(New Album Review) Dag Rosenqvist- The Forest Diaries

Swedish musician and sound artist Dag Rosenqvist was once the face behind Jasper TX– after the conclusion of that project, he cycled through two more monikers until around 2014 he resolved to push on under his given name. On The Forest Diaries, his new album from the excellent Eilean Records, one can see how far behind he has left the dark (albeit very minimal) electric guitar-focused style of his earlier albums to focus on softer acoustic sounds. Here, for instance, piano and pump organ are the focal points Rosenqvist chose for the music’s anatomy. This change in approach and instrumentation has given his music a more intimate tone.

The Forest Diaries, a piece in ten parts that was commissioned for a multimedia project by artist Jenny Larsson, has a voice that is faded and weary, like the face of a page tanned with age. One aspect of this album that is revealing of the aesthetic for which Rosenqvist aimed is the out-of-tune piano he utilizes on the piece’s coda. That little breath of ringing dissonance gives a little layer of darkness to the wistful theme that recurs throughout the meditation, in between resurfacing from underneath some muted drones of electric and acoustic origins. This uncommonly gentle album goes out to all fans of deep listening and minimalism.

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