Sven Grünberg — Hingus
(Bureau B BB241, 1981/2016, CD/LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-05-10
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.
Related artist(s): Sven Grünberg
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more