Published Apr 18, 2019Tollarp sits near the southern tip of Sweden, home to fewer than 4,000 residents. Like most small towns, it tends not to maintain a hold on those with international aspirations. At least not physically.
So when Johanna Knutsson decided to make her music dreams come true, she packed her bags for Berlin; that was 2008. In the years that followed, she earned a reputation as an adroit DJ and electronic music producer. She's also co-launched a pair of labels: Zodiac 44 (with Luca Lozano) and UFO Station Recordings (with Hans Berg).
Tollarp Transmissions is her tribute to the town she left a decade ago. The digital download version of the album features eight tracks, each named for a spot in the town Knutsson so fondly remembers.
"Vramsån," for example, opens the album with a synth line lifted from the "Tuba mirum" movement of Mozart's Requiem. Swedes will recognize the reference from their own childhood — ice cream trucks are often heard playing that piece as they circle the country's neighbourhoods.
Many of the disc's allusions will be too subtle for those of us who grew up in a different part of the world. That being said, there is a sense of childhood wonder and bewilderment here that we can all relate to.
Knutsson has given us more than a collection of reminiscences, written from the perspective of adulthood. She has captured that sense of being young and small in a world beyond comprehension. (Kontra-Musik)