Post-Sun-Vision: Once A Honey

Stepping out of the long shadow of E.S.T., P-S-V’s music is risky enough to attract the thrill seeker, but not too forbidding to alienate the groove hound

2072

Malmö-based Post-Sun-Vision were just beginning to make an impression outside of their homeland before being stopped in their tracks by the global pandemic. Their eponymous 2017 self-released debut had been followed by international tours and appearances at the London, Ystad and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and in 2020 the trio became the Swedish recipients of the “Nordic Jazz Comets” award.

That accolade should have guaranteed a round of festival appearances and exposure, but for the time being at least we will have to settle for this, their second full album.

Drummer Mario Ochoa is the group’s main composer, but Hernqvist and Mandelmann (Megalodon Collective) are both given free rein to shape the music in performance. Rather than seeking to sustain a single mood across the album, each piece tells a distinct story about the people and relationships in Ochoa’s life.

The opener, inspired by Ochoa’s relationship with a beggar who regularly sits outside his local supermarket, is the first of three tracks featuring the irrepressible Magnus Broo (Atomic). Broo’s forlorn and full-blooded solo serves as Isabella’s oratorio, and the crisp formality of Ochoa’s compositional superstructure creates a very deliberate dichotomy. Elsewhere Bli Min Höst (“become my autumn)” is a bittersweet ode to a former partner, while Hernqvist’s mildly dissonant chording brings welcome tension to the brooding Let The Night In.

Broo leads the line on On The Floor, its linear post-bop theme segueing into a tight minimalist groove before the quartet transition into a thrilling passage of expressionistic free improvisation. Hernqvist’s keyboards add off-colour hues to the decidedly tormented I See The Worst In You, while Broo pops up again on the poignant Mega Parent, one of several pieces driven by anguished struggles with infertility. Ochoa’s interest in contemporary composition is evident on closing track Kicki, and with the trio augmented by a string quartet, I thought I could detect the faintest trace of optimism for a better future.

Stepping out of the long shadow of E.S.T., P-S-V’s music is risky enough to attract the thrill seeker, but not too forbidding to alienate the groove hound. It’s a balance that I like, and I’ll certainly be following their next moves with interest.

Discography
Isabella By The Supermarket; Bli Min Höst; Let The Night In Through The Windows; On The Floor In His Room Smelling Women’s Perfume; I See The Worst In You; Mega Parent; The Pursuit of Kicki (39.32)
Alice Hernqvist (p, kyb); Aaron Mandelmann (b); Mario Ochoa (d) with Magnus Broo (t) on tracks 1, 4, 6 and String Quartet with Ingrid Nordenhake (clo); Sebastien Flögel (vla); Lilja Rasimus (vn); Hemrik Rapp (vn) on track 7. Malmö, Sweden, no dates.
AMP Music & Records AT084