Denmark’s Anders Lauge Meldgaard returns with a brilliant new Frisk Frugt – translated as ‘Fresh Fruit’ – album, Den Europæiske Spejlbue (The European Mirror-Arch). After exploring West African music on 2010’s Burkina Faso i det himmelbårum hvor solen suite, Meldgaard aimed at mixing Danish folk music with a broader European mentality.
Tambourhinoceros – Frisk Frugt’s new label – aptly describes the pieces as ‘orchestral collages’, and indeed Meldgaard has surrounded himself with a chamber sized ensemble. Meldgaard looks after vocals, samplers, guitars, synths, trombone and his unique home-built instruments, such as the whistle organ and a midi controlled harpsichord.
The results are remarkable. Frisk Frugt appears to be the musical offspring of Sufjan Stevens and Twink, with an affinity for contemporary minimalism, messy folktronica and 8 bit gaming music thrown in for good measure.
The opening track, ‘solsorte synger solen op’, is a wondrous piece of acoustic glitch, whilst ‘Kærlighedssand nr. ?’ morphs from scatterpicked electric guitar into a brass procession to plaintive vocals and nylon string guitar without raising a sweat. Elsewhere, Meldgaard reveals his love of vintage synths with some shredding portamento lines. Den Europæiske Spejlbue beautifully unfolds its themes across the 12 tracks and is relentlessly joyous. A fantastic record.