Sven Ake Johannson Schlingerland

Solo drummer alert! Sven Ake Johansson is best known as a drummer in Peter Brotzmann's early groups. Schlingerland was originally circulated by Johansson himself in 1972. It's best not to think of this record as jazz - the Unheard Music Series responsible for this reissue is branching out from jazz to electro-acoustic releases. It could be argued that this recording fits in well with ambient music. Johansson uses the drum kit only (no percussion) to descend into a meditation on how each limb can trigger a different part of the kit. Johansson produces a fast fluttery rhythm and plays it on constantly changing combinations of snare, multiple-tuned toms, kick and cymbals. The interest is in the tension and release of these rhythms. He's not playing like a soloist; he's creating a soundscape of rhythm. The effect is much like the trance inducement of the Gnawa Musicians of Marrakech, or even a good rainstorm. The most remarkable thing about Schlingerland is Johansson's amazing control over each tone of his drum kit, which sounds like it took hours to tune up. Listen to this one fairly loud, the dynamics are such that you might miss some of the textural low end if you've got it too quiet. (Atavistic)