Hans Berg and Johanna Knutsson run UFO Station Recordings, after a three-year hiatus with both producers focusing on their solo adventures (Berg has been busy working with artist Nathalie Djurberg, and Knutsson producing and releasing her first album) the two artists come united again, rebooting their passion project.
UFO Station’s first release for 2020 is Berg’s “Refractions EP” (UFO006) – a four-track solo EP, including a remix by Knutsson. It is built on an organic exercise of Berg’s analogue modular synths: “Recorded in long sessions, I have let the synths lead the way; living their own lives and showing their own individual characteristics”, he says. Modular synths literally can decide the musical direction, Berg wanted to examine this fact by letting his instruments be the composer, giving in to their imperfections, fractions and inventions, letting the analogue circuits run wild.
A murky signal and a thumping kick opens “Spiral”; quirky bubbling synths appear out of the dark, literally spiraling through the track over ominous pads, finally to end up bouncing off the walls in an almost isolated-sounding sonic room. Sprung out of a piece originally scored for Nathalie Djurberg, “Something Delicious” takes you out of there, outside; animal- and exotic bird sounds provides a psychedelic backdrop; a horn-like melody paves the way; Berg experiments with percussion and bells, building up the illusion of an alien desert tribe on a distant planet, communicating through foreign objects. After introducing a pounding kick followed by a lively whirling spirit throttling from the sky, Knutsson continues to explore Berg’s alien ritual on her fast-paced take of “Something Delicious”; she reinvestigates and focuses on the sounds best described as “rural percussion instruments”, letting light and darkness playfully dance together. “Refractions”’ closing track hears crunched soundwaves surf and slide on top of a broken beat, old residue of a trance melody reverberates in the outskirts; the soothing “Cascade” transports you out of Berg’s excursion, leaving you floating in vast stillness.
The “Refractions EP” is a collection of tracks from one of today’s most distinguished sounding producers; it unmistakably carries his signature sound, yet it unfolds a new more experimental chapter for Hans Berg.