Johanna Knutsson

Dingsbums Homage

Patience • 2022

As a DJ, Johanna Knutsson has certainly deprived some people of sleep, but she has also made it possible for them to slip into it. Sleep or, more concretely, the question of how it can be induced and accompanied with musical means has been the focus of her work in recent times. It’s perhaps not surprising that her »Dingsbums Homage« for the Patience label has a dreamlike quality to it. The two pieces, 15½ and 18 minutes long, fade into each other and are to be understood as two different movements of one and the same suite. Although they are named after concrete places – »Bernsteinsee« and »Beilsteinerstrasse« – they offer abstract floating sounds that do not call to mind stagnant water or hard asphalt. Quite often, especially at the beginning of the album, the music is instead reminiscent of the aesthetics of the Berlin School around Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze and thus of the Kosmische Musik of yesteryear. But Knutsson gives the chugging sequences and foggy synth figures a modern touch and even brings subtle rhythms into play that on »Bernsteinsee« seem to take a leaf out of Burnt Friedman’s book. »Beilsteinerstrasse« adds more challenging yet slow-moving grooves that inject the suite with a certain Kankyō ongaku vibe, which in turn dissolves into wistfully spherical string pads. Colourful like a dream, restful like a deep sleep.