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coverpic flag Sweden - Full Moon 67 - 03/28/02

Pärson Sound
Subliminal Sounds

Pärson Sound is one of those mythical bands often namedropped in hardcore music fanatics late night discussions. Even though they never released anything while in existence their legacy on Swedish avantrock and progrock are hard to overestimate. After just a few years as Pärson Sound they transformed into legendary progmonsters International Harvester, later into Harvester and still later into hippiefavorites Träd, Gräs och Stenar, all of which released LPs who today fetches large sums. Without having heard all of those bands output it's still not hard to declare Pärson Sound the most interesting and lasting of all those bands. On a listen today they still sounds fresh and contemporary. Quite a few bands are playing this particular brand of experimental dronerock today and very few stand any chance against Pärson Sound. Inspired by as diverse sources as Swedish folk music, minimalist art composers as Terry Riley (as they backed on at least one occasion) and the heavier part of the garage/psychedelic rock scene.

Leader of the pack was undoubtedly the classically schooled BoAnders Persson whose experimentations in electronic music are documented on the LP Proteinimperialism released in 1968. Together with drummer Thomas Mera Gartz from Mecki Mark Men, bass player Torbjörn Abelli and electrical cellist Arne Ericsson with their own background in musical studies and Thomas Tidholm on sax and voice, they formed a unique gang of musicians. A heavy rock band without guitars! But with lots of creativity and no sense of borders as they set about playing museums, radio shows and festivals. Luckily a lot of this is recorded and finally made available on this double CD-set from Subliminal Sounds.

All of this is recorded from 1966 to 1968. On a retrospective set like this it's almost impossible to do the music justice, changing musicians, settings and times shows a remarkably versatility and grasp of the possibilities of this new music. Even more impossible is it to choose favourites among the ten tracks on these two CDs. They are long floating jams meant to live their own life, not to be compared with one another. But to give a glimpse of what they are like I have a weak spot for the heavy ramblings of "Tio Minuter", the timeless drone of "India (slight return)" and the mind-blowingly beautiful "On How To Live".

This kind of music stand on its own feet, no need to compare with other similar bands, but the amazing thing is that almost every band treading in the same path came later, some much later. Why didn't anyone release anything with Pärson Sound at the time? Well, it's hard to recognise grandeur in your own time. In hindsight it's a lot easier...

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