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Mollmaskin: Heartbreak In ((Stereo))

Incandescent double disc debut from Norwegian multi-tasker.

Musician Rhys Marsh is the head of Autumnsongs, a recording studio/record label that’s filtering some of the finest new music this side of the Arctic Circle.

Mollmaskin is the brainchild of Anders Bjermeland, who plays nearly everything from piano to sax on this two-CD concept piece. Heartbreak In ((Stereo)) is split into ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ discs, each with a quite distinct feel. ‘Left’ is a sumptuous mix of Dungen and Syd Arthur-like retro tones and textures, Never Able bringing a warm, fuzzy jazz playfulness to the fore and standout The Long Shadow the sparkly soundtrack to a notional French film. Once the frontman for folk-psychers Flashback Caruso, Bjermeland reprises that Faust influence with a superb cover of Jennifer, Faust IV’s unlikely love letter that descends into the eerie conclusion of Two Moods. The ‘Right’ disc is reflective, poignant, crushingly sad. Heart-sick folk-pop waltz Halvtom Sjel’s (‘Half-Empty Soul’) sets up Dirty Linen, a pining Wyatt-esque hymnal. But if there’s a clincher, it’s the gloriously lugubrious Nightmare Suite, the long, dark night of Bjermeland’s soul, bathed in incandescent Canterbury configurations. What a debut.

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.