Sir Was – Digging A Tunnel – Album Review
Digging A Tunnel on March 10th via City Slang
Sir Was is the work of one man; Joel Wästber. He’s based in Gothenburg, which isn’t exactly a hot bed for new music but this is possibly why the sound is quite so unusual. No music is created in a void, but this album feels like a breath of fresh air as you leave a stuffy room. Joel lists his musical influences below, and it gives you an idea of the spectrum of sounds he enjoys.
Wästberg – “Moondog, Bob Hund, My Bloody Valentine, D’Angelo, J Dilla, Thomas Mapfuno. Liturgy, Dudley Perkins, Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles, Mahavishnu Orchestra… I don’t know. I listen to a lot of stuff!”
Wästber is a talented musician and played drums, bass, keyboards, guitar, percussion, clarinets, and saxophone on this album. It opens with ‘In the Midst’ which starts with a countdown to ignition before a funky bass line and some distant vocals and rapping. Its the bass that carries the track, and it’s an impressive opening.
A Minor Life opens with bagpipes, before keyboards come to dominate along with the faint vocals. The break beat runs in the background, waiting for the track to open up, which it eventually does with a flute sample. Title track ‘Digging a Tunnel’ gradually builds from the faintest of starts with keyboard and percussion, as a guitar line adds depth. Revoke opens with a spoken sample telling of a beehive inside a woman’s heart! The song itself is another layered affair with keys, drums and wistful vocals. The song channels Caribou and is another of the highlights.
The album is a hot bed of quirky samples, pieced together from field recordings. There are maracas from Mexico, haunting flutes or any number of other oddities. There are many bands/ artists that create music in a similar way, such as Lemon Jelly, the Avalanches and their influence is obvious, but this album has a spark of its own. The most impressive thing is how much fun the album is! Well worth checking out.
1. In The Midst
2. A Minor Life
3. Digging A Tunnel
7. Heaven Is Connected
9. Leave It Here
10. Sunsets Sunrises