Josefin Runsteen HANA-Three Bodies

Records 07.10.2021

HANA means "flower" in Japanese. This is Josefin Runsteen's first album in the form of a hymn to nature, although the Swedish musician has already produced nearly twenty collaborative works in just six years. Composed to support a butō dance written and performed by choreographer Frauke, it unfolds rich, ever-changing landscapes through five scenes evoking void, water, fire, earth and air.

For this project, which is at the crossroads of many styles, Josefin Rusteen is in charge of everything: composition, production, arrangements and recording. She sings, programs and plays all instruments: violin, viola, mandolin, mandola, harp, guitar, upright piano, synthesizers, bass, drums and percussion. Josefin Runsteen is a complete artist who does not shy away from any influence, be it electro, pop, ambient, field recording or experimental.

"' Secret Garden ' opens the record with synthetic granular material. This obscure and guttural song, raised from the abyssal depths, rises by filtering and ends on a canopy atmosphere, saturated with bird calls and electronic stridencies. It is then that a harp with strange harmonies unfolds its winding loops to the celestial vault, in a setting of synthesizer layers. The sound of the harp can be heard at the beginning of ' Coldburn ', on a carpet of crackling rain, before Josefin Runsteen's deep, warm voice rises on a groovy bass/beat loop. The quietness of the vocals ends on a new ambient phase, populated by liquid sounds and multiple electronic crackles and rumblings.

" Bloom" invades the sound field with hypnotic cordophones, guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, and tinkling bells, in an ecstatic whirlwind with the scent of traditional Asian music, slowly rising to a crescendo towards a solar climax that colonizes the whole spectrum, enhanced by the lyricism of virtuoso vocals. " Sakura " progresses from a muted rhythmic loop, anchored in the heart of the earth, enhanced by percussive additions. Vocal samples intensify the ritual before, without warning, the rhythm and timbres change dramatically to a slow acoustic drumbeat. A new break occurs with an accelerando and a distant saturated piano solo, as if out of a dream.

Violin and viola, in a quasi-romantic duet, open and close ' Banyan ', which plunges into the ethereal sounds of a synthesiser, backing a barely timed voice singing a pop melody, carried by a muted techno beat. The latter piece draws the listener into the energy of a cosmic rave. The album's reverberant atmosphere, careful textures and captivating mood shifts offer a dreamlike journey whose multiple colours remain in the mind for a long time.

Guillaume Kosmicki

Available on the following platforms:
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Available in vinyl:

Photo © Antony Tian
Photo © Philip Larsson


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