Standing on solid ground, “elephant” slowly walks, the huge, ivory tusks leading the way, jutting out of the hulking, grey-clothed skin of the music. As it moves, the beats shudder against the ground. It doesn’t happen at first, because the foot has to lift before the shadow can gradually darken. And then it comes down, shaking not only the foundations, but everything that surrounds it. As it walks, the music occasionally purrs like a pussycat, but it’s also exceptionally heavy, leaving thunderous footprints behind it. With an increasingly violent side, the music glows and growls. A clipped beat stomps around, its artery-thick bass pounding away inside the music like a great heartbeat.
The soothing sections could be the lilting, contented response to a calm situation, but it could also signal a false dawn, the opening act of a sneak and attack, its secret, deadly intention cutting through the music’s vulnerability. With an unsettling fury, the music prowls around as if searching for its latest prey. There is always a long, slow build-up, regardless of the outcome. And on “elephant”, it could go two ways: it could be a rosy track that lives on nothing but high serenity, or it could be stalking the innocent tones, intent on destroying everything.
“elephant” flits between the calm and the swirling storm. The ascending and descending notes of a piano relax the body, but static crawls around like a cobra, waiting in earnest for a chance to strike. An unstoppable force dips and then rears its head, reappearing at different — and random — intervals. And even the fizzling beats, sounding like electrically charged pylons coated in nitro, are dangerous. Even the quieter sections are preceded by a furious static. They struggle to keep the discord at bay. Rosenqvist’s music always delves into this struggle. Because of this, small doses are needed.
‘Come Snow’ is completely settled and still; the contrasting beast has been subdued. After a near-silent opening, the music roars back into life. The plodding beats can’t mask the underlying tension, though. Dag Rosenqvist’s music has always juddered between the extremes, and the synths cut like bullets used in some kind of futuristic warfare. Like the next global conflict, you know it’ll happen, but you don’t know when it’ll happen; “elephant” is uncaged music.