The experimental rock music that Björn Magnusson is churning out is one of peculiar vision, at times almost embarrassingly intimate yet utterly distant and hardly graspable. Fragile and oddly beautiful, the songs on Almost Transparent Blue are the result of years of touring and recording as Great Black Waters, the former moniker for his concoction of rock n roll existentialism and irrational folk ballads, earning him a reputation for strange live shows and fierce experimentation, both on record as well as on stage.
After two albums, some tape and 7“ releases, many shows with incessant line up changes and collaborations he is about to release this new collection of songs, this time under his given name though.
Writing for Almost Transparent Blue started while staying for a couple of weeks at Nicholas Inspektor Sodapop Ray‘s house in New Orleans, sketching away for days in the heat of humid delirium on a borrowed four track cassette recorder. Back in New York with a handful of songs and fragments the basic tracks of the record were done at Dave Voigt‘s living room studio “beyondnotes” with Danny Hole (Nikki Sudden, Kid Congo, The Warlocks, etc.) on drums.
Finally these recordings were rearranged, cut up and finally finished off and mixed in the quiet isolation of Björn Magnusson’s analog home studio that’s located in a defunct WWII concrete silo on the edge of the Swiss Alps.
This debut gives us a special kind of confidence in uncertainty, something we all need from time to time. The atmosphere is laid back, gratifyingly psychedelic at times but without trying to please anybody. Magnusson’s voice and his firm faith in those evading poetic moments found on the outskirts of deconstructed reality carries us from the beginning to the end.
Undoubtedly indebted to the off kilter guitar worshipping of rock n roll‘s anti heroes like Neil Michael Hagerty or James Williamson it all the while retains that strange sense of introspection and rumination that is hard to put your finger on. Don‘t gather no reason, don‘t look at the stars. This is the soundtrack to the times when you wander about those back alleys of sick city, where you thought you had seen the ghost that one night, or was it just a vibrant hallucination? An asthmatic revelation?
You get it.