Porn Sword Tobacco - Explains Freedom
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Porn Sword Tobacco
Explains Freedom

Hearing a name like Porn Sword Tobacco, one might be inclined to imagine some sort of electroclash outfit with outlandish costumes and somewhat sterile music, but in fact this first full-length release from the group is almost exactly the opposite. PST is the brainchild of Swedish artist Henrik Jonsson and despite a sense of humour in song titles, the release is mostly a very interesting study in lo-fi ambient music. Nineteen tracks run almost fifty minutes in length and despite keeping an almost placid calm throughout the release, there are enough small changes in sounds within to keep one wondering.

"Eudaimonia" opens the release and like many of the tracks on the release, it is washed in a soft haze of hiss as soft synth chords wash out like ink dissolving in water. "Soft Airgun & Electric" is somewhat similar, blending swirls of analogue synth with minimal sprinkles of piano, with outside field recordings blended in to give it a more organic feel. Of some of the earlier pieces on the release, "Watts Tower" is easily one of the best, mixing a repeated synth phrase with other warm pads and filtered guitar plucks for a ghostly three minute piece.

On other tracks, Jonsson drops the musical equation almost completely from the mix and gets almost entirely atmospheric. "Dina Upptäckter Ritar Kartan" sounds like very little more than someone futzing around in a studio for almost four minutes while some very, very slight ambience wafts in the background (sorta like some of the less effective Set Fire To Flames tracks). In yet other places, he drops super-short melodic IDM pieces (the one and a half minute "Thank You!") and even dabbles with straight-up electronic pop (the nice instrumental of "Delta Är Kärleken Som Dansar," which sounds like the update of a track from an 80s John Hughes film).

As is evident from the above, this is a rather scattershod release from a young musician. At times it sounds like The Blithe Sons gone ambient electronic and at others (the silly "Futuristic Rasta Money") it sounds like everything and the kitchen sink has been thrown onto one release in order to have a full-length, regardless of continuity or overall feel. Jonsson is at his best when he's creating minimal, ambient pieces that exude world weary warmth, but unfortunately the effect is dilluted by including a whole slew of tracks that feel more like sketches than anything else. There's definitely some talent at work here, but it's kind of a chore to get through in places.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2005-09-25 00:00:00