Svaneborg Kardyb - Over Tage [GONDLP057]
Drawing on Danish folk, ambient contemplative minimalism and Scandinavian jazz, Svaneborg Kardyb have created an album that is warm, organic and highly original. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the season.
There is something about this time of year. It’s a period when the air feels fresh, when all of nature’s beauty is being stripped naked, shedding the heaviness of summer. Mornings are crisp and the sun is slow to rise, giving us the perfect time and space to reflect.
Svaneborg Kardyb, individually Nikolaj Svaneborg (Wurlitzer, Juno, piano) and Jonas Kardyb (drums, percussion), hail from a part of the world familiar with rapidly darkening Autumn days. Straight out of Aalborg, in northern Denmark, they create a sound that smacks of Scandinavia. The recording process for their third album, Over Tage, typically “started in the earliest of mornings over the blackest of coffee, sometimes even without talking, just music”. You can tell. Over Tage is the soundtrack to Autumn dawn.
Released on Manchester-based Gondwana Records, Over Tage (which translates as Over Roofs) is described by the duo as their strongest and most honest record to date. It is one which has several influences. The duo state that traditional Danish folk played a part, although I must confess that I have to take their word for that. More obvious to my untrained ear are the ambient minimalism of the likes of Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. But what differentiates this collection is the way that Svaneborg Kardyb fuse this with a hint of that very Scandinavian-tinged jazz of the late Esbjörn Svensson. Then, into the mix, they throw in the delicacy and elegance of classical. This ability to fuse genres so skilfully undoubtedly comes from the duo’s respective backgrounds, with Svaneborg coming from Scandinavian jazz and Kardyb from roots, blues and folk. The end product is something that bears resemblance to their new label-mates, Portico Quartet. It is a warm, organic sound that has an unpredictability and considerable depth that, holistically, makes for an intriguing listen.