Peter Lindahl - "Psychedelic Sweden"
(Transubstans 2008, Trans037)
From Aural Innovations #37 (September 2007)
Many Aural Innovations readers will be familiar with In the Labyrinth, a Swedish ensemble that play a mind expanding brand of Middle Eastern/Indian influenced psychedelia with healthy portions of folk and progressive rock. Diehard fans will know that the band is led by multi-instrumentalist and artist Peter Lindahl, who has recently made available this archival set of never before released songs he recorded in 1970-73 (a few are from the 80s & 90s).
The album consists of 16 impressively well written pop-psych songs. You'll hear heavy folk influences, flower power vibes, bits of novelty song, and all very psychedelicized. But listen closely to the music… you won't hear In the Labyrinth, but you will hear a sophisticated progressive edge that is clearly the seeds of the music Lindahl was to create many years later. Listen to tracks like "Pastor Gran" and you'll hear Lindahl experimenting with effects and doing an admirable job of adding color and character to his songs. And I love the chipmunk vocals and use of percussive clatter on "Mamma, Pappa Och Barnvisan". Most of the tracks are in the 2-5 minute range, though one of my favorites is the 7 minute "Taby Sang". It's folk, pop and trippy, and Lindahl works in horn segments (keyboards?), freaky backwards loops, and much more to nicely embellish this gorgeous mellow song.
Peter played all the instruments on the album except for some assistance on a few tracks, chiefly his brother Niklas and father Sven. Most of the songs are in English though there are a few sung in Swedish. The music is very well produced, not so much in the sound quality (which is very good) as in the way the songs are crafted and the instrumentation arranged. It's great to see so much archival music being issued in recent years. And it gets even more exciting when contemporary artists pull unreleased tapes out of the mothballs and give the world a taste of their creative roots. Recommended to anyone into seeking out obscure early 70s psychedelia.
Sound samples of each track are available at: http://www.inthelabyrinth.com/index2.html.
Visit the In the Labyrinth web site at: http://www.inthelabyrinth.com. (be sure to check out the links to Peter's paintings…. fantastic!)
Visit the Transubstans web site at: http://www.recordheaven.net/Transsubstans
Email Peter Lindahl at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz