steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


Self-titled CD

Rump Recordings

Genre: drone rock, kraut rock

July 11 2008

Copenhagen’s Svartbag specialize in drone rock heavily influenced by the likes of kraut rock pioneers Faust and Can. This five track debut weighs in at nearly fifty minutes, meaning you can expect slow-moving, extended jams. Right off the bat, Svartbag’s music exhibits an atmospheric, nearly hypnotic quality that makes the air feel thickened by layers of feedback. Unlike some more drone-minded enterprisers, Svartbag frequently utilize a conventional rhythm section to lend their tracks momentum – dazzling opener “Black Capricorn” and wonderfully spacey “Loop#9” make best use of the drums. Meanwhile, fourteen minute “Billy Name” could be considered the disc’s main attraction; vibrant and vaguely bluesy, it manages both liveliness and hypnotism, making for a unique and unusually accessible ride. I could easily see Svartbag on the Strange Attractors or Temporary Residence labels, although I am not surprised to encounter another wonderful release being churned out of the criminally obscure Rump label. Drone heads, look out: Svartbag may not be a big name on the scene, but one listen to this disc should make it quite clear they’re on to something good.

svartbag's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]