Exposé Online banner

Olov Johansson — Storsvarten
(NorthSide NSD6017, 1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-01-01

Storsvarten Cover artOlov Johansson plays an ancient instrument called a nyckelharpa, which is related to the violin and hurdy-gurdy, and is traditional is Sweden, though not much played in the current day. It looks rather like a violin with levers sticking out from one side of the neck, and is played with a bow while fingering the levers instead of pressing the fingers directly onto the strings as with a violin. Its sound is unique, something of a cross between a Celtic fiddle and a bagpipe. Olov Johnasson is a master of this instrument, and he exhibits his virtuosity on traditional and original tunes on this disc, playing both solo and in a variety of duet combinations including acoustic guitar, violin, viola, piano, and organ. The pieces range from sad Scandinavian meditations to rousing polskas, and the track with the organ has a very Bach-like arrangement. Throughout is the interesting nyckelharpa, played with great energy. Sometimes you would swear there must be percussion instruments in there, the rhythms are so lively. If you’re looking for something way out of the ordinary, or are curious about Swedish music at all, this disc is a good place to start.

Filed under: Audio, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Olov Johansson

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Hunger's Teeth – Here's a really unexpected surprise. The 5uu's used to be the epitome of overlyrical RIO mediocrity, a quirky semi-political group influenced by the Henry Cow / Art Bears sphere. While their...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues