A Lion Is A Lion And Not A Lamb
Thanks Michael + the Meakusma crew, Dub On Arrival, Saturn and the Sun, High Boys, Mathias/Höga Nord.
The Idealist is one of the many projects of Joachim Nordwall who has a long history in Swedish experimental music running the quintessential iDEAL Recordings record label since 1998, as a member of the psych-drone duo Alvars Orkester, avant punk rock trio Kid Commando and ritual drone rock group The Skull Defekts and through his many solo recordings and collaborations with people such as John Duncan, Aaron Dilloway, Mika Vainio, Mats Gustafsson, Leif Elggren, Gabi Losoncy, Mark Wastell and Christine Abdelour.
As The Idealist, he has been delving into an amalgam of experimental techno, dub and industrial music since 2006. His new A Lion Is A Lion And Not A Lamb continues this perspective unabatedly, conjuring up six tracks that shimmer with an almost psychotropic intensity, sometimes including acidic touches, dwelling in a confrontational minimalist musical stance where repetition, bursts of gorgeous noise and dubbed out skeletal rhythms make for wayward yet driving grooves at home on the dance floor and a set of headphones alike. The Idealist looks for engagement within rhythm, in its almost purest form.
Joachim Nordwall returns to his The Idealist moniker for another tight collection of dubby hardware electronics, absorbing acid, techno and industrial shakes. One fer fans of Psychic TV, Muslimgauze, and Ron Morelli.
Kicking off with a title track that sounds like Muslimgauze duetting with Aaron Dilloway after ingesting a sheet of Grateful Dead-strength acid, “A Lion is a Lion and not a Lamb” is not an album for the faint-hearted. ‘Sliding Between Light and Shadow’ is funkier, offsetting a jackin’ beatbox groove with a repeating voice chanting the title. But it’s when Nordwall claws his way into dubbier territory that the record really takes hold of your brain; on ‘Actionist Dub’ he tweaks a booming low end pulse while psychoactive synths scrape across the sinapses, and on ‘The Revelation’, he slows down acid squelches to a clattering crawl, fading in breath sounds to disorientate and confuse.
The aptly titled snail-paced closing track ‘Slow Dub’ is our pick of the bunch, operating in a low BPM space that highlights Nordwall’s fritzed gear. Each beat sounds as if it’s electrically failing on some level, and the component elements radiate with a ferric warmth that’s just impossible to fake.