Hillborg, Lšthman, Reich, Parmerud, Takemitsu & Sšderqvist

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Hillborg,Löthman,Parmerud,Reich,Takemitsu & Söderqvist
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Substring Bridge
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Mats Bergström (guitar)
The cover of ‘SubString Bridge’ credits only Mats Bergström, guitar, but it is rather more than a solo guitar recording. Electronic percussion dominates Anders Hillborg’s Close Up, a real string section features on Johan Söderqvist’s Epilogue, goodness knows how many multitracked guitars on Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, and hefty slabs of computer wizardry make a mark throughout the disc. Reactionary as it may sound, two of the most successful items are those for solitary acoustic guitar, Arne Löthman’s plangent and meditative Diptych, and Takemitsu’s coolly questioning All in Twilight, both rendered with unassuming mastery by Bergström. Reich’s technique of piling sound layer upon layer we are familiar with, but just how well crafted his Electric Counterpoint is becomes clearer during a messy remixed club version, where technology adds little to the original. The multimedia note continues on an extra video track – accessible to those with newish computers – which includes footage of a beatnik Bergström, guitar slung disdainfully across a shoulder as he lies down in the road and strikes angstful poses against the backdrop of a bridge. If such trendiness is at times a little heavy-handed, the end result is nonetheless thoughtful and different and well worth a listen. Christopher Wood