I know that there are a lot of you out there who are just mad for Swedish band Hills. You (we) love the band’s amazing sound and a string of studio and live albums that have only served to increase both their mystique and appeal. Now here’s some great news for all of us who have been longing to own a copy of the band’s almost mythical debut album, which they pressed themselves back on 2009; a limited run of 300 that now fetches a huge amounts of money on the secondhand market.
Yep, UK label Cardinal Fuzz and US imprint Sky Lantern Records are repressing the album, which is also remastered with a sleeve encompassing the original artwork (by Marcus Iversson), but this time beautifully printed on a Sliver Laminated Sleeve. If that were not enough excitement for one day, the album will be coming out as a double with a bonus lp of previously unreleased material entitled ‘Uncollected Sounds’…direct customers to both labels will also be able to buy ‘Uncollected Sounds’ separately in an special limited edition with screen printed sleeve; and a cassette version and CDr will also be available.
For those unfamiliar with the original album here’s a re-mastered track, ‘Death 1’, which I have to say lives up to the excitement surrounding the reissue of this album. Beginning with a tolling bell the track quickly gets into a deep groove with a wonderful bass riff that quickly burrows its way into your consciousness. Confusion reigns as random voices pepper the track before a just sublime flute that just takes the track onto another level. Just beautiful!
Moving onto the ‘Uncollected Sounds’ bonus album. These sorts of things can be a bit ‘hit and miss’ often with a questionable quality and sense of cashing in. If this is something you are worried about let me first just say that this is a band, and these are labels, who are not really into that sort of thing.
If you’re still not convinced have a listen to the lead track ‘Flöjttjola’ (below) which, I have to say, is an absolute cracker and fully representative of the album as a whole. It is a track that you pretty much know is Hills as soon as you hear it. It bursts out of the traps with vengeance and quickly ramps up to full speed with that trademark rawness, the product of decades of great experimental Swedish music, which pretty much blows your head of on the first listen every bit as much as the 20th.
To my mind this is a very special release that I cannot wait to get me hands on ((pre-)order details below).
The double album is limited to 100 copies, the separate ‘Uncollected Sounds’ album limited to 200 copies, and the CDr edition limited to 70 copies. Check out the labels’ websites for further details.