Wintergatan
Wintergatan


4.0
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
March 22nd, 2016 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's all about the process

In a world of excess and no shortage of technological progress, it’s refreshing to find musicians who still care about the process of creation as much as the end-result. Sweden’s Wintergatan are likely to become notorious for their unmatched sense of creativity, as they seem to favor authenticity and diligence over a timely finished product. Back in 2014, member Martin Molin began to work on his very own instrument – a programmable marble machine that uses a whopping 2,000 marbles and various levers to make music in a way quite unlike anything witnessed in the modern age. The machine is a genuine work of art, and is featured in the band’s latest music video as marbles systematically flow and give birth to the kicking drums, groovy bass, and other various instruments such as the vibraphone. Of course, the nifty contraption is only a glimpse into Wintergatan’s sense of innovation, and there’s no shortage of intrigue to be found in their equally fascinating debut album.

While it’s true the band’s new hit ‘Marble Machine’ could have been conjured up quickly with modern recording techniques, Molin’s decision to create and utilize his very own instrumental machine to do the job is nothing short of admirable. Even outside the context of the music, it’s pretty ***ing cool. Luckily, this same level of determination is found in spades on Wintergatan’s self-titled release. For proof, one needn’t look further than the colossal closer ‘Paradis,’ which transports the listener to a serene street in the heart of China before thrusting them into an apocalyptic and explosive ending. As extensive as the track is, however, it doesn’t ever lose its strict sense of focus. Whether it’s the gently plucked string instruments that feel reminiscent of an ancient civilization or the abundant beats that propel the song forward, it paints a genuine and riveting portrait of China’s bustling city life.

The hypnotizing climax of 'Paradis' may be the album’s grand-slam, but the additional tracks are still a blast to listen to. The band has been labeled as folktronica in the past, and it’s not hard to see why. In the first few tracks alone, we’re taken on a journey through a land where bouncy synthesizers, accordions, and a plethora of other instruments intersect to create what feels like a whacky and intricate music box. Perhaps that’s what makes Wintergatan’s debut such a delicacy – Martin Molin & Co. are able to incorporate the quirkiness of a marble machine or wind-up music toy into their sound in such a meticulous way that it never feels contrived. In fact, it feels quite the opposite. Really, it’s not a far cry from that favorite arcade game you played as a kid; you came for the dazzling lights and high scores, but you stayed for the sense of involvement.




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user ratings (26)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2016


23847 Comments


sort of turned out as a review for their new marble machine track as well as their debut. at the very least, check out the marble machine made by the band's very own Martin Molin- it's something else. (and definitely check out the link below for 'Paradis' - amazing track)

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/news/35767/Wintergatans-Marble-Machine/

and here's a link to 'Paradis' (the best track on the album)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjd1Sct45m0



Digging: Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel

Toondude10
March 22nd 2016


13370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I feel like you could've talked a little bit more about the music on the album but other than that this was a good read.



This is just such a cool record. I've been jamming this for weeks.

Digging: Time, The Valuator - How Fleeting, How Fragile

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2016


23847 Comments


but I had to spend time talking about the marble machine! ;]

honestly though, a big thanks to you for getting me into this album. was an unexpected surprise. I didn't want to bore the reader with too many track examples, but hopefully this gets people interested in checking it out at least

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2016


56200 Comments


One the front page it says this review was written by STAFF what the hell

Digging: Lil Peep - Come Over When You're Sober Pt. 2

Toondude10
March 22nd 2016


13370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

that's what happens when a staff reviewer writes something for an album that's not a new release, this came out in 2013

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2016


56200 Comments


Is that a new thing because I don't remember ever seeing that

Toondude10
March 22nd 2016


13370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

it's been like that for quite a while, couple years at least

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2016


23847 Comments


you probably don't remember seeing it because hardly any of the staff writers seem to review anything other than new releases. people said the same thing on my smith street band review the other day haha

dmp3131
March 22nd 2016


1309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album, Starmachine2000, Paradis, and Sommarfågel are my favorites from this. Marble Machine was awesome too, admittedly what made me find this band. Which was probably partly the point, so that worked. Just love the sound of this though. Really different and just interesting to listen to everything going on. Fun record all around. A lot of parts here remind me of the Little Big Planet soundtrack.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2016


8013 Comments


Great review, the guy behind the band is a true genius.

Which reminds me; there's a Greek band called Your Hand In Mine, that feels familiar to Wintergatan, as they're collecting/incorporating rare instruments into their music, or they manufacture some of their own.

Digging: Suffering Quota - Life In Disgust

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


23847 Comments


cheers Voivod, and thanks for the rec! agreed that the guy's a genius.

@dmp3131, glad you dig it so much man. I don't remember the little big planet soundtrack because I only ever played it at a friend's house, but that's pretty cool


Toondude10
November 12th 2016


13370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

oooo, their next album might be a double album. call me intrigued

dmp3131
January 10th 2017


1309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bumped this up, so damn good. Perfect music to bring out creativity

Toondude10
June 1st 2017


13370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

decided to revisit this. I might just have to bump this up.



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