Hearing the Swedish outfit Sven Wunder for the first time is as refreshing as an ice-cold Limoncello after an Italian meal. One of those bands that feel instantly familiar like an old friend and simultaneously fresh and new. Not one to be complacent and recreate a carbon copy of their contemporary cult classic album 'Doğu Çiçekleri / Eastern Flowers' from 2019, the mysterious Sven Wunder have switched continents from the psychedelic-Turkish-funk sounds of 'Doğu Çiçekleri' to the Japanese inspired ethereal funk of 'Wabi Sabi'.
By welcoming the beauty of imperfection and simplicity, Sven Wunder applies the timeless wisdom of Wabi Sabi on this musical journey. What you can hear is filtered through Ukiyo-e (which translates as “pictures of the floating world”), which illustrates everyday life, as well as through Japonism, the study of Japanese art, and more specifically its influence on European works. The result is a surface that creates an illusion by sound. The infusion of Min’yō with jazz rock, this hazy scene evokes the landscape of Monet’s ”The Water Lily Pond”, which depicts the painter’s Giverny garden, with a Japanese bridge, bamboo, ginkgo trees and the reflection of the sky in the pond. This illusion constructs both time and space.
The surface of the music, like the canvas of the painting, invents a journey between now and then by interpreting the idiom of folkloric and western art instruments. In this composition, the sound of the Western concert flute, which stretches back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods, evokes the sound of the bamboo-flute (”shakuchachi”), which reached its peak during the Edo period. The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, with a more than 2,500 year history, joins traditional Japanese folk melodies with modern pop percussion and 20th century electronic instruments such as the Moog synthesizer, Wurlitzer electric piano, and electric bass.
This is the illusion that celebrates the fleeting nature of all things. A journey. A deep inhale and a slow exhale. It has a mix of jazz (both funky and progressive), East Asian and South Asian sounds. The idea of fusing these styles and reframing them with the aesthetic of Wabi Sabi is to reconnect with nature and concentrate on asymmetries and emphasize ornamentation to generate new ways of looking at the world, here and now.
Here at Mr Bongo, we are so pleased to be one of the few shops in the world selected by Piano Piano Records to distribute Sven's new masterpiece 'Wabi Sabi’.
This record is produced with financial support from the Swedish Arts Council.
A1. Yūgen / A2. Shinrinyoku / A3. Hot Winds Arrive / A4. Hanami / A5. Komorebi / A6. Blanket Fog Descends / B1. Wabi Sabi / B2. Bamboo And Rocks / B3. Kachōfūgetsu / B4. Onsen / B5. North Wind Rattles the Leaves