As the year draws to a close, we picked our favourite Albums of 2017.
Last October guitarist and composer Samuel Hällkvist released Variety of Rhythm, a record that instantly got us under its spell. For the Copenhagen based Swedish musical wizard, the word prolific seems a bit of an understatement; Hällkvist has already contributed to more than 20 albums. With immense technical skills and an audacious and experimental approach to composition and improvisation, his work spans genres from jazz and country to metal and electronic. So we're ecstatic to have him at the helm of this month's mixtape, a collection of tracks filled with discoveries, surprises and beauty. We warmly recommend you jump aboard right away!
- Lars Hollmer – Stråk
- Markus Reuter feat. Sonar & Tobias Reber – Condition I
[Ronin Rhythm Records]
- Steve Reich – Sextet: 3rd Movement
- Shitney – Magnetosphere Shower
- mu-neujohn – Dynamismo
- György Ligeti – Musica Ricercata 7: Cantabile, Molto Legato
- Nick Bärtsch’s Mobile – Modul 29
- Ukandanz – Lantchi Biyé
[Dur Et Doux / Bigoût Records]
- Terry Riley & Nice Opera String Quartet – Derveshum Carnivalis
[Sri Moonshine Music]
- Art of Noise – The Army Now
[Island Records / ZTT]
- The Omelettes – Elephant
The unstoppable guitarist extraordinaire Samuel Hällkvist released his new album Variety of Rhythm last week. The third part of his Variety Of series, it follows 2012‘s Variety of Loud and 2015‘s Variety of Live. An adventurous and astounding 44-minute suite built around three movements, its pieces incorporate and journey through a broad spectrum of sound, both composed and improvised. Variety of Rhythm was recorded in Tokyo, Halmstad, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, New York, Paris and Malmö, between March 2015 and last January, and it features stellar collaborators aplenty, including guitarist David Torn, sax player Paulo Chagas, bass guitarist player Dick Lövgren (Meshuggah) and drummer Yasuhiro Yoshigaki, amongst others.
Variety of Rhythm is an absolute musical treasure that everyone should hear. To get you enticed, listen to two sublime pieces below, ‘Adagio Double’ and ‘Tete-a-Tete/ Blivet’. And visit VarietyOf.com for the full album and Hällkvist’s terrific insight into the technicalities of the record.