Swedish, Denmark-based guitarist Samuel Hällkvist is a sonic alchemist. He likes to take raw sounds, riffs or pulses to some twisted, global walks, just like famous artist Paul Klee took his painted lines for a walk. «Variety Of Rhythm» is the third part of his series of unsettling noir-ish, post-rock, post-prog, post-jazz and post-electronica soundscapes-soundtracks, following 2012‘s «Variety of Loud» and 2015‘s «Variety of Live», all released on his own label, BoggiePost Recordings.
As on previous recordings of the «Variety Of»-series, the new album is a meticulously edited work comprised of an accumulation of recordings done in Tokyo, Halmstad, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, New York, Paris & Malmö, between March 2015 and January 2017, later distilled and edited. Among the musicians that contributed to «Variety Of Rhythm» are American guitarist David Torn, who produced Hällkvist’s 2016 album, «Days Are Not Days» (Creative Sources), Portuguese sax player Paulo Chagas, who played on that album, Swedish bass guitarist player Dick Lövgren from the experimental metal band Meshuggah, Japanese drummer Yasuhiro Yoshigaki, Danish/Sweedish vocalist Qarin Wikström and Hällkvist’s partner Katrine Amsler who did the editing, sound design and the programming.
The great success of the 44-minutes suite «Variety Of Rhythm» is its flowing, organic narrative. Hällkvis managed to weave all the edited recordings into intense, highly nuanced combinations of textures, layers of sounds and tonal colors, acoustic sounds that blend seamlessly with electronica, open improvisations with flashes of stirring themes, killer riffs and, obviously, tons of guitar wizardry. Every listening reveals new, subtle sounds, colors and dynamics. And if you want to learn further on about the careful structuring of «Variety Of Rhythm» you can check the Variety Of website: http://varietyof.com/rhythm/
«Variety Of Rhythm» navigates freely through many, colorful sceneries. The opening, driving «Double Adagio» features the gentle vibes of Kumiko Takara and Wikström vocals contrasting Hällkvist effects-laden guitar. Hällkvist spacey-bluesy guitar work leads to Torn solo, one of the highlights of this album. Both Hällkvist and Torn use their arsenal of pedals and effects to sculpt suggestive, multi-layered and inquisitive soundscapes. Soon Tanaka vibes serve as the rhythmic core for further, open improvisation that is colored with the folky violin of Liesbeth Lambrecht and later with some Japanese traditional, ritual motifs. After another concise free-improvised segment of Chagas the «Variety Of Rhythm» reaches its climax. A beautiful rhythmic piece that builds its dramatic tension carefully and stresses, again, Hällkvist melodic instincts.
Samuel Hällkvist (g), Dick Lövgren (b), David Torn (g), Liesbeth Lambrecht (vio), Pete Drungle (keys), Yasuhiro Yoshigaki (dr), Kumiko Takara (perc), Qarin Wikström (v), Knut Finsrud (dr), Paulo Chagas (s), Silvia Corda (miscellaneous instruments); Adriano Orru (b), Katrine Amsler (editing, sound design, prog)