Porn Sword Tobacco

Everything Is Music To The Ear

City Centre Offices Towerblock CD 044
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Porn Sword Tobacco is a music project by Henrik Jonsson, out of Gothenburg (Sweden). So far, it spans four albums; the new and latest one being the first that was recorded while Jonsson's been living in Berlin, Germany. The project is exclusive to CCO.
You may be forgiven to expect a wild or even harsh approach to sound from an outfit going by that name. But while it might not be the obvious choice for a musical world of such warm and gentle nature, it betrays a positively uncompromising attitude towards music as art that will give most self-proclaimed "radical" musicians a run for their money, as we will see below. The story behind the name itself has often been told: It describes the range of goods offered by a remote shop in the Swedish hinterland, the symbolic prototype of a "last outpost of civilization". It's the closest shop to "Silence", one of the two classic independent professional recording studios of Sweden, which is where the core of all Porn Sword Tobacco albums are recorded.
In the age of portable studios on laptops, insisting to go to the trouble to employ a proper studio may seem like an anachronism, and in fact it is, deliberately so - a way to both slow down time and to focus. But there's more to it, as Jonsson always invites some friends along, especially Patrick and Tommi, with whom he used to play in several bands in the early to mid nineties, and who occasionally join in on the recordings. For all of them it's a week-long get-together, a special kind of holiday, which the venerable atmosphere of the old studio serves to infuse with both inspiration and welcome pressure. There is a long stage beforehand in Jonsson's home studio, where he prepares for the stay by collecting ideas, and again afterwards, when the bits and pieces, the sounds and song fragments, are sorted out, arranged, expanded and ultimately shaped into an album. But it's the week at Silence where Porn Sword Tobacco albums come into existence, largely without planning or calculation, without much thinking nor hard work, often improvised on the spot, even the melodies on the characterisitc piano that Jonsson claims he never learned to play.
We'd say this is an unusual approach to music production - but it follows naturally from the concept behind Porn Sword Tobacco. This will become clear after a look at Jonsson's history, and how it informs what is his most personal project. As mentioned above, he's played in bands before, and he's also released a number of records ranging from a leftfield electro e.p. to two solo albums of laid-back electronic dub. Most crucial however were his four years of travelling across the world as a stage musician for a popular electronic project, playing to numerous audiences on all continents, from Japan to Zambia - a unique school of music, but also of life, and an experience that nourished a determination to pursue what's really important, in both of them. Growing up in the town of Saab and Volvo, where life revolves around the time clock, his artistic sensibilites had come out early; he went to art school and was on the way to become a painter when, frustrated by the limitations of the white cube gallery format, he decided to spend his grant on a music instrument instead. He bought a Roland Space Echo - the choice of a dub native, of someone who grew up with electronic music since early childhood, who dropped the violin and took a Casio CZ100 synth course instead when he was nine, who loved to listen to audio plays at the local library, and to the colourful and adventurous record collections of his parents - Beach Boys, Eno, Kraftwerk, and a lot more that most will not have heard of.
It is this upbringing, the memories of a happy childhood, a heightened sense of wonder, what Jonsson calls "finding the good things in me and keeping them alive", that forms Porn Sword Tobacco. It's a project that takes a decidedly naive and unabashedly nostalgic position, that explores a dreamy escapism that is undilutedly personal. In 2003, when Jonsson left his musician's job behind and started to build his own studio, he didn't set out to make music to impress, to play a role, or according to format - Porn Sword Tobacco's songs, seemingly field recordings in nightly landscapes of musical sounds, are equally far from ambient and from pop, from retro avant rock or any other genre, electronic or otherwise, and not least when they sound superficially similar to one or the other. They are purely glimpses into a person's soul, all of them with a little story behind that's usually alluded to in the titles, a sort of playful deep listening with an original, curiously fragmentary yet well-rounded look-and-feel.
The latter is a consequence of a particular method that Jonsson applies to perfect his tracks - even though most are condensed and linear, he often plays them for hours on end, honing them until they work as loops, almost as if they were overlong rhythmic figures. It then comes as no surprise that he also likes the heartbeats of classic and modern deep house and electro, that he likes to play them out as a dj and that he's also got some half-way secret side projects running as a producer. But this predilection has also come to the surface on his newest album as Porn Sword Tobacco, possibly inspired by his relocation to Berlin in 2007, a town still driven by the constant subliminal pulse of a beat. A groundwork of beats, however, that manages to stay true to the spirit behind the project, serving as a moving musical spine and inspirational core, much like the noise and noises from the field recordings and stock studio tapes generously provided by Silence owner Anders Lind that lay at the heart of the first album especially. As each of the albums before,
"Everything is Music to the Ear" is a statement, an evolving world of comforting dreams crystallised to comforting audio, exquisitely easy and refined, yet new and unique. And as naked, sharp and indeed addictive as ever.
(Multipara, Berlin 2009)

Porn Sword Tobacco: Everything Is Music To The Ear

LP
CD
Welcome Porn Sword Tobacco 56''
En Ny Morgon Porn Sword Tobacco 4'27''
I Love Riding My Bicycle Porn Sword Tobacco 4'47''
Sjöbodarna Står Tomma Över Jul Porn Sword Tobacco 1'15''
Havet Är Ärligt Porn Sword Tobacco 4'02''
Spectrum Campfire Porn Sword Tobacco 2'50''
Thats Roadrageous! Porn Sword Tobacco 41''
The Lavalife Porn Sword Tobacco 5'01''
2 Windows Down Porn Sword Tobacco 1'26''
Casual Claude (Birthday Mix) Porn Sword Tobacco 5'15''
Den Kalla Handen Porn Sword Tobacco 41''
Cave 4b-50 Clicks Northwest Porn Sword Tobacco 5'12''
My Week In Zambia Porn Sword Tobacco 1'18''
Hästen Som Sprang När Och Vart Den Ville Porn Sword Tobacco 4'12''
From Plural To Singular (Finite Edit) Porn Sword Tobacco 3'41''
Goodbye Porn Sword Tobacco 1'22''
Welcome Porn Sword Tobacco 56''
En Ny Morgon Porn Sword Tobacco 4'27''
I Love Riding My Bicycle Porn Sword Tobacco 4'47''
Sjöbodarna Står Tomma Över Jul Porn Sword Tobacco 1'15''
Havet Är Ärligt Porn Sword Tobacco 4'02''
Spectrum Campfire Porn Sword Tobacco 2'50''
Thats Roadrageous! Porn Sword Tobacco 41''
The Lavalife Porn Sword Tobacco 5'01''
2 Windows Down Porn Sword Tobacco 1'26''
Casual Claude (Birthday Mix) Porn Sword Tobacco 5'15''
Den Kalla Handen Porn Sword Tobacco 41''
Cave 4b-50 Clicks Northwest Porn Sword Tobacco 5'12''
My Week In Zambia Porn Sword Tobacco 1'18''
Hästen Som Sprang När Och Vart Den Ville Porn Sword Tobacco 4'12''
From Plural To Singular (Finite Edit) Porn Sword Tobacco 3'41''
Goodbye Porn Sword Tobacco 1'22''
Untited (Bonus Track) Porn Sword Tobacco 40''
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