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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Sverre Knut Johansen New York By Night (Master tapes 1977-1983) (2022)

Updated: Sep 25, 2022

This is not for fans of SVJ, but if you want to know his roots, it's quite suitable

1 New York By Night 3:11

2 A Sirens Cry 4:01

3 Happy Vocoder 3:08

4 Passages of a Dream 3:33

5 Symphonic Landscapes 4:07

6 The Ocean and Forever 7:02

7 Love of Air 4:33

8 Lillemoen 3:22

9 Present Sign 4:10

10 Technics Organ Theme 2:05

11 Dragons World 3:09

12 Bring Me the Light 4:48

13 Seven Moons 3:43

14 Escape 4:50

15 Danger to your Health 4:20

16 Jupiter 4 1:55

17 The Universe and I is One 3:36

18 Playground 5:21

19 Hunting 3:40

20 Hovering Norwegian Oil Platform 4:00

Sverre Knut Johansen Music

(DDL 78:42) (V.F.)

(Prog EM, Jazz Rock EM)

I am not a musician, but I love music. And not only electronic music (EM)! And I often wonder what the background of these musicians who practice and develop this form of music is. What did they do before? If some of them have always been playing EM or working in the field of synthesizers and software's synthesizers, others come from a rather parallel culture in the world of progressive music. I've even heard that some artists have a gift for heavy metal! Sverre Knut Johansen belongs to the cream of cosmic and meditative atmospheres composers since his Distant Shore in 1993. And if some tracks had a rock texture, I was far from suspecting that the Norwegian musician had been strongly influenced by this genre some 15 years earlier. Because it's at this time that the tracks of NEW YORK BY NIGHT (Master tapes 1977-1983) were composed and recorded. And we are very far from what the Norwegian musician-synthesist is used to offer us. This new album-download contains 20 tracks that travel from progressive rock textures to Jazz rock in the style of Herbie Hancock. We find rather nice ballads that could fit to love or drama movies. The whole of the tracks is strongly hammered by a massive use of electronic drum machines and bass lines addicted to the Funk style. The synth remains the predominant instrument injecting as many solos as melodic phases, while SKJ uses the guitar and his voice on some ballads. Yes, this compilation of tracks that have traced the way of the Norwegian is full of surprises that are far from being ugly if we want to be honest. Available for download, the artist has written all the data related to each track on the Bandcamp page of NEW YORK BY NIGHT (Master tapes 1977-1983). The other compilation, Galaxy, comes with the buying of this download.

And it starts with the curt and sharp rhythm of the title-track which is harpooned by a heavy drum. The bass is also hungry while the synth multiplies orchestral layers and long contemplative solos. The track suffers from a slight lag in the sequences that gets lost in its abundance of percussions. Big electronic rock! A Sirens Cry is more in electronic Jazz Rock mode with a nervous drumming. The bass and the synth harmonies add a more progressive touch to the music. The same goes for Passages of a Dream which proposes a structure closer to the contemporary electronic rock with slamming effects of t