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

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...

Discipline - Push & Profit – Discipline are a young five-piece band from Detroit, Michigan, whose instrumentation includes the usual bass / drums / keys / guitars with the fifth and front man doing vocals/violin/keys/guitar....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues