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Nya Ljudbolaget biography
NYA LJUDBOLAGET were a short-lived Swedish super-group of sorts from the early eighties. Their lone album was recorded and released in 1980 shortly after drummer Hans Bruniusson left SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA but before joining FLOWER KINGS. The rest of the lineup consisted of Ulf Wallander (FLOWER KINGS), Karl-Erik Eriksson (RAMLOSA KVALLAR) and Ove Karlsson, who also served alongside Wallander in ARBETE OCH FRITID.

The group disappeared after this release, and little information exists about them, but their lone legacy is a delightful blend of RIO, Eastern-influenced trance, folk and classical music. For their lone but memorable effort the band has earned a solid place here on ProgArchives.

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4.15 | 8 ratings
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 Nya Ljudbolaget by NYA LJUDBOLAGET album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.15 | 8 ratings

Nya Ljudbolaget
Nya Ljudbolaget Prog Folk

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars This could have been a high rating by me because this record contains some really good and exciting tunes. Prog Folk isn't a good definition of the music on this record. Some tracks are folk and it is those tracks I love, others are fusion or avant-garde and even som psychedelic. This is the group's only record. It was released 1980 and had a nice painting on the cover by Tage Åsén. This record was done when the swedish "progg" movement was almost gone and MNW had begun release mainstream artists. This record features Ove Karlsson, Hans Bruniusson, Ulf Wallander and Karl-Erik Eriksson. I will start with explain what's so great with this record and afterwards reveal why that is not enough.

The first song is a lyrical tune on a modal background. The lyrics are about somebody taking farewell of a sweatheart. It's a beautiful text, inciting somebody to take a chance to change its life when travelling somewhere else. Unfortunately this song hasn't a distinct melody, but what makes it stil good is the vocals of the brilliant Marie Selander. She was born 1947 and was a big name in the swedish progg movement. Mostly she sung folk music (for example "Lillfar och Lillmor, The Diddlers, Låt och trall) and political progg, both in her own name on the record "Från den svenska vildmarken" and on the feminist record "Sånger om kvinnor". It's bad she did not do that more on this record.

What I like most here is the folk parts. "Trio/När gryningen kommer" is totally fantastic. It has the swedish melancolic and pastoral feeling, it's really emotional. "Cellohalling/Puténska marschen" is also a very talanted and great piece. In the end of Puténska marschen you can hear som tunes return from Samla mammas mannas record "Snorungarnas symfoni" which alse refers to a teasing chant. The most explicit swedish folk song is "Brudmarsch från Orsa" which is both dark, experimental and ancient. "Minnesvisa" reminds me of "Visa i Midsommartid" a famous swedish song from the early 1900s.

But there are som pieces who destroy what the bright ones have built up. "Immigrantlament" is quite weak but it's "Ramlösa mammas fritid" and "Continuum Prometheus" that is really bad stuff. The first one is way to experimental for my taste. Hard to enjoy. The second one is very long and monotonic, it's not nice at all. It seams there were a lot of thoughs about it and of course it could be artistic to be minimalistic but it's far from my opnion of good music.

I recommend you to pick up the good ones and leave the others behind.

 Nya Ljudbolaget by NYA LJUDBOLAGET album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.15 | 8 ratings

Nya Ljudbolaget
Nya Ljudbolaget Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An interesting "one off" album released by these Swedes in 1980. They had all come from various bands and decided to get together to make what i'd call a Swedish Folk album with an Avant flavour. And considering Hans Bruniusson is here playing percussion fresh from his departure from SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA the Avant flavour should be no surprise. Unlike his former band though this is fairly solemn and actually reminded me a lot of SINKADUS, especially the first two tracks.

"Som Parlor Skall..." has guest female vocals for the only time on the album along with melancholic flute and atmosphere. "Immigrantlament" is an English title surprisingly but made into one word. A relaxed beat with flute greets us as sax and vibes join in before 3 minutes. Back to the melancholic flute a minute later to end it. "Brudmarsch Fran Orsa" is mostly horns and a beat and the horns do become dissonant. "Langtan Och Fornekelse" has dissonant horns early then it settles in with the existing rhythm. Vibes too then more dissonance 5 1/2 minutes in. "Trio" has flute, sax and what sounds like violin as it blends into "Nar Gryningen Kommer" where it turns fuller a minute in. I really like this one. "Minnesvisa" has male vocals and gentle guitar then it turns fuller with vocal melodies before a minute. Back to the original sound to end it.

"Cellohalling" has violin or it would make more sense that it was cello given the title as a rhythm comes in. It blends into "Putonska Marschen" where the vibes join in. Then ends with "Ramlosa Mammas Fritid" which opens with a gong before horns and percussion take over. Dissonant violin after 3 1/2 minutes and dissoant horns come in late. "Continuum Prometheus" doesn't have much going on until it starts to build around 2 minutes.This sounds almost electronic and it continues throughout. Drums kick in after 8 minutes. Great sound here ! "Chal Chal Chal" is the short closing track with drums and horns standing out.

This is not really my kind of music but I can appreciate it and that avant flavour is welcomed.

 Nya Ljudbolaget by NYA LJUDBOLAGET album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.15 | 8 ratings

Nya Ljudbolaget
Nya Ljudbolaget Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

5 stars The one and only release from Nya Ljudbolaget is (unfortunately) a record that you will have a difficult time trying to actually locate in original form, and so far the copies I’ve come across all seem to be less than authentic. And that’s too bad, because if there ever were a ‘lost’ prog-gem that deserves to be remastered and issued on CD it is this one.

In fact this probably wasn’t a proper band per se. It appears to have been a collective of established Swedish musicians who got together for whatever reason during the Dark Ages of Prog and cranked out this gem before moving on to more prominent endeavors.

The ‘project’ seems to have been centered on former Samla Mammas Manna percussionist Hans Bruniusson, who would largely fade from the progressive music scene after this before ending up in the Flower Kings years later. Ulf Wallander, who seems to have played on just about everyone’s albums during this period is also present, as is Ove Karlsson of the seventies psych-folk group Arbete & Fritid. Someone named Marie Selander contributes vocals, but only on the opening track. And Karl Erik- Eriksson of Ramlösa Kvällar rounds out the troupe.

As for the music, there’s not enough of it but what is there is beyond good and it really is a tragedy this hasn’t been legitimately reissued by someone. There are definite influences of the strident and muddled RIO/jazz sounds of Samla Mammas Manna. But while bands like Samla and Henry Cow (and those of their ilk) have a tendency to sometimes be experimental and undisciplined (and therefore somewhat inaccessible), Nya Ljudbolaget seems to be intentionally avoiding that route. The arrangements are all clearly carefully composed and were recorded with an apparent minimal amount of improvisation. This makes for songs that are pretty easy to follow, which may not sound appealing to those who like to be challenged by their music. But if you’re just looking for something complex yet ear-appealing even on the first spin then this stuff is for you.

I’ve read reviews that say this is also Eastern-inspired music, but I don’t really agree. Yes, there are the occasional flourishing saxophone passages that could almost be considered Moorish or something like that, and some of the cello parts do seem to be Eastern-leaning as the cello sometimes does when it lacks the benefit of an accompanying violin or viola. But for the most part any ‘ethnic’ sounds present in the music seem to be more Latin-leaning. Bruniusson’s vibraphone and marimba playing especially fit this description, and the darbouka and other hand percussion instruments add to this impression. There’s a bit of a Baltic sound as well, particularly with “Minnesvisa” and “Immigrantlament”. I’m sure that’s the wrong description on my part, but these are tracks that have the same kind of timbre I’ve heard before with Eastern European klezmer music, just a little less raucous.

At times the music also reminds me of the band’s fellow countrymen In the Labyrinth and specifically of that group’s ‘Dryad’ album. That band has undeniable Arab and Indian influences, but ‘Dryad’ also has the same old-World Eastern European feel to it that this one has. Again I’ll mention “Immigrantlament” in this context, with its darbouka-driven beat and lilting soprano saxophone that sounds more like a recorder or even a high-pitched oboe.

The strongest Samlas sound seems to come out on “Brudmarsch Fran Orsa”, a meandering jazz-fusion number that is dominated by Erik-Eriksson’s trumpet and is also the one track that does have a bit of improvisational feel to it. “Langtan och Fornekelse” is similar but with a lot more emphasis on percussion. A humorous note – my on-line translator tells me that the title “Langtan och Fornekelse” in English means “Langtan and Fornekelse”. Very helpful.

Every track here is special, but there are two that really demonstrate what makes this album a treat. First, the two part “Trio/Nar Gryningen Kommer” which starts off as disjointed strings and reeds working to find a groove, then gives way to a fairly melodic and peaceful passage of soprano saxophone blended with cello (did I just use the words ‘melodic’ and ‘cello’ in the same sentence?). And the second highlight worth calling out is the lengthy “Continuum Prometheus” which takes a long time to get going but eventually melds trumpet, piano, vibraphone and some odd synthesized sounds into a trance- like arrangement that eventually adds some of the only noticeable snare drumming on the album. Bruniusson shows why his drumming has been used to program digital drum machines over the years – it is perfection in motion. Why wouldn’t someone who can’t do this themselves want to have a machine that would do it for them?

The closing “Chal Chal Chal” (Turkish for “Chal Chal Chal” according to that same crappy on-line translator) is a fun little ditty featuring trumpet, vibraphone and synthesized keys, and which demonstrates that the boys had to have had some fun making this record.

So in closing I’ll say that if you can find this record – buy it. I’ve only seen a couple copies and both of them were out of reach of my budget, but hopefully this will be available some day on CD so we can all enjoy it. I’m going to go with five stars here just because I can’t think of any reason not to. Highly recommended to any kind of progressive music fan.


Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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