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Monday, 12 December 2011

Trummor & Orgel, Audioscribbler

Listening to Out Of Bounds, the fourth and latest long-player from Swedish brothers Staffan and Anders Ljunggren, aka Trummor & Orgel, it’s a difficult decision as to whether to shake some tail feathers or dig out a pair of cans and let the music take you on a journey of inner head-space exploration. It’s an album that works well for both options. Like most recent musical duos, (The Black KeysThe White Stripes et al), there’s an element of back-to-the-future retrogression, but what sets them apart is that they’re not dudes with guitars, or even microphones. The Hammond organ and a set of drums is where it’s at for these chaps. Theirs is a sound with its roots in the past but brought right up to with the modernising addition of synthesisers.
There are clues as to their sound in the brother’s attire: modish checked shirts and paisley patterned cravats hint at groovy 60′s London boutiques and hi-end clubs. There are echoes of Georgie Fame,Jimmy Smith, and that point in the mid 60s when pop music caught on to the fact it had some cultural worth but had yet to become overblown and disappear up it’s own backside. If they’d been around Soho at the time they could well have played regular late night sets at the Speakeasy or the Bag O’Nails.
Within its limited soundscape there’s still an array of styles and moods on the album, making it difficult to pigeonhole, yet it’s all played with a tight sibling’s understanding of where they want to take the listener. “Autopilot” starts things of with a simple yet thoughtful groove. “Letters In Red And Blue” has a more motorik feel before things really take off into the stratosphere with “Worlds Collide”, a progressive, pushing track which shows of the Hammond’s warm enveloping sound to maximum effect. “Making Sense” has echoes in 60′s beat, whereas “Corduroy” has a more laid-back contemplative side to it, much like a long lost Procol Harem gem.
It’s music that not easily categorised, which is where its strength lies. Part jazz with an awareness of the pop charts, part psychedelia with a sneaky glance at what’s exciting the northern soul crowd, or part soundtrack music for spy films yet to be made. Quite a trip.

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