Exposé Online banner

Sven Grünberg — Hingus
(Bureau B BB241, 1981/2016, CD/LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-05-10

Hingus Cover art

Estonian soundtrack composer Sven Grünberg began his career while still a music student in 1974 by founding the progressive rock band Mess. After the band broke up he started exploring the field of electronic ambient music, and he was the first musician in Estonia to use a synthesizer. Sven composed and recorded his first solo album Hingus between 1978 and 1980, releasing it on vinyl in 1981. I purchased my vinyl copy in 1983 and have longed for it to be released on CD. The vinyl album was reissued multiple times in the 80s on the Russian label Melodiya and also resissued on CD by the Russian label Boheme Music in 2000. Now Bureau B’s reissue is the first by a Western label. In the late 70s not much Western music made it through the Iron Curtain, so Sven relied more on his own creativity for Hingus (Breath) than being overly influenced by the Berlin School. Sven used various electronic instruments, some built by Estonians Härmo Härm and Koit Saarmäe (HH Synthesizer, HH Percussion Synth, and KS Synthesizer). He also played a Selmer Clavioline, an ARP Omni, and a Logan String Melody. Side One, now the first four tracks, contains the four parts of “Hingus.” There are no driving sequencers or rhythm, just minimal ambiance with tons of reverb, organ, synths, and abstract sounds. The other two tracks, which were on Side Two, “Teekond” and “Valgusois” are not quite as abstract. “Teekond” has a melody line and a slow beat, still with tons of reverb, electronic swells that make it difficult to identify the sound source, and wordless vocals. “Valgusois” has cascading notes, mono synths, sounds of wind and birds, and a beat that enters in the final three minutes. The overall sense you get from this album is the music could have been a soundtrack for an Eastern European sci-fi movie. And to top everything off, the cover art is a photo of the Sombrero Galaxy that greatly contributes to the cosmic ambiance of Hingus.


Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 1981 recordings

Related artist(s): Sven Grünberg

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Magma - Mythes et Légendes 1 – Not to be confused with their 1985 CD with the exact same title, this DVD is the first of four that are being compiled from the shows that took place at Le Triton from May 10th to June 4th 2005. Each...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues