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Hjördis-Britt Åström: the new king of (electro)pop?

15/03/2018

Sometimes hazard does amazing things! On a Bandcamp page I see an unknown scandinavian name:  Hjördis-Britt Åström, pretty sexy record covers and the music!  Electronic dream pop which immediately seduces you, charms by its sense for beautiful melody, a talent that reminds you from the greatest. I discover he is a very young guy, only 26. His name is Dmitry Gruber, he is based in Rostov in Russia.

 

He is using several aliases for slightly different types of music: Galatee, a lady singing in french with a whispering sexy voice + beautiful record sleeves, Fortune 600: more electronica, neo-disco, Camille Paulette-Odell, similar dream pop to Galatée; Erase Me Sweetheart, Dakova, Malta Company Formation. Sometimes he is using his own name or Hjordis Britt Astrom.

Galatee’s lyrics are whispered in a broken poetic french, not quite Mallarme or Beaudelaire but super seductive. His music expresses a fascination for France and America, his imagination is travelling far: there is poetry, big cars, girls, business and large cities.

He has already produced 750 tracks, quite a monument, amazing. The most incredible is that his whole music collection, the full 750 tracks are available for download on Bandcamp for 1,9€. 1,9€. CRAZY. Bargain of the century.   You can spend months and months discovering the subtleties and beauties of his full collection.  Given that he is often adding 1, 2 or 3 new tracks each and every week.

 

 


This is pop, pure genuine pop music, ideal pop, soft, tender, melodic, pretty. There is nostalgia:  Pure Classy Track***, GoodBye***, sadness Youth****, maybe his most beautiful song, sometimes it is happy and pretty. Nostalgia is best seen in the deep layers of synths who are bringing memories of distant happiness. His remix of Grimes ‘ Ambrosia*** displays his taste for the more ethereal sides of the original song, he fully skips the merry jumpy parts and I fully approve of that. Suddenly Ambrosia has a fantastic depth and it is much more purposeful.  I could list all sorts of great songs: Perfection***/Galatée.  90**/Galatée, it is constantly sweet on the ears; Forgotten***/HBA

Please do not tell me: “it is simple music, not tortured enough”. Maybe it is, so what? It is so good.  He is able to challenge himself, for instance:  Autoraiders’ 91***, a 42′ track, not always captivating but with a great intro, electro at its best with a shouting echo’d voice à la John Maus.

I have always thought that Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) is the greatest composer of pop music. Beware Stephin: Dmitry Gruber is catching up.  Is he consistant enough if you compare him to John Lennon, Lou Reed ou Stephin? Maybe not, too early to say but if you list the very good tracks they are already so many it is clearly amazing. How many pearls and jewels? 50/100? Very few have done more.

A friend told me: “this is basic synth, this is simple.” Yes darling, go on, do the same. Just do 3 or 4 of the same vein and we’ll talk about it. I hate it when people use the word “simple” especially when coming from people who never penned a single song, not even talking of 1 good song. Someone told me that Just Like A Moving Star (The 6ths) is simple. The biggest talent is precisely to achieve greatness combined with simplicity. If it was easy…

 

I like it. I love it.

Dmitry’s music does everything right: emotion, beauty, nostalgia. He makes your mind travel high, deep and far.

dmitry gruber (Hjordis Britt Astrom)

Dmitry Gruber (Hjordis Britt Astrom)

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