More reviews on Hälsingland

Göran Klinghagen: Hälsingland By the Lake Beside the Trees

By Raul Da Gama - May 8, 2020 

If you didn't know anything about Sweden (contemporary or otherwise) the chances are this music on Hälsingland By the Lake Beside the Trees by Göran Klinghagen would provide a vibrant picture. What jumps out at you almost immediately is that culture trumps politics; perhaps because politics has long since been informed by culture – unlike North America, where it's the other way round. Also, like many things Swedish, you are easily seduced by literature where a long line of great poets from Sophia Elisabet Brenner, Werner Aspenström, Nellie Sachs and Tomas Gösta Tranströmer, and playwrights such as August Strindberg leap almost instantly to mind; or its dancers – Apollo's Angels – from Birgit Åkesson to Nathalie Nordquist and others.And then you think of music and a long list of musical bards – traditional and contemporary – pour into mind: from Carl Michael Bellman and Elisabeth Olin to Alice Babs, Sophie Dunér, Bengt Berger, Jonas Knutsson, Mats Öberg, Per Tjernberg, Elisabeth Engdahl and many others including the inimitable composer and guitarist Mr Klinghagen, the writer of this extraordinary music. Mr Klinghagen gives you a philosophical hint about what you no sooner you pluck the disc out of its tray. His offering: a short note describing the inspiration for the music that begins and ends in an enigma, "It's a vision, a sound, a picture of a quiet lake or a tree…maybe poetry… maybe not… maybe the story that we deeply understood when we were born, by the lake, beside the trees, in the Universe."Thus we are transported to Hälsingland By the Lake Beside the Trees. Of course, who wouldn't love to go travelling – even into the unknown with Mr Klinghagen, especially when he brings with him such a fine ensemble fronted by the incomparable German lyricist and vocalist Fola Dada, singing in English, German and Swedish? Other musicians include the atmospheric woodwinds of Markus Harm. Layered on top of his sonic flights is the trumpeter Joos Kraus whose contributions also include stratospheric electronic missives. Grounding it all, of course is the intense gravitas of contrabassist Veit Hübner and of drummer Torsten Krill, who also captures all of this fascinating music in the warmth of a memorable recording.Each of the musicians plays with idiomatic elegance, and as you are seduced you will be mesmerised by it all. You will hear the sound of elemental freedom in the voice of Miss Dada, while the elegance of Mr Klinghagen's playing – for which both are renowned – becomes part of a natural landscape that mixes beauty and danger, and the sounds of birds and animals. Moreover, nothing can match the brilliance of the guitarist's and vocalist's travelling companions – trumpeter Joos Kraus and winds specialist Markus Harm, whose instruments seem to easily morph into the whispering breeze and the rustle and hum of woods filled with trees anchored in the ground bass of Mr Hübner and the percussive colours daubed onto the music by Mr Krill. Whether evocative of freezing nights or long, rainy days, each track takes us to some wild place into which we are happy to venture with trusted and inspiring musical friends.

- By Raul Da Gama - May 8, 2020

Göran Klinghagen is one of our best guitarists. On his new (1997) Imogena album Triometrik, I would like to rename him Klanghagen

- Hans-Erik Bergman, Sundsvall's New Newspaper

Göran Klinghagen is downright fabulously technical, but varies his playing between fusion-sounding tone cascades, hard-swinging jazz loops and purely lyrical melodies. And he loves to experiment with timbres and almost not even invented harmonies.

-Henry Lövbom Västerbottens Folkblad, Umeå

Klinghagen himself occupies something of a special position among jazz guitarists, where the interest in the instrument itself can often get in the way of the music and result in a kind of admittedly formally indecent, but standardized chatter that really doesn't tell you more than that it was practiced. Which by all means is honorable in itself, but hardly particularly interesting as an expression considered. There is really nothing wrong with Klinghagen's instrumental skill, but it is used with sparing thought to reach and convey a deepened musical perspective in sounding images from an inner landscape. Where many deal with he makes crafts, in other words, art. It is about music in a contemporary essence of tradition which also opens perspectives towards the future

- Johnny Olsson, Nya Wermlandstidningen

Klinghagen meddles with the infinite possibilities of his two guitars, playing illogical, improbable and non-intuitive notes. Scary, surprising and beautiful.

-Pierre Martin, Västerbottens-Kuriren

...he maintains his high level and definitely contributes to the group's personal silhouette. With a warm tone in the front, Göran encapsulates the game in a homogeneous way....he is also an excellent composer...

- Göran Olsson, DIG Music

One name that stands out is Göran Klinghagen. Klinghagen uses an unusually clean sound on the guitar, without distortion or anything else, but still achieves a charged game that tastes like late night in the big city... delivers high-energy music with poise and genius.

-Björn G Stenberg, Upsala New Newspaper

Klinghagen plays with driven technique, his guitar tone floats softly above the ground.

-Ulf Johansson, Gothenburg Post

As a guitarist, Klinghagen also plays considerably less melodramatically than his mega-famous colleague (Metheny), and every time I've heard him I've always found him to be one of the most interesting guitarists this side of the Atlantic. So and last Saturday.

-Magnus Nilsson, Smålandsposten

He (Göran Klinghagen) plays music. That his instrument is a guitar seems to be of secondary importance...

-Per-Henrik Cellton, The Barometer

Klinghagen's music is not very similar to ordinary music in terms of the order in which the sounds come. You are always on edge... Then the rhythm starts, the heat rises and Klinghagen really rasps his strings...

-Ingmar Glanzelius, Dagens Nyheter

The most thought out during the jazz days was probably Göran Klinghagen's (project) with Na's the time... Göran Klinghagen's guitar playing also lifted the percussion and sucked them into each other in a rhythmic vortex..

- Erik Centerwall Svenska Dagbladet

Klinghagen is a furiously skilled guitarist... in his compositions and arrangements his distinctiveness is most noticeable.. heavy, raw and rather cheeky

-Mats Palmquist, Borås newspaper

A milestone in no time...Diimst is such an album...Efterbörd is especially beautiful with its mixture of sadness, loss, longing and trust

-Gert Ove Fridlund, Hallandsposten

...takes the turns seriously and gives himself far greater degrees of freedom...influenced by John Abercrombie's blunt lyricism.

-Ulf Thelander Orchestra Journal

..finally beautiful Turn out the stars, here nicely interpreted in broad soft beautiful guitar chords right through.

-Thord Ehnberg, Ljusnan

As always when Göran plays, it's neat and personal. Dense sounds follow in shimmering cascades. A touch of blues, a splash of rock, and some thrown in Zappafras.

- Sven Ljungberg, Arvika News

The Blue House Jazz Orchestra presented 6 guitarists to tighten their strings against a big band.... After the break it was Göran Klinghagen's turn. In his frugal thoughtful way he did exquisite interpretations of 500 Miles High and The Prawlers

- Göran Olsson, Gefle Dagblad

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