Over the past couple of years, Denmark's Posh Isolation has quickly become one of our favorite record labels. From Puce Mary to Damien Dubrovnik, their brand of experimental, ambient, noise and even techno has carved out a very nice niche on the global music scene. The latest release by Sweden's Händer Som Vårdar is no exception. "Interiors" is a limited cassette which showcases the artist's masterful ability to tell a story through complex compositions in sound. Using ambient noise, industrial, and lush soundscapes, "Interiors" is an exquisite narrative which allows the listener to interpret the work in any number of ways. Below please find the track "In The Blue Room", which is side B1 on the cassette. We are also pleased to bring you a few words from the artist himself in which he describes his work, this release and more. (See below)
From the artist:
I started making experimental recordings when I was 13 years old. Händer som vårdar started in late 2009, when I was 20. Since then I have released 5 tapes, appeared on a few compilations and splits. Thematically the project was originally pretty bleak and depressive, becoming more broad over time, but always very personal. Musically it's always been structured industrial noise, assembled from taped sound and electronics
The name Händer som vårdar is Swedish for ”Nursing hands”. There's no literal hidden meaning to the name, it's meant as an image to be interpreted and to evoke a mood. I tend to think in images rather than words and my artistic process is much like collage-making, assembling and re-working until the totality makes sense. This goes for the music as well as thematic presentation (titles, etc.). I've felt like I was hiding myself and my ideas behind excessive ambiguity on earlier works, so I started searching for a more direct expression (without resorting to the classic theatrics of noise aggression).
For my recent tape on Posh Isolation, I sketched a more musical work, with a progressing, romantic narrative, but ended up with static, industrial pieces, like situations that could appear in any order. It then came naturally to present them as settings or tableaus, hence the title (Interiors). I like the idea of an artwork that's defined but still needs the audience to add something, like a scene where the action isn't written yet.
My first LP will be released in February on the Gothenburg label Järtecknet and will be called Aristokrat. The theme of the record is the dualism of individuality, both personally (the depressive ego, pending between self-hatred and hatred of others, almost elitism) and in culture and philosophy (anarchist thought, pride in being an outsider). It’s something I’ve thought a lot about in personal life as well as in my art (visual and music) and in the end I think I’ve conveyed only a fraction of my thoughts on the subject, but that’s natural when making a musical work as opposed to writing a thesis or something...
The LP and the Interiors tape are slightly more "polished" than earlier recordings (not as much tape decay-style sound). I don't pursue lo-fi sound for its own sake, but I dwell a lot on sound texture, and the "happy accidents" of taped sound, field recordings etc. tend to be less predictable than generic synth or effect sounds. On the other hand, I also require a bit of control over sound that's sometimes lost when the process becomes too crude.
I'm also very influenced by traditional music (as in non-"experimental", everything from folk music to punk) and have recently begun incorporating samples and more musical elements in my recordings.
Besides the LP, I’m contributing tracks to forthcoming compilations on Italian Angst Records and the UK label Strange Rules, playing in Berlin with parts of the Posh Isolation and Northern Electronics crew on February the 11th, and sometime around May or April my good comrade and I, Broken Lights, will hopefully be touring through Europe.
The Brvtalist would like to thank Händer som vårdar for contributing to this feature. The artist will be performing live at Berlin Atonal's New Codes event in Berlin next month along with several other incredible acts. "Interiors" is out now on Posh Isolation and for more information please visit Soundcloud and Facebook.
*Live photo by Sophie Herner