Scandinavian sextet Farvel return with a perfect follow-up to their acclaimed Jazzland debut, "Rok".
"Östtomta", taking its name from where it was recorded in a temporary studio, is an album filled with daring experimentalism, arrangements that break free from convention, cunning artifice that has an infectious quality more readily associated with pop music, nebulous ambience that juxtaposes with urban freneticism. An eerie beauty pervades all, with Isabel Sorling's voice leading it in delicate weaves or furious cross-stitching when necessary, her versatility matched by the context-sensitive playing of her bandmates.
Divided into four sections, each representing the four elements, the album's transitions of tone and texture are sometimes almost imperceptible, and at others almost jarring. The recording marks multiple steps forward for the group, each piece charged with its own dramaturgy, and each a landmark in the overall soundscape of the album as a whole, and illustrates a bold move towards merging the organic and the electronic.
Recorded live, a free jazz spirit charges the album's atmospherics with an electrical vitality and urgency that demands attention, whether through sparse interjections or the full ensemble driving forwards with an unstoppable intensity.