Söderberg, Ulf – Vindarnas Hus

Ulf Söderberg is best known for his project Sephiroth, with the excellent album “Cathedron” which came out on Cold Meat a few years ago. Ulf also released two cd’s under his own name before that, both very nice albums. Now a new, third Ulf Söderberg album has become available, released by Ulfs own label Slow Moon. The songs on it were recorded and produced between 2000 and 2002. For this album Ulf was aided by a musician called Anders Hagberg. I can’t give much more information, because the booklet is completely in Swedish.

Objective reviewers would probably complain that there is not much innovation and surprise on this new album. The compositions and sound on “Vindarnas Hus” resemble Ulfs previous albums closely. But I happen to like his style a lot, so I don’t mind one more typical Söderbergh album, and this is certainly a strong continuation. The key to many songs is the dynamic alternation of atmospheric, tranquil parts and sudden energetic outbursts. The ambient passages convey a rather solemn, sacred mood, enhanced by the nature sounds which are used throughout the electronic framework. The tension is often slowly built up, followed by irrestible climaxes, just as in Sephiroths ‘hit’ ‘Wolftribes’. The faster parts have a strong sense of urgence, they are very primary and tribal, with overwhelming percussion. They give you the feeling of a herd of wild animals which has suddenly broken loose. Untill now the third track, Neapolis’, is my favourite of the album.

As I said, this album is not full of surprises, but from the first tones onward there is a pleasant feel of familiarity. The softer, ambient parts are moving, while the sudden, tribal parts make you move. I still love this blend of serene ambient, filled with lovely nature sounds, creating a somewhat religious feel, and the ‘ethnic’ percussion driven by instincts.

artist: Söderberg, Ulf
label: Slow Moon
details: 10 tracks, 52 min. SLMCD9806, 2003.