Axel Boman

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Family Vacation (2013), 6/10
Le New Life (2019), 6.5/10
Luz/ Quest for Fire (2022), 5.5/10

Swedish dj and producer Axel Boman rose to prominence with the three-song EP Holy Love (2010) that contains the house anthem Purple Drank, the eight-minute Holy Love, and the brief Not So Much. The four-song EP Black Magic Boman (2013) contains another gem, Look What You've Done To Me.

Family Vacation (2013) is split among micro-house (the eight-minute Can't Find It), ambient-house (Fantastic Piano) and Afro-techno (Dance All Night). All is summarized in the eight-minute Hello, a mix of micro, ambient and Afro elements. The album contains much filler, but also some unfocused pieces that could have been more viable (like the jazzy Barcelona, the dub-tinged Animal Lovers, the brief tom-tom feast of Bottoms Up).

An Afro-ambient fusion is again the leitmotiv of the eleven-minute 1979 (2015), while Moon Dancer succumbs to its own lush arrangement.

Le New Life (2019) veered towards more jovial deep house, whether the funky 13-minute Chestnut Heartsprite or the Caribbean eleven-minute Copacabana Dub, and especially the frantic nine-minute Konoba Boba. The eight-minute Paid By The Rhythm is the best piece because of its elegant and quasi minimalist morphing. The music is generally lush and progressive, and makes the first album sound like a mere tentative.

Inevitably, the double album Luz/ Quest for Fire (2022), a collection of relatively short compositions, presents two sides of Boman's art. Luz is a collection of mood pieces, mostly forgettable, rescued by one gem and two intriguing ideas: Bhuka is an encounter between house and hip-hop that decays in a lush psychedelic kaleidoscope (with anemic rapping by South African vocalist Kamohelo); Edgeware Rd floats and thick droning synths over a throbbing Afro-techno beat; and 'Atra is a meeting of African tribal dancing and free jazz (Kristian Harborg on saxophone). Quest For Fire boasts a stronger cast and also stronger contrasts. The syncopated and polyrhythmic Sottopassaggio (further derailed by cute sound effects) lies at the opposite end of the subdued and oneiric One Two. Ostende is all energy and vibrancy, while Regret Lasagna quickly abandons its beach vitality for a mysterious transmission of extraterrestrial signals. Stone Age Jazz is itself many things in one, capable of morphing radically in six atmospheric minutes. Roman Plumbing begins like droning ambient music and ends with a ghostly saxophone "om". Overall, the two albums could have been condensed in one, and maybe even less than one.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )