What is it with Scandinavia producing such amazing groundbreaking artists? Annie. Jose Gonzalez. Sondre Lerche. Royksopp. Kings of Convenience. um, Abba.
Now comes another singer that has been blowing my mind since I got his CD a few weeks ago: Kristoffer Ragnstam. Not only does he fit the bill of hot rocker (well, 'cause he's really good looking), but he produced a CD of some of the most refreshing new music I've heard in a long time. His story is an interesting one:
When Kristoffer decided he wanted to make music, he didn't know how to play any instruments so he taught himself to play drums. And why did he learn music? To get chicks. He not only learned to play drums, he studied how they were built so he could add his own enhancements and eventually started building drum kits in the basement.
Eventually he got into sampling and using sequencers after being introduced to hip-hop by a couple of Americans. And thank god he did because it's been a fantastic influence on his music. At first listen, it was hard to peg any comparisons. But after checking him out more, it was even harder. This is one of the first CDs to play with mixing rocky rhythms with drums and other funky sounds since Beck put out Odelay.
Ragnstam's playful music is long overdue. It's time for a good party album and this is it. There's no messing around here trying to impress anybody. He seems to be making music for himself because he likes doing it, not necessarily to sell millions of records on the strength of one single. And that's due to the fact that almost the entire album is lovable.
From the melancholy intro that seamlessly bumps up against "Breakfast By the Matress," a gleeful opening track that sets the pace for the rest of the album's no-holds-barred, relationship-fueled 13 tracks. Is Rangstam trying to win us over with his punky drumming and flirtatious, breathy vocals? Or kick start the party with the electro-tinged '80s rhythms? Perhaps he wants his listeners to groove to the soulful, walk-through-the-park hooks of "Lonely Lane," a song right out of the '70s love era. Every track on the album stands out on its own merit and the path from start to finish is a rollercoaster of good times with surprises at every turn. The biggest surprise is just how good this CD is.
This debut, which was set to hit the U.S. in September is now pushed back (foolishly) to February. Ragnstam is currently scheduled to tour the States in November, at which time he'll have recorded a short EP of newer material (newer compared to everything else people here have heard?!). It looks like Europeans and the Japanese are going to treasure him first since he's playing shows in both places before coming here. While you wait to get your fill, have a fix and listen to his music.
You won't be disappointed. Trust.
Check out some mp3s:
The comments to this entry are closed.