Virtuoso Swedish musicians Tonbruket move through the ages on their genre-breaking instrumental new album Nubium Swimtrip.
Recorded over a three-day period at Abbey Road Studios, Tonbruket attempt to capture the sonic innovations and ambitions of such artists as The Beatles and Pink Floyd.
Opening track ‘A Road’ slowly ascends through a repetitive haunting piano, before morphing into blissful 70’s jazz rhythms with a slide guitar that gives a nod to David Gilmour. Much of ‘Nubium Swimtrip’ not only takes inspiration from progressive rock and jazz but also krautrock, notably on the Neu and Can inspired ‘The Harmonist’ and again on the slow grooving title track Nubium Swimtrip. More surprising is the 50’s Radio Phonic Workshop sound installations heard on ‘Dukes and Wells’ and again on ‘Arbat’.
‘Nubium Swimtrip’ not only draws upon the mystery and insanity-ridded sound of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’, they also pay homage through the album title, a reference to the Mare Nubium, the lunar ‘sea’ on the near side of the moon. Adding further texture to their palette is ‘Nightmusic’; with its country style pedal steel and spontaneous black lodge jazz of David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’, while ‘Peace’ holds a playful Caribbean sway.
Although there is a lot of experimentation the band never veer too far from the ‘less is more’ ethos, deciding instead to focus upon tone, melody and groove. This gives the band space to maneuver themselves into various shapes and positions, allowing them to create such memorable moods and melodies you don’t think twice about lyrics. Much of ‘Nubium Swimtrip’ could be the score for the latest science fiction film, most prominent on the seasick ambience of ‘Little Bruk’, and again with the orchestral piano and augmented strings of ‘Closing’ and ‘Floatsome’, which lift you above the heather of their cinematic soundscape.
Tonbruket manage to capture some of the magic of Abbey Road on Nubium Swimtrip, a fresh and eclectic album that shows them as four talented individuals with great aspirations. While Nubium Swimtrip holds such a rich musical heritage and understanding of diverse genres, it is in itself a challenging, thought provoking and distinct album.
The album is out now on ACT . For more information visit the band website.
words Alan Byatt