Varg - Nordic Flora Series, Part 5: Crush
The fifth (and possibly last) installment in the ongoing Nordic Flora Series from Varg has hit the shops, and it's another quality endeavour. Where did #4 go, you ask? Well, it's a cassette-only release called Techno Music and is available in an extremely limited quantity, i.e. no digital release ('nuff said). Jumping directly to #5 though shouldn't confuse anyone following the series so far, like #3 (Gore-Tex City) the set-up is the same, with various contributions (from artists like AnnaMelina, Chloe Wise, Matti Bye, Christian Augustin & Henrik Söderström) sampled and woven into Varg's own rich tapestry of enthralling Ambient Techno. And while there's a dark vibe draped over the 14 tracks, it's fair to say that this is Varg's love album; virtual or real, his friends and lovers mean a lot to him, even fellow countryman Avicci, who gets a tribute in the form of closing track Final Crush (For 940524).
With many tracks composed on the move, in spare moments, with mobile devices, Varg is essentially notating his life, presenting a series of musical reflections and patterns. The more contemplative, downtempo tracks, like U Control the Ocean (Second Crush) or Vanity Lights (First Crush) ft. Ecco2k correlate to Varg's quiet moments, checking his emails, listening to voicemail messages, while in contrast, the more arresting passages, like OND_F.T.P. or Rush/Tinder represent the real-life meetings, the build-up to a night out with friends, the rush of reciprocal human affection. The filthy narratives are there for the deciphering.
The sense of experimental adventure remains with a wide range of creative sounds (tasteful airhorn! on Rush/Wickr and pure Pop melody on Blue Line 2 (112 Fridhemsplan)). The Swedish producer's knack for turning nothing into something, like Morning Star's voice message into the glorious opening track Music For Breakups, is what makes him stand out from the crowd. The only problem I have is that with any musician who maintains such a high level of artistic intrigue, the prospect of further boundary-pushing developments perpetually dangles before the senses like the proverbial carrot, and I'm afraid of dented expectations.
- Rating: 9/10
- Listens: 17
- Highlight: Rush/Tinder
- Label: Posh Isolation
- Release Date: 22nd June 2018