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Inre Kretsen Grupp - Raoul LP

Inre Kretsen Grupp - Raoul LP

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The artist name of Inre Kretsen Grupp (translates to ‘Inner Circle Group’) was conceived as a humorous homage towards the curious lingo of private press loners & multi-instrumentalists padding out their image with fantasy band members. For Martin Blomberg, the man behind the name, it was also the mental safe zone of someone breaking out into a solo career after decades of playing in bands.

Through the social melting pot of the now defunct Wildlife record shop operating out of Malmö, Martin was introduced to the Fasaan Records crew, who released his debut solo EP Dorisk Ordning in 2019. Bonding over mutual goals in music and ergonomic footwear for men, Martin would soon join the label as co-conspirator.

This full length album grew out of the live-sets Martin devised around that first EP. Sifting through these after a number of concerts, he brought them back to the studio for an arduous process of finding the right sound. With a kind of gritty and minimalistic new wave in mind, he has gone out of his way to find the right balance without falling for tropes and clichés. But however far he steers the controls for the leftfield, there is always a pop sensibility to his productions.
Emerging through ambient textures and echoes, opening track “Arpa” sprawls out over a curious soundscape, dragging a rusty guitar loop around mysterious samples and dazed synth pads. The following “Buffo” is an entirely different story, kicking off with a dry motorik rhythm and haunting arpeggios that sets the stage for some epic chords. The same kind of epic pop chords that will resurface later on title track “Raoul”.

The recipe for kosmische repetitions continues on with “Habo” but sets off on a more wobbly path, landing in a sinisterly funky bassline and brooding gothic synthwork. Its closest relative is found later on in “Svit” - which also seems to have been conjured in the same dark universe as Joel Graham’s rediscovered masterpiece “Night”.

While the drum machines are hard at work throughout, it’s on “Vyn” where the drum beat truly gets to speak - and it does - in a crunchy, head-nodding late 80’s New Beat fashion banging with reverb and pierced with staccato synth stabs of the pseudo-Jamaican variety.

Most tracks here chugs away on a steady groove, coupled with firm yet dreamy melodies. One can sense the lingering scent of the Factory Records catalogue imbued in the machinery of the album, yet there is also a crisp Nordic ambiance that demands its rightful space here. Perhaps it’s the presence of fellow label runner Ivar “Golden Ivy” Lantz providing his stark trademark violin as guest musician on “Bonum”, or simply the cold temperatures of Sweden coupled with cheap and badly insulated recording spaces in the industrial areas of Malmö. Whatever the case, get ready for some cold waves ahead.

Words by Simon Eliasson

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