Get this crazy baby off my head!


Samuel Hällkvist

Samuel Hällkvist - Variety of Loud - 2012 - BoogiePost Recordings

Blending jazz, rock and country, with radio samples in the mix, Hällkvist’s songs have a cinematic feel, with some sounding as though they could have been the score to a David Lynch film. - Teresa Sampson, sentimentalistmag.com

“Samuel Hallkvist would give a psychologist making a study of guitarists’ behavioural patterns no end of research material.” - Herald Scotland

“Imagine listening to the freest of free jazz with all its attendant skronks and honks, then suddenly realising that every note was
written down the way a classical composer writes for string quartet.” - The Skinny

“Hällkvist is a musician with a unique vision.” - All About Jazz

“Masterful stuff” - Prog Rock Magazine

Copenhagen-based Swedish guitarist Samuel Hällkvist, winner of the prestigious 2010 Jazz In Sweden award, demonstrated his eclectic tastes on his 2010 debut as a leader, Samuel Hällkvist Center (Caprice), albeit still rooted in the jazz legacy. On Variety of Loud he even goes further, blurring genre boundaries between improvised jazz and his primary love for the turbulent energies of John Zorn, progressive rock, metal and electronic, while impressively juggling muscular, punchy delivery and sophisticated improvisations. Hällkvist calls his new hybrid style "asymmetrical dance music." Hällkvist has enlisted an international cast to enhance his vision, including King Crimson drummer alum Pat Mastelotto, Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg, Ornette Coleman alumnus keyboardist Pete Drungle and Japanese performance artist Mai Ueda who adds vocals. None of the musicians met the others in person; music files were shared via the internet and the only common denominator was Hällkvist, who assembled their contributions into an intricate, nuanced canvas of rhythms and colors. All nine tracks are based on the complex, driving rhythms that the two drummers deliver—some electronic or processed—and over these layers, Hällkvist construct melodic themes with his guitars, using Ueda's wordless voice as another instrument. The heavy, trance-like beats dictate the character of "Kill the Road," "The Maraca Triplets" and 'Ain't Renegade." Elsewhere, the rhythms emphasize the guitarist's role. Processed beats gently encompass the soft, twangy lines of Hällkvist guitar on "Swarm Robotics" His various sounds—acoustic and electric, bluesy and metallic—weave the schizophrenic, infectious texture of "2nd Sunset," where the percussive sounds are pushed aside. "Radio Waits for No One" is built like a mini prog-rock suite, with a dramatic, dark narrative, intensified by the processed sounds of the drums and guitars, spacey keyboards and muscular playing from all the players. On the addictive "Body Avalanche" and "Wigwam" Hällkvist fusion of country-like and rock fretting soar over the focused rhythmic palette. His fascination with a kind of futuristic twangy fretting is also evident on the addictive sing-along, "Urban Champion." Hällkvist is a musician with a unique vision. By & © EYAL HAREUVENI, Published: June 30, 2012 © 2014 All About Jazz http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=42422#.Uz76i6jdVb0

There’s a wealth of intricate detail within the album; icy twang-bar reveries; dextrous country-style plucking; trance-like beats that percolate through the entire body of the album; joyous, blissed-out swirls of kaleidoscopic keyboards; wordless vocals drifting between undulating ripples of guitar, fizzing electronica and dreamy chords; intense metallic-edged riffs and explosive salvos of chaotic percussion. © Sid Smith © 2012 Sid Smith http://www.sidsmith.net/

Variety Of Loud constantly criss-crosses the borders between control and abandonment, between discipline and intuition, between pulling different elements together and ultimately, having the confidence to let go and see what happens next. © http://boogiepost.com/releases/variety-of-loud/

“When I composed the music for the album, the guiding words for me were ‘asymmetrical dance music’. I wanted to lose control and trust what the other musicians could bring to the table. The result was something I didn’t expect.” © Samuel Hällkvist – Variety of Loud

Variety Of Loud is also the name of the band backing Samuel Hällkvist on this eclectic album comprising elements of metal, jazz, rock, country, and a myriad of other music genres. Samuel mixes in radio samples and the album has an all over cinematic flavour. Samuel has a contemporary and original progressive outlook on guitar playing and produces very original music. Samuel has established himself as one of the most creative and fearless guitarists to ever come out of Sweden. He has performed with musicians that include Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Morgan Ågren, Jakko Jakszyk and Swedish chamber rock band Isildurs Bane. The album has been described as “music without compromises but a given for anybody who has a record collection that comprises Béla Bartók, Steve Coleman, King Crimson, Mr Bungle and Ennio Morricone. This is contemporary music. Distinct and uncompromising yet emotional with an athletic beauty”. Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson and Mr. Mister provides drums and percussion on the album. Samuel has said that, “When I composed the music for the album, the guiding words for me were ‘asymmetrical dance music’. I wanted to lose control and trust what the other musicians could bring to the table. The result was some-thing I didn’t expect.” This is music with genuine merit and won’t damage your aural sensibilities in any way! Check out Samuel’s “Center” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 90.5 Mb]


1 Kill the Road 4:49
2 Swarm Robotics 4:55
3 Radio Waits for No One 3:59
4 Body Avalanche 4:32
5 The Maraca Triplets 3:34
6 Wigwam 3:42
7 2d Sunset 3:28
8 Urban Champion 4:41
9 Ain't Renegade 5:48

All songs written by Samuel Hällkvist


Samuel Hällkvist - Guitars and other stringed instruments
Pete Drungle - Keyboards
Pat Mastelotto - Drums, Percussion
Stefan Pasborg - Drums
Mai Ueda – Voice


Samuel Hällkvist is the 2010 Jazz in Sweden artist. He is a guitarist and songwriter from the village of Gustafs outside Borlänge in Dalarna but is now living in Copenhagen since a few years back. He has mostly been heard as a band member of Television Pickup, Rhododendron String Band and 15,5. In 2010 he will be focusing on the newly started Samuel Hällkvist Center . “Incredibly luxurious, a great 30th birthday gift!”, he says gleefully about the award that entails a recording for Caprice Records and launching tours in Sweden and abroad with the help of Concerts Sweden. He describes the music he writes for the new group Samuel Hällkvist Center as strikingly rhythmic. “I’m more interested in rhythms than harmonies. I promise there will be no walking bass, no 32 bars or 12 bar blues. All I can say is that the music is built on figures that are repeated and intensified and in the best case they lead to a sort of meditative trance.” He adds that his aim is to get away from the clear, set rules of jazz, that razor sharp line between soloist and accompaniment. “I want to shift the focus from the ego and to give collective responsibility for the music. For me it is the whole, the joint sound that is important. Regardless of who is doing a solo.” Samuel also says that one of his strong points is that he completely disregards musical fashions. Absolutely. “I have my vision and stick to it. I’m not afraid of making mistakes. It’s a question of being clear and consequent. You have an idea? Show it and be convincing.” He thinks of music in terms of story telling, imagination and sounds. “It’s about always trying to get away from routine. With other sounds I am hopefully breaking old patterns and opening a door or two for the benefit of the curiosity of the musicians. You can, for example, play on the ‘sound of country’. It sounds like country music the difference being that jazz improvisation is one of the building stones.” He discovered jazz by chance. “When I was in ninth grade. I mostly listened to alternative, hard rock, metal and trash metal, groups like Slayer . I still find that music extremely exciting and full of energy. But one day I found a forgotten CD in the CD player, it was a Knud Jørgensen album, the Danish pianst, and it was awesome! So I started playing the guitar, started a trio and played straight away.” For a few years, it was mainly guitar jazz for Samuel. Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt became the new household gods. He attended the Hedemora music gymnasium, but the real swing wasn’t there. Instead, he went to Jazzlinjen in Gävle and that was “brilliant”. After that, he went to Skurups folkhögskola (the Folk High School or Popular university, where he often substitutes nowadays) and then the Malmö Academy of Music, which was free and good for those who knew what they wanted to do. Samuel certainly did and does still. Among other things, he wanted to listen concentratedly to a lot and to “everything”. “I methodically work my way through artist after artist, genre after genre. Classical country, all new things in the jazz world, even popular dance music. And I have no problems shifting between modern and old.” As a guitarist he describes himself, hardly surprisingly, as eclectic. “Sure, I gather inspiration from all sorts of places. I have a MIDI guitar and my effect pedals. In my ears they are not toys, but real instruments. I can play a whole lot of string instru- ments like the mandolin, the ukulele and the lapsteel. I learned the bluegrass finger picking technique when I learned to play the banjo. It’s a different technique that produces another sound than the usual jazz sound. But I mostly play a Fender, either a Stratocaster or a Telecaster. They never sound like an old jazz box.” On his journey as a Jazz in Sweden artist Samuel Hällkvist has brought saxophonist Joel Wästberg who also plays some floor tom and some guitar, Johannes Bur ström on the electric bass and computer and Knut Finnsrud, drums. “Yes, I know, someone is bound to ask us. We are four jazz musicians and the music is improvised to a high degree. So all I can say is that we play jazz. The fact that it doesn’t sound like hard bop or bebop or cool is just the way it should be. Jazz needs to find new modes of expression and always has. And anyway, who decides what is jazz and what isn’t?” - Text: © Johan Scherwin/Concerts Sweden © http://samuelhallkvist.com/press/


A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc

francisco santos said...

the link is no good

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Francisco. I've just tried link @ 23.43 6/4/14. I can't find a problem. Please get back to me if you have more problems...TVM Paul