steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Johan Cederberg

"Selected Recordings 2004-2006" CDR

Series Two Records

Genre: lo-fi, pop, electro-pop

Stockholm, Sweden

October 2009

One of the strengths of Series Two's releases is their brevity. This isn't intended as an affront; each CDR that Christopher puts out serves as a titillating glimpse at a band or artist at a certain point in time. Since most releases are bare-boned, lo-fi adventures, it is essential that they be concise and to the point.

Johan Cederberg's Selected Recordings 2004-2006 is just that - a tidy collection of bedroom electro-pop songs, fuelled by hushed vocals, acoustic guitars, and well-placed electronics. As is often the case with Series Two's nuggets, there is significant talent on offer here; Cederberg's brand of pop is a moody, cerebral sort, as on the fabulously post-rock-ish, Notwist-influenced "Moonmonths" and the hauntingly mellow "In a War." Unlike many similar bedroom outings, Cederberg's use of electronics primarily benefits the proceedings, with appropriate rhythms, samples, and associated atmospherics. I really dig the laidback groove of "Drop" and the trip-hoppy "Explosions." Meanwhile, "Are You Awake?" is based on a sample from Tangerine Dream's "Love on a Train" from the Risky Business score; a bit of a rip-off, but the effect is nice.

The bulk of this album has a sort of basement Notwist vibe, which is fine by me. As unpolished as a collection of lo-fi recordings would be expected to be, Cederberg's effort is a promising and remarkably engaging journey unto itself.

johan's myspace

The same Johan Cederberg? We can only wonder...

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]