FIN AVRIL 2023Originally released in 1979 on Mistlur Records in Sweden, Nyanser is widely considered Thomas Almvqvist’s masterpiece. It's almost unspeakably beautiful. With his adventurous, virtuoso guitar technique to the fore, the album explores a unique path through world music, folk, jazz and acoustic experimentation, whilst retaining a very personal vision. It’s aged very, very well indeed and is now rare and immensely sought-after, coveted for many years by collectors of all musical genres. This Be With re-issue, remastered from the original analogue tapes, shows off just why this deserves to be back in press. The majority of the album is a solo exercise with Thomas playing Rhodes, flute, synthesizer and percussion as well as his idiosyncratic guitar on all tracks. Alongside Thomas in the studio were an array of young, experimental Swedish musicians in the nascent stages of their careers including the much lauded Swedish composer Ann-Sofi Söderqvist, vocalist Turid Lundqvist and perhaps the key contributor to the album, Hans Peter Andersson, whose alto, tenor and baritone saxophone contributions shift the album from into the realms of jazz, most notably on “Horisont” and “E.M.” The whole ensemble comes together on the centrepiece of the album, the joyous aquatic harmony of “Coral Reef”, one we've been playing out for the past 5 years to dropped jaws. The album presents a very visual aesthetic, each track evoking images of landscapes and far-flung corners of the earth. Almvqvist himself considered the visual aspect of his sound very important, describing his approach as “picture music.” Nyanser is considered one of the earliest examples of a fusion of world music, jazz and folk traditions, certainly from a Scandinavian artist. Despite its impact on release being minimal outside of those aficionados tuned into such sounds, over the years the album has become something of a "lost" cult classic and a fine example of the experimentalism going on in Scandinavian music at the time. The English translation of nyanser - ‘shades’ - is a particularly apt description of the sounds contained within. Thomas very sadly passed away in 2008 at the age of 55. We hope this reissue will go some way to bringing his unique output to a wider audience and secure the legacy he deserves as one of Sweden’s great guitarists and musical visionaries. It sounds sensational, if we do say so ourselves. Working with audio from the original analogue tapes, the vinyl mastering chops of Simon Francis are on full show here in what he considers to be some of his best ever work for Be With. Pete Norman’s cutting skills have made sure nothing is lost whilst the beautiful artwork has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to helping this revered work find a rightful place in every record collection.
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