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Tonbruket - Dan Berglundīs Tonbruket CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album was released some months ago , and it's a shame for me to review it only now. Some months are gone for listeners, seeking for great music, released in 2010, and this album possibly still didn't attract their attention!

Don't be afraid of new name and debut album status - Dan Berglund is one of most respectable Swedish jazz-rock musicians for years, and everyone with interest on world's best nu fusion for sure knows one of leading band's of this genre - Swedish e.s.t.. Almost for decade they were absolute leader on European new jazz generation, but in 2008 the band was disbanded after tragic death of their leader Esbjörn Svensson.

Dan Berglund, former e.s.t. bassist, continued his musical career establishing his own band - Dan Berglund's Tonbruket. All other this new band's members are known Swedish musicians, including Martin Hederos, pianist of pop-outfit "Soundtracks of our Lives".

If you are familiar with e.s.p. music, I must inform you music of this album is very different from what e.s.p. had ever played. Dan Berglund always was "rock component" of e.s.p., and you can near that on his solo debut very easily. All instrumental, this album contains airy, melodic, very tasty and very Nordic, melancholic mix of ambient post rock (not American, but Nordic one - think Sigur Ros,etc) sound and modern Nordic atmospheric new jazz (influenced by NP Molvaer earlier albums). But post-rock element is dominant on this mix, so being quite jazzy, it's a rock album for sure.

Very characteristically for post-rock and progressive nu jazz, album's music is far not demonstration of musicians technical abilities,but more about emotions and atmosphere. For some the music even could sound a bit simplistic. Differently from Norwegian school, this album doesn't sound so airy and ambient, but are really much more "landed". Even some Swedish folk elements, included in music, sounds much more "standing on the land". Speaking about atnosphere, if NP Molvaers or even Bugge's nu jazz sounds as Norwegian fiord, with clear Arctic air under the dark and cold water, Berglund's album is more Swedish forests,and lowlands, and lakes, and no a hunan being for miles around...

Possibly most interesting nu jazz album of year 2010, my rating is 4,5,rounded to 5!

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Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I'm not at all initiated in this artist's background as a jazz musician, but there are certain 5 star reviews you don't want to ignore. That's how the seeds of yet another new discovery were planted...

The Dan Berglund's Tonbruket album is a wonderful collection of instrumental music spanning a wide range of influences and styles, going from Floydian post-rock to light lounge jazz and even Swedish folk music. The opening Sister Sad is a winner and lists amongst the most progressive music (outside avant) that I've heard from the last 10 years. The roots are undeniably in blues, jazz, post-rock and psychedelic music, but something entirely new is crafted from those ingredients, very modern, atmospheric and still quite accessible. Simply beautiful, a work of art.

Stethoscope serves as a short interlude for the next epic Sailor Waltz, a masterfully crafted slow jazzy waltz with deeply moving piano and cello. It's very sad but far from depressing, working like a truly cathartic experience. To lay down the intensity, Gi Hop contrasts the mood with a bit of Swedish polka fun that could have been from a Samla Mammas Manna incarnation.

Moody acoustic guitars, violin and accordion take the lead in the short The Wind and the Leaves. Just like Gi Hop, it is nice but not as stunning as the first three tracks, and unfortunately, the combination with the slow-paced opening minutes of the ensuing Wolverine Hoods creates a sort of lull in the album experience. The leisurely intro of that song has its purpose though, and gradually builds to a noisy electric explosion.

Monstrous Colossus picks up the restored momentum. It's a monumental post-rock blues that really towers above the quiet landscapes around it. The main riff is virtually the same as ZZ-Top's Sharp Dressed Man but the effect created couldn't be more contrasting. It serves as a nice demonstration of how an arrangement can be more important and characterizing then the actual riff or melody behind it. A weird, dissonant and percussive section concludes this impressive piece.

After the storm follows the calm. Song for E works quite convincing for that purpose but it is just a bit too long and too lounge/soundtrack jazz for my taste. The chamber rock of Cold Blooded Music works better. Near its end it goes smoothly through a transition from peaceful folk melodies to abrasive post-rock noise. Brilliant. The sad country of Waltz for Mathilda echoes the mood of the earlier Sailor Waltz. This is as Floydian as a waltz can get.

Dan Berglund's Tonbruket is the sort of eclectic album that reminds us of the lost art of making truly great albums, works of art full of balance, sense and purpose. There are a couple of light jazzy tunes that don't suit my taste entirely but apart from that it's a near masterpiece.

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Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not jazz, not rock, and even not prog, and don't expect too much EST music either. Great opening with Sister Sad, the closest to a prog track. Second track neither does it go anywhere, nor stays with you.You wouldn't miss it if you skip it. Third track , Sailor Waltz , the best track in my opinion, is a melancholic one , starts very good but looses me in the 2nd half . Gi Hop,the 4th track is country style and not only that it doesn't add anything, but it breaks the musical line of the album. Wolverine Hoods is a mixed one, nice piano work, the guitar is too heavy. Monstrous Colossus is a heavy one, didn't like it. Song for E, I presume, is a homage to Esbjorn Svenson, very nice melody in the good EST tradition. Cold Blooded Music sounds like a wailing eastern melody while Waltz For Matilda closes a rather good album but which lacks unity and vision and makes you feel the loss of Esbjorn Svensson even greater.
Report this review (#381556)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permalink

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