filled with soot and oil and death… “Moloch, Moloch, robot apartments…”

The panic horns of the Bronx howl for no one… while the ruins of tenement buildings remember the hushed moans of its tenants, since long flaked off in soot as the Phototurb embraced the land in white light, whiter than white, consuming all flesh… and not even a good-to-drive-after-a-war Cadillac was spared…

The Buchla at EMS
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

Eyeland Part 2 occupies the full extent of side B of this Daniel Rozenhall 33 rpm vinyl.
It comes on from a distance, in a Jean Schwarz (
Celia Studio, France) bee swarm, gathering dangerous momentum, killer bees approaching from Mexico, up the alleys of Juarez (where the cops don’t need you) into El Paso

The bee swarm audio shifts and rolls, pitching and panning, elastically reforming, gradually expanding and retracting, a breathing movement of venomous capacity beyond a decent chance of survival – and it’s all about ducking inside, shutting the vents, remaining silent.

The swarming sound surrounds you, especially if you’re sitting inside a pair of good earphones, and Rozenhall has your fate in his hands…

The sound swarm is frantic, like you’re being sandblasted; sandblasting Rozenhall audio out of the
EMS studio!
This should be played quite loudly, for in these honey-sucking bands of sinister overtones you may find a retreat from all unnecessities.

At about six minutes into the piece the whining swarm of insects suddenly lower themselves an octave or more, reaching down towards a mimicry of human choirs in Stockhausenesque
Engel-Prozessionen vicinities… or perhaps in the realms of the elasticity of Leo Kupper formations…

It’s mighty, over-powering, lustful, tempting… poisonous! You name it, we like it!

A slow downward glissando bores into the underworld like a spaceship caught in fatal atmosphere that pulls it into a flaming metal meltdown…
A rattling, vibrating Northern Light feeling permeates the darkening glissando with grainy details, soon taking on the desolate sparks of shortwave transmitters from isolated colonies of Phototurb survivors, mortally weakened by radiation sickness, while the last heavy winged individuals of the albatross populations soar through unbreathable air into unconsciousness on spread out spans beyond the Falklands

A churning, grinding, shredding friction of heavy matter transforms what’s left of the worlds into sifting sands and amnesia, as the sound of dump trucks and Christmas carols leak out of individual bardos under tremendous pressure…

The scattered souls of destruction grab inside their dreams for a life’s worth of agony and pain to paint some reality… but even that is denied them, as the music seeps out into the silence from whence it rose… and the disturbing ripple of existence on eternity slowly dies down and dissipates… and God holds his breath…