I have been a fan of the Swedish multi-talented “mad-scientist of musicians” that is Dödsvarg. Okeanides (which can be found in this link) is the album which is finally making some headspace in the “somewhat” mainstream. Because Okeanides is like most of his other works a concept-album. But this time Dödsvarg (also known as Jon Ekström) composed a album that i supposed to sync with a art-piece that is designed by Anna Lidberg. Her work shares the same name, a name that is taken from the Greek Mythology, a name that shares it’s title with a kind of nymphs that embellish nature’s various water elements. Anna Lidberg’s art-piece shows simulations of water in different elements. Using projections and technicality that was supposedly somewhat interactive in a way. The projections moves and develops in time with Jon’s music that is specially written to the installation itself. I am sorry that i have not been able to attend the art-piece though. Covid-19 made that quite impossible. But it do would have been amazing to hear this music, see the visual art-pieces. All being projected at the watertower in “Säffle”.
For a man whom i associate with creativity it is quite refreshing to see that he tops himself in a whole new way. Previously he often changes genre, mood or concepts between releases or even once in every album. Like with his previous 2018 release “Stilla Natt” (Which by the way is one of my all time favorite records). Okeanides is no different. It constantly shifts, melts, reverberates and vibrates in your skull. Some songs like “Alvar” is pure post-rock pieces that might as well could have been performed by Mono or Caspian, and the beautifuly, arpegiated mandolin that kicks in halfway through gives in some amazing “Dorena”-vibes. A post-rock band that is way to underground. Whilst “Arvika Elektriska” is a pure EBM-banger that is so bitcrushed that i get reminded of Sega Mega Drive (Or Sega Genesis for Americans) games that don’t even exist.
The themes of blending textures of post-rock with soundscapes reminiscent of old video games don’t end there. Further in the duration of the runtime the two genres blend are in the end impossible to differentiate.
Just to finish of the album with the self-titled “Okeanides”. A mellow, somber piece that is the perfect “end-credits” for a story that is neither black nor white. This is not a happy ending, neither a sad one. Like life itself.
I have such a hard time reviewing all of Dödsvarg’s album. Since his work (no matter if it’s his aggressive hardcore songs or the mellow shoegaze tracks). They always tend to connect to me on a deeply emotional state. I can’t tell you what to think of his music, what his music means or why he makes it like it is. I think of it that Dödsvarg is the kind of creator that don’t use conventional means of writing songs. I see his songs as “streams of counciousness”. Dödsvarg is the music for the listener that want’s the auditory equivalent of “freeflow poetry”. Dödsvarg is the “freeflow jazz” of modern music.
I love this album. Just go and buy it, and don’t forget to stream it through Spotify, Apple Music or wherever you can find it. Artists needs our support in these times. And if an album that is basicly a backdrop to a art-piece i have not even seen, that truly says something.