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International Harvester - Sov Gott Rose-Marie CD (album) cover


International Harvester


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.86 | 22 ratings

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5 stars The first official album of the group that started as Pärson Sound and then evolved into Träd, Gräs och Stenar is Sov Gott Rose-Marie a concept album released in 1968, under the name International Harvester. The album conceptually is a reflection on modern life and the destruction of nature and the way the music is delivered, is unlike any other release in the PS/IH/TGS catalogue.

The first half of the album is a musical collage and by itself, is a unit, carefully ordered and arranged to form a seamless rollercoaster of contrasting tempi, timbres and styles. From the mellow "Its Only Love", to the downright heavy "There is No Other Place", the first half of the album has a personality and a sense of completeness by itself. 11 tracks make it up, some are under a minute long and serve as transitions to more cohesive numbers. On paper, the tracklisting seems pretty weak, but when the record is playing, its not an issue, and the music flows organically from one track to the next. Each number contains sufficient variety to make it stand out from the previous and refresh the ear or prepare it for the next one, the duration is carefully chosen to bring a sense of completeness to the music and leave wanting for more. The styles found include cathartic repetition, monolithic heaviness, drones, quirky songs and laid back numbers with catchy tunes.

In terms of timbre, the first half offers a wide range of instrumental combinations ranging from electric guitar and sax unisons ("Sommarlåten") to chanting and percussion ("Ho Chi Minh"), from soft woodwinds ("Ut Till Vänster") to full on fuzzed guitars ("Klockan ?r Mycket Nu"). Acoustic guitars, crazy vocals and bird chant recordings complement the sonic panorama the first half provides. The recording quality is superb and clear throughout. The first half of the album is a masterpiece by itself, the sonic diversity is commendable, by the slow fading out of the title track, you realize you have been taken on a wild trip. Listening to it is very refreshing, as the overall result is very effective making it one of the most unique and replayable 24 minutes in its genre.

The second half is another thing completely. It features the traditional minimalistic jams the group is famous for. I have to say, it surprises me why "I Mourn You" and "How to Survive" where chosen over "Skördetider" as the content for the second half. All three tracks exemplify the same spirit of improvisation that is unique to the group but in the end, the chosen tracks are weaker than "Skördetider". Maybe the philosophical meaning of the tracks where more adequate to the concept of the album, maybe the "Skördetider" recording wasn't available then. We cannot know.

"I Mourn You" is very similar in style to the music in the PS recordings. A monolithic beat serves as the base for the mantra "I mourn you" delivered in singing and chanting. In combination with the monolithic rhythm section and the whaling sax, the improvisation escalates to its climax and fades out. "How to Survive" is an acoustic improvisation involving percussion, acoustic guitars and droning string instruments. The result is unusual and hypnotic music. The problem with these tracks is that they dont flow as smooth as the tracks in the first half. "I Mourn You" reaches its climax around the 9:30 mark and by the 10:00 mark starts descending in energy, the 2+ minute transition leads to 5+ minutes of a drone that serves as an introduction to "How to Survive". For those who are familiar with the spaced out music of the group, the long transitions are not an issue, but actually do break the continuity of the album if you are hearing it from start to finish and new comers are often left confused. "Skördetider" on the other hand is much more instantaneous.

"Skördetider" is probably the best of the 20+ minute jams of the group. The recording is very clear and the music starts and stays in a very chill and psychedelic ambient trance for a long time before breaking up in a fuzzy monolithic riff towards the end. Featuring quasi religous chants and eventually crazy lines by the members in pure PS style, "Skördetider" is a complete trip. The slow and gradual changes, the vanishing vocal melodies, the reverb drenched sax solos, make it the most rewarding track on the album. I cannot concieve the record without it.

As it now stands, the second part of Sov Gott Rose-Marie is very different from the first, almost the complete opposite. The album is completely unconventional in its delivery and format, but its not an issue because the music was never intended to be conventional in the first place. Sov Gott Rose-Marie is a surprisingly unique album. It has some pacing issues from part to part, but this album is for talking yourself out of your current state of mind for more than 50 minutes anyway, so its really not a problem.

Just start the record and prepare yourself. If the first track didnt make you jump a little from your seat, then you have to adjust your volume and play it again because its not loud enough. The effect of the album is enormously increased with a healthy amount of volume. Take some time off your busy modern day life schedule and revitalize yourself in psychedelic bliss.

south87 | 5/5 |


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