Mossebo (special edition: remastered + bonus tracks)Best Albums Of The Year List - Ambient Music Guide
This special edition of Johan Agebjörn‘s full length debut, Mossebo, includes the original album plus two previously unreleased tracks from the era, all meticulously remastered in 24-bit clarity from the original mixes.
Named after the house in which Agebjorn lived while creating the album, Mossebo is a collection of ambient pieces composed between 2004 and 2007; and one additional track that was created in 1996. The natural feel and unpresuming flow of Mossebo highlight an artist in his element, as Agebjorn evokes human warmth in a wintry landscape, expertly juxtaposing intimacy and isolation.
With the stunning wordless vocals of Lisa Barra skillfully winding their way through Agebjörn’s lush synth textures on many of the tracks, Mossebo is both electronic and organic at its core. Understated electro beats lend the rich ambient atmospheres a subtle sci-fi motion that evoke contemplations of time and transit.
While he is best known as the creative force behind the popular electronica dance project Sally Shapiro, Johan Agebjörn proved for the first time on Mossebo that he is quite at home in the darker and deeper spaces of ambient music, as well.
“In 2004-2005 I took up residence in Sweden, in a 19th century cottage called ‘Mossebo’. There, isolated in the countryside, I started composing, mainly acoustic piano music and electronic ambient music, influenced by the landscape around me and the music by Biosphere, Pete Namlook, early Moby, Erik Satie, Krister Linder, and more.
The album ‘Mossebo’, named after the cottage, saw the light of the day in September 2008. This was the first time my solo music was released on CD by a proper record label, and therefore it’s a release that means much to me.
The Gothenburg-based vocalist Lisa Barra sings on half of the tracks. I met Lisa at an animal rights event where she performed some songs a cappella. She had the voice of an angel, and so I started to sample her recordings for my ambient creations. I sent her the results, and she liked what I did, so we started to record some new songs in a studio. Some of the tracks on Mossebo are based on the earlier vocal samples (such as the opener ‘Dulciter Somni’) whereas others are from the studio recordings (such as ‘The Sound of Snowflakes Touching the Ground’).
‘Siberian Train Part I’ was taken from an earlier musical period, 1996-1997, when I was 18 years old and made music with an Atari computer (as a sequencer) and a Roland DJ-70 sampler with only 4 MB of RAM. The longer samples on that track were recorded by me and my mum 10 years earlier during a 1987 journey on the Trans-Siberian railway.
This remastered version of Mossebo includes a previously unreleased track from that 1996-1997 era called ‘Unhappy Love’. The main melodic sound on this track was actually sampled from a Commodore 64 computer storage tape, played on a tape-recorder and slowed down a few octaves. This same sound was later used on ‘Dulciter Somni’ – and on ‘Kyrie Eleison’, another bonus track exclusive to this edition of ‘Mossebo’. ‘Kyrie Eleison’ was also the first track I made using Lisa’s vocals. Have a listen.”
Lund in May 2019