“When Hidden Shoal launched Erik Nilsson’s “Tail Lights” as a teaser from his album Recollage, I was triggered by its teasing beauty. Like I was taken last year when checking out his amazing second album, Hearing Things. This is all about hearing and finding things. Musical gemstones. Diamonds in the rough.
This is the reissue of Nilsson’s debut album. Recollage was originally released by Luxus-Artica Records in 2011. So, therefor here is re-Recollage 2016. The album holds eight tracks, or nine if you are counting both versions of “Rumore del Roma” – the new and the original. As I understand, Recollage has not only been fully re-mastered, the songs on the album has also got added some extra instrumentation. Well, I haven’t heard the original (except for “Rumore del Roma”, obviously) so I can’t tell what’s new and improved, but the album and the songs on it sounds amazing. From the opening “Into Motion” to the twisted and peculiar closing track, “Little Demon” (well, (if not counting the “Rumore Del Roma (Original)”…). “Timepiece” is a well-crafted and well sampled track adding the sound of an old stand clock as part of the rhythm, giving the song an organic feel. Nifty. The clock(s) keeps occurring throughout the album, such as on “Old Piano, Bad Back”. The ambient electronica of Erik Nilsson is a cunning and elegant web of ‘real’ instruments (guitars, piano) plus sampled sounds done with style and grace. Like Hidden Shoal describes the album: ‘There is a vibrant playfulness across Recollage‘s nine tracks, with each song mapping out its own discrete world. Nilsson skillfully mixes electronics with live instruments and field recordings…’ Yes, there is for sure a vibrant feel to the album, and Nilsson’s skills are for sure impressive. As a composer, as an instrumentalist, and as an arranger. This is delicate and brilliant stuff. Nilsson’s a music puzzle master in his cut’n’paste music collage making where the result sparkle and shine.
Artists like The Books, Four Tet, Sea and Cake, and Björk are mentioned as RIYL references to Nilsson’s music. When hearing some of the guitar playing, I’d also like to add David Grubbs to the list. I can’t find one weak moment on this album. “Tail Lights” is pure magic, but here’s more: “Into Motion”, “Recollage”, “Timepiece”, “Rumore Del Roma”, “Old Piano, Bad Back”, “15 Minutes Of Boredom”. Bravo.”