Following Sven Wunder’s Lagniappe Session from July — with his interpretations of traditional Japanese songs — we had the opportunity to catch up with the enigmatic musician. Dig in as we discuss the ideas behind the beguiling project, including working under a pseudonym, the unexpected success of the albums, how Sweden funds music projects, how their musical journey became a learning experience, and the endlessly complicated debate over cultural appropriation.
… two vibrant, cinematic interpretations of traditional Japanese songs. “Tōryanse,” a children’s song typically played as crosswalk music, is reimagined here with a Yamasuki Singers-style choir over a lush and propulsive arrangement not dissimilar to the music on Wunder’s excellent Wabi Sabi LP. “Sakura,” which is customarily performed during Cherry Blossom season, finds the enigmatic maestro going wild on the harpsichord amidst swelling strings, traditional instrumentation and one of his signature breakbeats.
The enigmatic Sven Wunder is already back again with another internet-breaking LP of Eastern flavored grooves. “Yūgen” opens Wabi Sabi with the ringing of a gong, which initiates a resonating surge of Japanese-inspired flute, Chinese zither, and Tanpura.
The brilliant debut from the mysterious Sven Wunder came out of nowhere and left all the heads spinnin’ and scramblin’ to find an LP copy, which are currently few and far between. Eastern Flowers is brimming with gnarly bass and guitars, big drum breaks, and hairy synths, all of which are projected through a kaleidoscopic filter of modern and traditional Eastern sounds. This is one of the best albums you will hear this year.