Wednesday, July 25, 2007

PORN SWORD TOBACCO: New Exclusive Olympic Heights (City Centre Offices)

PORN SWORD TOBACCO
New Exclusive Olympic Heights
TOWERBLOCK039CD
City Centre Offices 2007
14 Tracks. 35mins29secs




Buy it: CD
Porn Sword Tobacco | City Centre Office

Named after an isolated shop somewhere in his native Sweden, near the studio where he records, Porn Sword Tobacco is the musical project of Henrik Jonsson, a musician hailing from the town of Gothenburg in Southern Sweden. His eponymous debut album, delivered on German imprint City Centre Offices in 2004, introduced his delicate blend of electronic soundscapes and beautiful melodies, and its follow up, Explains Freedom, published a year later, only served to reassert his sound.

With his third album, New Exclusive Olympic Heights, Jonsson assembles his most cinematic and accessible collection of music yet, at times developing sumptuous pieces over just a minute or two, at others stretching narratives a bit longer. Melodies swirl around warm atmospheric expanses and crackling beats while acoustic brushes and soft electronic washes blur the contours of Jonsson’s miniature epic vignettes. Pieces such as opener Tools For Trains, Giftwrap Yourself, Slowly, Do The Astrowaltz or U.S Saloon Props 41/59 are faraway beacons shrouded in dense layers of fog. As melodies echo in the distance, rising above the clouds only to be swallowed again in dense opaque atmospheric swathes, Jonsson creates a surprisingly cosy and gentle collection of tempered electronic textures.

At times, the heavy cover lifts for a moment, providing much more fertile grounds for luxurious orchestrations and elegant melodic themes to flourish. While Cubical Fever, with its library music influences, or Pappa! Min Karlek Ar Gravid retain some elements of melancholy, the tone is lighter, more in focus, while On En Hyllning Till Cyckeln, Jonsson carves a sweet romantic interlude with the graceful crystalline tones of a lonely piano which seems quite at odds with the more elaborate pieces but intrinsically belongs here as a particular mid-way point between the various influences found on this album.

New Exclusive Olympic Heights is a much more sophisticated and accessible record than its predecessors, yet Henrik Jonsson retain the essence of Porn Sword Tobacco by constantly emphasising the atmospheric nature of his music, making it both a logical step forward and an new opening in his career.

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