Saturday, February 13, 2010

Detektivbyran - Wermland

I may look and act like a total punk, what with the tattoos and track record of violence, but really, my favourite genres are probably folk and twee. If anyone calls me on it I usually just tell them my look is a subtle Belle & Sebastian/Darren Hanlon* reference.

It is because of this that a Swedish folk/electronica band by the name of Detektivbyran (Swedish for ‘The Detective Agency’) caught my eye. I try to listen to as much music as I can, from all genres, but electro and its variants I find very hard to get into. The way to get my interest is of course, to add a folk influence into the mix. 

From the way they were described on their wikipedia page, I knew I had to give these guys a listen. An electronica band that experiments with “unpopular” instruments such as accordion and glockenspiel? Ready please, Mr Music!

So, I downloaded their most recent album ‘Wermland’. Unsurprisingly, I love it. The prominent beats and bass lines are at their least obnoxious when combined with the music-box charm of gentle tuned percussion. Admittedly, this is an album that will appeal more to fans of experimental folk than most electronic music. I would say the experimental folk influence is much stronger here than any other genre.

Instead of picking out favourite tracks, I would recommend listening to this album as a whole. While I’m sure the tracks would work as individuals, this is one of those albums where it is best to appreciate the build between tracks, the way the instruments play off each other throughout the songs. There are no lyrics to tell the story, but the album only benefits from being an instrumental. Some people might say that there is only so much accordion they can listen to in one sitting. I am not one of those people.

-Smackie Onassis

*"I'm A Cuckoo"/"Punk's Not Dead"