Peder Mannerfelt - The Swedish Congo Record

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  • You could never accuse Peder Mannerfelt of being a one-trick pony. Over the last decade, he's been impressively ambitious, despite having started off making rather naff-sounding electro house as Subliminal Kid. His more recent project, Roll The Dice, saw him and fellow Swede Malcolm Pardon release a trio of absorbing ambient albums that followed a grand, overarching narrative. As a solo artist, Mannerfelt offered up dark, pressurised dronescapes with last year's Lines Describing Circles. Now he returns with something completely different: The Swedish Congo Record. The Swedish Congo Record finds Mannerfelt inspired by a recording of Central Congo sounds from the 1930s. There are no samples on the album: the whole thing has been produced from the ground up. If you were told this was culled straight from the source, you'd probably believe it. The shabby drums, irregular rhythms and generally earthy sound of the whole thing feels completely authentic. There are what sound like lo-fi space ships, scuttling insects and blown out subs marbling most tracks. They are loose and intense affairs. A lot of the time you'll have difficulty deciding if wordless chanting is just that, or if it is the distorted squeal of a machine. On tracks like "Royal Watusi Drums," taught drum skins ping randomly like rain drops on a tent roof. "Omande" is dark and rhythmically intoxicating, like a multi-layered Shackleton track. "Elephant Feast" is a rare moment of light on the humid, dense and often oppressive jungle floor that is the rest of the record. In truth, 24 tracks in 53 minutes makes for pretty heavy listening and tests your ability to endure these kinetic, imperfect rhythms, which pretty much start and stop fully formed. This is an accomplished and wonderfully weird album, though, and one that expertly traces back our longstanding obsession with visceral rhythm.
  • Tracklist
      01. Bapere Dance 02. Bahuto Chant & Dances 1 03. Batwa Pigmy Dance 2 04. Royal Watusi Drums 3 05. Batwa Pigmy Dance 1 06. Omande 07. Xylophone At Lubero 08. Mambuti Pigmy Flutes 09. Batwa Pigmy Dance 3 10. Chief Karumi's Dance 11. The Ceremonial Drums Of Chief Kokonyange 12. Elephant Feast 13. Royal Watusi Drums 1 14. Pigmy's Of Kigali 15. Flagellation 16. Circumcision Dance 17. Kokonyange's Dance 18. Humming 19. Bahuto Chant & Dances 2 20. Circumcision Atmosphere 21. Bahuto Chant & Dances 3 22. The Circumcision Bird 23. Stick Orchetstra 24. Royal Watusi Drums 2