08 ROwmOR by rump published on 2010/02/22 08:47:01 +0000 Bjørn Svin is unique. Full stop. And with "Browen" he has succeeded in creating an album that deviates from sounding like anything else within the contemporary electronic scene, as well as marking a new era in Bjørn's versatile work as a composer. In spite of intense activity it has in fact been nine years since Bjørn Svin sprayed vitamins into the Danish techno scene by releasing an album, "Kan Tropisk" from 2001. Although he is still able to deliver aggressive techno (try seeing him live!) the pace on "Browen" has been turned down remarkably, even to such a degree that many will be surprised that Bjørn Svin is behind it. "Browen" is released exactly 15 years after Bjørn's very first release, the single "Diskonat" from '95, which was released when he was only 19 years old. Later came hits like "Mer Strøm #2", "Mand Over Bord" and the album "Benene På Nakken". All of these have since become classics in his home country, and made Denmarks first techno star! Time has passed and Bjørn has gone from being the man who brought humour, madness and musical originality to the scene, to having moved himself away from the audience's expectations and ultimately away from Denmark. Based in Berlin and New York, Bjørn Svin has developed a form of exile from the electronic music scene and "Browen" is in its specificity a natural result of it. Bjørn Svin’s sound in 2010 is marked by a strange and a mature sincerity that - mixed with a childlike naivety and curiosity - causes the most soulful Bjørn Svin release to date. The humorous playfulness that characterised Bjørn’s earlier music has evolved into an even more playful character, where humour and irony is replaced with eccentricity and lively timbre, for example heard on the title track opening the album. "Browen" is also characterised by its liberty of genre, and as the naughty boy of the class he has always been, Bjørn Svin breaks all the usual rules within the club music he originates from. The minimalistic single "bowbrow" is completely devoid of beats, but contains in its simplicity a power and a soul that is rarely heard within newer electronic music. On the closer "BooO" Jacob "I Got You On Tape" Bellens' voice suddenly appears and testifies to a newfound calmness and depth of sound, where harsh metallic sounds create stir in a sea of organic-sounding electronics. "Browen" has musical references to electronic pioneers like Raymond Scott and Morton Subotnick while the Sheffield Sound of the 90's (Warp Records, Autechre), early Aphex Twin and Cristian Vogel's wry swinging techno also can be felt. Mood-wise Bjørn himself mentions Mozart, Steve Reich, Ligeti, Ella Fitzgerald and African singer/songwriters as Baaba Maal and Rokia Traoré as inspiration.