SONG OF THE DAY Sven Wunder – Yūgen

In August 2019 the striking debut from the mysterious Sven Wunder appeared seemingly out of nowhere! Pressed in limited numbers and released on Piano Piano Records, Eastern Flowers was quickly snapped up and soon became collectable, now fetching in the realms of £245 if (and I stress if) you are lucky enough to stumble upon one! Lucky enough for all those who still seek it, the album has recently been reissued as a digital release via Light In The Attic Records. 

When describing the sound of this Swedish outfit I think it’s more than fair to quote Mr Bongo who described their music as “refreshing as an ice-cold Limoncello after an Italian meal.”  These sound sculptures are designed to escort the mind to wondrous places and through Anatolian rock, European jazz-funk, ponderous drum patterns, groovy organs, far-out synthesizers, enchanting Saz and impetuous bass lines, Sven Wunder achieves just that!  Their first record was designed to take the listener “somewhere around the easternmost part of the Mediterranean Sea, around the Levantine Sea, where he paints a colourful portrait and illustrates the regions flora through sound…..”

This June sees the release of second album, Wabi Sabi and what better way to describe it than via the press release on their Bandcamp page which explains what their new record is all about:

“By welcoming the beauty of imperfection and simplicity, Sven Wunder applies the timeless wisdom of wabi sabi on this musical journey. What you can hear is filtered through Ukiyo-e (which translates as “pictures of the floating world”), which illustrates everyday life, as well as through Japonism, the study of Japanese art, and more specifically its influence on European works. The result is a surface that creates an illusion by sound. The infusion of Min’yō with jazz rock, this hazy scene evokes the landscape of Monet’s ”The Water Lily Pond”, which depicts the painter’s Giverny garden, with a Japanese bridge, bamboo, ginkgo trees and the reflection of the sky in the pond. This illusion constructs both time and space.

The surface of the music, like the canvas of the painting, invents a journey between now and then by interpreting the idiom of folkloric and western art instruments. In this composition, the sound of the Western concert flute, which stretches back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods, evokes the sound of the bamboo-flute (”shakuchachi”), which reached its peak during the Edo period. The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, with a more than 2,500 year history, joins traditional Japanese folk melodies with modern pop percussion and 20th century electronic instruments such as the Moog synthesizer, Wurlitzer electric piano and electric bass.

This is the illusion that celebrates the fleeting nature of all things. A journey. A deep inhale and a slow exhale. It has a mix of jazz (both funky and progressive), East Asian and South Asian sounds. The idea of fusing these styles and reframing them with the aesthetic of wabi sabi is to reconnect with nature and concentrate on asymmetries and emphasize ornamentation to generate new ways of looking at the world, here and now…”

I want to mention that if it wasn’t for my friend ranting about Sven Wunder’s debut recently, I would possibly never have listened to today’s song! For it was when their name came up in my feed earlier, I recognised it from my recent conversations and made a point of listening to their new track…..soooo glad I did! It’s fantastic!  Yūgen is the first song shared from their upcoming record and what an intriguing, rhythmically pleasing and very enchanting listen it is! Check it out above.

I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of what Wabi Sabi has to offer and am happy to report that we don’t have long to wait as this album will release on 12th June! It will be available for pre-order towards the end of the month so you can reserve your copy (as well as purchase their debut) from one of any of the places below!

Bandcamp Eastern Flowers / Wabi Sabi

Mr. Bongo (UK) Eastern Flowers / Wabi Sabi

Rappcats (US) Eastern Flowers / Wabi Sabi

Light In The Attic (US) Eastern Flowers / Wabi Sabi

Diskunion (JP) Eastern Flowers / Wabi Sabi

About The Listening Post Blog

The Listening Post Blog - A place to discover new sounds, where the music speaks for itself..
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1 Response to SONG OF THE DAY Sven Wunder – Yūgen

  1. Pingback: SONG OF THE DAY Dina ögon – Undantag |

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