Eric Malmberg
“Den gåtfulla människan”

Häpna H.22, CD
8 tracks, 40 minutes
Listen to: “Språk och tankestrukturer”
Video: “Jaget”
Reviews of “Den gåtfulla människan”
Release date: April 13, 2005 (Sweden), early May (World)

Eric Malmberg is something of an enigma. How he without apparent effort brings forth these timeless melodies we don’t know - only that the music is classic organ pop that aims straight for the heart.

During the past years, he was the songwriter and organ player of Sagor & Swing. Soon after that band broke up, after four records, this productive musician started to sketch the main guidelines for a new solo album. A year later it's finished. An album made entirely on ORGAN and completely one man’s vision, recorded in Insjön, Sweden. A highly personal record, a travel into the human psyche as illustrated by the song titles.

Contrary to some beliefs, the only instrument used on this CD is the organ. The same is true for two of the previous Sagor & Swing albums, “Melodier och fåglar” and “Allt hänger samman”. No synthesizers are involved. We know of no artist that has gone into more depth regarding the treatment of the Hammond organ as a general sound generator than Eric Malmberg.

For press photos, see the artists page.

Tracks: 1. Det högre medvetandet, 2. Undermedvetandet, 3. Jaget, 4. Överjaget, 5. Delpersonligheterna, 6. Språk och tankestrukturer, 7. Människan och tiden, 8. Människan och evigheten

“In the absence of clarifying detail, writers sometimes struggle to identify sound sources in the material reviewed, a complication exacerbated to a greater degree with electronic music. (Listening to a given piece, for instance, I might wonder, “Is that a melodica, accordion, or harmonium, or is it a digital simulation?”) Recorded in Insjön, Sweden, Eric Malmberg's Den gåtfulla människan poses no such difficulty as it's performed entirely with Hammond organ. Don't necessarily assume, however, that the ex-Sagor & Swing organist is making some defiant stand against modern technologies; I suspect he's simply found an instrument whose plenitude of sonic colour is more than equal to his musical needs. Couple the organ's tonal range with the composer's formidable command of the instrument and one understandably might conclude that, in Malmberg's view, nothing more is necessary.

Each of the eight pieces in this charming and captivating collection rises phoenix-like from the ashes of the other. At the outset, “Det högre medvetandet” plunges the listener into glacially-shifting pools of shimmering wonder before flowing into the ruminative sparkle of “Undermedvetandet.” While “Delpersonligheterna” is a drone soundscape of shimmering echoes and drum machine burble, “Språk och tankestrukturer” offers the aural equivalent of spellbinding sights glimpsed through a space shuttle window. The album exudes the relaxed feel of an explorative and itinerant travelogue.

Malmberg eschews familiar organ clichés (there's not a single soul flourish in sight), opting instead for an almost classical-pop style that's pretense-free, I might add. And, though the deep sonic richness of the organ spans centuries, there's a modern dimension to the recording too; the ascending and descending whorls haunting the background of “Människan och evigheten” could be taken for a Kraftwerk nod. Häpna describes Den gåtfulla människan as “a highly personal record (and) a travel into the human psyche” and, while I've no doubt that that's true, what'll stay with you longest are the album's timelessly simple yet melancholy melodies.”