An unofficial soundtrack to the sci-fi novel RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA by Arthur C. Clark, a musical homage by Johan Agebjörn and Mikael Ögren with Between Interval, Le Prix, and Martina Björk. Kilian Eng created all of the visual artwork used as the album cover illustrations.

It is dark in deep space, the feeling is ethereal and layered and there is just no need for words. Each song has special synthesizer qualities and all of them flow into a beautiful mix, there is a story here. This music is for the hidden colors, bespangled bright and brilliant, celestial, glittering, with soaring echoes, pulsing and beating patterns. You are headed into the future, there is no turning back. Moving forward is the best description of the nature of the electronic music made by Johan Agebjörn, who has an amazing career. In his own words, “I live in Lund, Sweden. I study psychology. I’m a father. I make music from time to time. I have two main projects. At times they cross over into each other, but OK, let’s be simple:

“My ambient music. It could be described as “ambient electro” or “arctic ambient,” not too far away from the sounds of Krister Linder (Sweden) and early Biosphere (Norway). I’ve played live a few times and released my two albums Mossebo (2008) and The Mountain Lake (2011) on Lotuspike / Spotted Peccary.” (Followed by his 2017 collaboration with Mikael Ögren We Never Came to the White Sea.)

“My disco music, especially as part of the project Sally Shapiro. Sally Shapiro is mainly a ”neo-italo disco” project consisting of a female singer (whose real name remains a secret) with me as a composer and producer. We have released three albums Disco Romance (2007), My Guilty Pleasures (2009) and Somewhere Else (2013) as well as a few EPs and remix collections…”

Agebjörn has his own microlabel, Husmus.

Political statement: “I care about animals, global justice and the environment. I am a vegan and I try to purchase ecological and fair trade products as much as I can. I don’t like capitalism and I think the welfare state is worth defending.”

In 2017 Agebjörn and his friend/collaborator/neighbor Mikael Ögren released an ambient album on Spotted Peccary Music called We Never Came To The White Sea, a soundtrack to an unedited roadmovie through Russian Karelia, where Agebjörn’s grandfather was born, way back when it belonged to Finland.

A priest by profession, Mikael Ögren has been active as a musician mostly as a hobby. He is heavily influenced by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre, as well as ’90s trance innovators such as Jam & Spoon. During the mid-2010s he began collaborating with his neighbor, Johan Agebjörn, when the two remixed “Aurora” by synthwave producer Tommy ’86 in 2015. Ögren’s remix of Agebjörn’s song “The Leftovers” (featuring Loney Dear) was released later in the year, and in 2016, Ögren and Agebjörn reworked Jam & Spoon’s 1992 remix of the genre-defining eponymous single by the Age of Love.

Agebjörn and Ögren have recently created their second collaborative release, Artefact, and it is also on the Spotted Peccary Music label. Employing vintage synthesizers (Gear: Access Virus Indigo II, Alesis Micron, Clavia Nord Lead 2, Kurzweil K2000, Novation Supernova, Propellerheads Reason 11 with Korg MonoPoly, Roland DJ-70, Roland JD-800, Roland JP-8000, Thoraiz AS-1, Waldorf Blofeld, Yamaha AN1x) which blend into the ethereal atmospherics and electronic sounds of a classic sci-fi soundtrack, enjoying styles ranging from ambient to trance. Artefact features collaborations with fellow electronic musicians Between Interval and Le Prix, as well as ethereal soprano vocals from Martina Björk. Kilian Eng created the otherworldly illustrations, and the exquisite graphic design is by Daniel Pipitone.

The Review