Sit down, if you’re standing up. First read our review of E GONE’s previous record, and you will know all about Daniel Westerlund and his intricate travelling philosophy. Remember that piss-perfumed ATM shed, that dark cavern and the underbelly of society? It’s all coming back to us now in the shape of “SMOKEDIVER”, a new work of art by Sweden’s most elusive folk musician after Birgit Ridderstedt.
RELEASE DATE: 07 May 2015 LABEL: Self-released
To me, E GONE’s music has always been alienating, and this EP is no different from Westerlund’s previous works. Yet it is a pleasant kind of alienation that befalls the listener, and it is the fantastic element of fairy tales and mystery that defines E GONE at this point. “Decapitating a Friend in Varanasi” shows a stylistic extension of the music found on “All the Suns of the Earth”, yet it is the song title that unsettles me, being graphic in a childish way. Westerlund persists in the arabesque, a 19th century view on the East that looks past the Islamic State and Syria, into the heart of Indias’ Ganges and towards the ottomane in the salons of Constantinople. He is a dark romanticist, a strange merchant that carries enigmas and advertising records, sounding like demons. “I can cause you to join in the rhythmic dance. (…) I give pleasure to young and old.” Westerlund makes you travel in the mind, and in that sense he is a very successful artist.
“SMOKEDIVER” consists of three songs, runs for 15 minutes, and is more of a finger exercise than a real record. The music is very lethargic, the rhythms are steady, and the melodies beguile me like a child. Yet the record lacks any of the singular folk and electronic influences that were on “All the Suns of the Earth” and I wonder how relevant E GONE will be to the future. Presuming that “SMOKEDIVER” shows a glimpse of what to expect from “Advice to Hill Walkers” – his upcoming album on Zeon Records – I see this EP as a solidification of Westerlund’s true artistry, and hopefully it forms a launchpad towards a future of travelling wonder.