Body music with a Swedish folk twist.
It takes a few listens to appreciate the psychedelic weirdness of Hambo. The parts that grate at first––notably singer Carl I Carlsson's warped vocals––soon become Hambo's greatest charm, while lurching machine rhythms and heady dub-scapes make it an intoxicating listen throughout.
Occasionally Hambo strays too far. "Hitlers Dreamboy" is a nightmarish manipulated vocal and drum track that can be difficult to get through––but is absolutely worth it once that fat dub bass bleeds through. "Dina Drîmmar Lever" is ghoulish, but again we're saved by a bass rhythm that gets you nodding along to the perversion. Hambo isn't one long provocation, however. There are moments of dazzling club lucidity, like "TKO," with its undulating bass sequence and lyrics you can almost sing along to, and the more demented "Grisebassen," with its killer, whacked-out bassline. More gems lurk in murk.
Hallbäck refers to Kess Kill as an "alternate reality," and that's exactly what Vanligt Folk provide with Hambo. This is body music rendered through a prism of old Swedish folk references and current socio-political discourse. It is its own self-contained musical universe: part twisted fairy tale, part avant-garde club record. As EBM looks dangerously on trend, we need more fomenting re-inventors like Vanligt Folk.