PETER BRYNGELSSON
Wunderbaum
(Dos Records)

 

30 years ago, in 1981 I had the privilege to go live in Sweden for nearly a year and while there I met, for the first time, musicians who I revered back in the ‘70s including Kenny Håkansson, Lars Hollmer and Peter Bryngelsson of the group Ragnarök. I saw several live shows with Ragnarök including a couple in late ‘81 where they played nearly an album’s worth of new music that sadly was never recorded. Can you imagine that? Featuring Peter Bryngelsson's ingenius music and guitar arrangements, Swedish art-rockers Ragnarök recorded a number of unique and nearly indefinable progressive Swedish instrumental rock albums that was actually inventing a new type of electric rock and fusion that had never been heard before. After a whole lot of waters beneath the bridge, 30 years later, Peter Bryngelsson is back with a new solo CD called Wünderbaum. With the deaths of both Pekka Pohjola and Lars Hollmer in late 2008, Bryngelsson remains one of the last great rock instrumental composers and guitarists of the mid ‘70s heyday when the Swedish progressive rock sound came into its own. Peter is supported by a number of players here and on this 2011 CD pressing, the 13 track Wunderbaum album is actually followed by another Bryngelsson album—Winterhjärt, (Winterheart), which was originally released on cassette (believe it or not kids) way back in 1983, and which is a fascinating enough, though rarely heard neo-prog ambient album from Bryngelsson. A most welcome return, Winterheart perfectly serves as an imaginary soundtrack to a nature or sci-fi documentary, although Bryngelsson’s trademark guitar and compositional sound is quite prominent. Collectors and audiophiles note: Winterheart was ingeniusly recorded, breaking new ground for the era. This 70 minute double album on one CD from Peter Bryngelsson provides a double dose of magical, mysterious music. www.PeterBryngelsson.com

mwe3.com presents an interview
with
PETER BRYNGELSSON



mwe3: How did Ragnarök reform and what were some of the events that led to the Ragnarök Path album being recorded?

Peter Bryngelsson: One fan wrote to me and wanted us all to write our names on a T-shirt. The best way to do it was for us to meet and then we started talking about a reunion. Another fan was a Swiss millionaire and he was the guy that initiated the Path album and paid for it.

mwe3: Is there any current news on Ragnarök regarding new music or even live appearances?

PB: Yes we are going to tour in Japan in November together with Wunderbaum.

mwe3: How soon after the Ragnarök Path album did you start to plan the Wunderbaum album?

PB: It has been going on for several years but when I was visiting my son in Tokyo I met a Japanese fan and he owned a record company that wanted me to do this solo album.

mwe3: What does Wunderbaum mean when translated into English?

PB: It is the same as a "miracle tree." A wonderful plant. But it is also the same as a very kitschy little plastic tree that you buy to have in your car to take away bad odors.

mwe3: Can you say something about the other musicians working with you on the Wunderbaum CD?

PB: The drummer is my old pal and drummer Mikael Svanevik. The strings are played by some very talented theater music composers; Jonna Sandell and Pelle Halvarsson. The contra bass player Bobby Ringstrom I have been playing together with for the latest 10 years. Some of the others are picked from older recordings.

mwe3: I remember you played an SG type guitar in Ragnarök early on, so how has your choice in guitars and even interest in guitars changed over the years?

PB: Nowadays I only use Chinese made guitars called Gould. On the album it is one 335 and one Telecaster. The slides is one Weisenborn and one square-necked dobro both made in China called Texas. The amps are Hi Watt and the effects are mainly a Whammy Digiteck pedal and the effects in the logic recording program. I mainly play all guitars and an instrument called claviola. But also a lot of other stuff that are at the moment needed.

mwe3: There’s definitely a strong Ragnarök type feel to the Wunderbaum album. What was your “musical mission” so to speak on Wunderbaum?

PB: I wanted to do a guitar album in the tradition of Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac and also the old Ragnarök.

mwe3: The Wunderbaum CD is enhanced at the end of the CD by the inclusion of the Winterheart EP from the ‘80s. Can you say something of when you recorded Winterheart and why you decided to include the EP of Winterheart on the Wunderbaum CD? Who recorded with you on the Winterheart album and can you reflect back in time on your musical thinking when you recorded it?

PB: I found the old recordings and thought it was a pity that it only came out on cassette. It was recorded 1983 after the death of my father and released 1985. The musicians is except for me, Dan Jonsson and Lars Liljegren from the former Ragnarök.

mwe3: What is the progressive music scene like in Sweden these days and how do you feel the progressive rock and instrumental music scene has changed in Sweden since the heyday of the first Ragnarök album back in the seventies?

PB: These days it seems much more commercial and similar to the English and American concepts of “prog” rather than the original ‘70s vision of “eurock”. I don´t know actually. The interest for the old music is wide spread and I think it is a wonderful thing that over eleven thousand people have gone on to you tube to watch our old song “Dagarnas Skum.”

mwe3: Do you keep in contact with the earlier members of Ragnarök and can you say something about what they’re doing now? What if anything is Anders Lind of Silence Records doing these days?

PB: I meet Anders Lind now and then and he is mostly working as a teacher. Since the beginning of Ragnarök in 1972 till now there has been over 30 people playing in the band so naturally I am in contact with only some of them. The part that are dead or are imprisoned I have no contact with but the main players have been in constant communication.

mwe3: I see you have a number of the original Ragnarök albums on CD available from your web site. Are those actual CDs or CDRs from the original masters and will there ever be official remasters of the early Ragnarök catalog by Silence Records?

PB: It is only CDRs and I don´t know about Silence plans but there is a company in Japan that plans to release the whole back catalog.

mwe3: Also is there unreleased music from you, Ragnarök or other groups you’ve worked with that is possible for future CD reissue?

PB: There is a huge amount of music that is unreleased since we are all recording music for film and theater each year that would be able for release.

mwe3: Do you have any remembrances or recollections of recording and releasing the two Triangulus albums back in the mid ‘80s and are those albums still in print?

PB: There is a lot of memories but no plans for further release.

mwe3: Can you reflect on the reaction in Sweden to the deaths of Bo Hansson in 2010 and Lars Hollmer, Thomas Almqvist and also Pekka Pohjola back in 2008?

PB:: It is not only these guys from the old scene that died but also Thorbjörn Abbeli from Träd, Gräs och Stenar and Kjell Westling from Arbete och Fritid and my Triangulus album and earlier Rolf Scherrer from Kebenekaijse. It is a pity and it reminds you of being old and aging.

mwe3: What are you currently listening to these days, old and new music?

PB: Sadly I listen to a lot of old stuff. Ike and Tina Turner, the remixed Beatles.

mwe3: Can you say something about your future plans and any interests regarding future solo and group album releases and also upcoming projects?

PB: The most exciting project is my music for symphony Orchestra, Arabian musicians and my group Urban Turban.

Thanks to Peter Bryngelsson @ www.PeterBryngelsson.com

 

 
   
Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by mwe3.com.
Send to
: MWE3.com CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249
E-mail:
info@mwe3.com
 
 
CD Reviews Feature Reviews & Features Archive Photo Archive Contact MWE3 Home
Email: Info@mwe3.com 

 

Copyright 1999-2011
MWE3.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved