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„That wind is from the North, I know it well;
No other breeze could have so wild a swell.
Now deep and loud it thunders round my cell,
Then faintly dies,
And softly sighs,
And moans and murmurs mournfully.
I know its language; thus it speaks to me (…)“

(Anne Bronté, The North Wind)


Let’s look at this music as a free-spirited romantic adventure story, for a while at least! Just putting it all into perspective, Mats Gustafsson references (in his first answer) inspirations for one of the best works of the year. Even a genius like Brian Eno once called himself a „re-packager“: but, whatever sources he found, from Erik Satie „furniture music“ to Neu!‘s „romance with repetition“, or Steve Reich‘s asynchronicities, he looked at them as starting points for different horizons, and so it goes with „Echoes“ from The Fire! Orchestra: it‘s all about metamorphosis, invention, re-invention, and new grounds. Thanks, Mats, for doing this interview „from a distance“.


frage 1


It is all still in the making, but next „Thursday Afternoon“ (the name of a stellar album, too) seems to be another starting point, in this case for „The Two Michaels“ talking on sound and vision. Via Michael45rpm (see blogroll). The premiere will be recorded around 3.00 p.m. (and „aired“ later in the evening, or Friday) with Michael 1, introducing, asking, wondering, and Michael 2 being „the radio voice from the off“. The third man (and the second in the background) is of course Mats opening some more gates to the never-ending magic of „Echoes“.


„The wind is in from Africa,
Last Night I couldn‘t sleep (…)

(Joni Mitchell, Carey)




„When an explosion does come along (and there are a couple), it’s a shock and is either brief or carefully resolved: an example of the sort of tactical astuteness characteristic of what will undoubtedly be one of the albums of the year.“

(Richard Williams)




2023 22 Apr

Tracklist of an instant classic

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A1 ECHOES: I See Your Eye, Part 1
A2 ECHOES: Forest Without Shadows
B1 ECHOES: To Gather It All. Once.
B2 Sliding Whisper Of Pain
C1 ECHOES: Lost Eyes In Dying Hand
C2 Welcoming You. Drinking Your Dream.
D1 ECHOES: A Lost Farewell
D2 Nothing Astray. All Falling
E1 In Those Veins. A Silvernet.
E2 ECHOES: Cala Boca Menino
E3 Double Loneliness
F1 Respirations
F2 Not Yet Born. The Blind Courage Of Life
F3 ECHOES: I See Your Eye, Part 2



The thing (amongst other things) is that everything is focussed and on fire, carefully measured (all the time). The stylistic approach: uncannily wide, for the need of pure expression only: the overflowing and the intimate, the everlasting melody, the crying abyss, the stunning quietness of execution (not to forget mixing wizard Jim O’Rourke). What a heavenly dark ride. The Fire! Orchestra has only made good or very good albums, and now it has painted its masterpiece. Music to be inhabited by the listener, not to be looked at in awe from a distance!

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