Artwork by Jill Sylvia
Aniara Recordings specialize in nuance, though this may not seem overtly obvious upon a quick scan of their catalog. A threatening degree of momentum stands out most prevalently, yet that herculean bit of propulsion doesn’t always equate a guaranteed smash, nor is it what has earned the Swedish imprint its essential status over the past few years. Rather, they’ve mastered their reputation via a sure-handed grip on caustically coy hooks, the variety that corrode their way through your cerebral cortex, instilling an odd degree of cognitive recognition along their pathway. Look at Genius Of Time’s “Tuffa Trummor Med Synt” for example. Arriving at the tail of last year, it proved to be one of 2012′s most mesmerizing offerings thanks to an effortless sleight-of-hand riff. Head-smackingly simple, yet nonetheless lethal for it. And likewise for the followup, ANIARA 07, the Gothenburg label have recruited newcomer Henrik Bergqvist for a single that while cryptically narcotic, still maintains qualities of a proper bomb.
While as much is true for both included tracks, it rings especially so for the A-side title track. “Go For What Hurts” is crafted upon a quick one-two shuffle and elongated by a leering bass knock. While those components remain unaltered through the entire seven minutes, the trademark Aniara earworm is introduced via a four-chord violin run that soars over the proceedings while remaining repetitiously savory. It lends itself to the headspace encountered while on a fairground hot air balloon ride: an illusion of absolute euphoric weightlessness, with the reality being that you’re not actually going anywhere. In the moment, it’s rapturous; when it dissolves and you’re left with a mere meowing echo, you feel a tad used by its masterful ability to withhold any palpable payoff — although that’s never a bad thing. On the flip, “Spin” is a tad more low slung, plodding in its clunkish percussion. Bergqvist tweaks the main drum rhythm, from that of rolling train patter to a hollow aluminum trash can and back, before deadening the commotion with a Sunday service-indebted Rhodes run. A voice drifts in: “Some songs I write for the pleasure of writing the song, it doesn’t have any great meaning,” a truism related to the effective nonchalance espoused by Bergqvist and his cohorts in which a domineering hook is all it really takes.