Jörgen Gustafsson

[A Darkened Harbour sleeve]A Darkened Harbour (Album, 2024)

Ombrelle Concrète

The phrase 'A Darkened Harbour' is taken from a Swedish psalm Don’t Be Afraid and Jörgen Gustafsson cites hymns and sacred music among his inspiration for this album - influences that are apparent in more than one track. The pieces move at a stately pace and build to choral resolutions.

The psalm is about hope and to have confidence in the process of life. Not to fear the unknown, but rather to embrace it with an open heart and mind. Regardless of what we go through in life, we should have the courage to move forward, to be ourselves, and above all not to be afraid.

Jörgen's music is characterised by slowly moving bass under sharp melodic punctuation; melancholy pads reminiscent of a harmonium swell and recede from counterpoints of pacific precision; gentle fogs of sound transform into slow squalls before dying away.

The music is gentle but offers an element of unhinged, unsettling darkness, hiding in shadowy corners or peering through the cracks. The space between notes becomes as important as the notes themselves, as Jörgen Gustafsson explores a beautifully subtle minimalism throughout his work.

Like the lead track itself, the promo video for Disperse is beautiful. The first part is soft, stressless and unfocused. There is a drop, then the second part opens up, becoming more colourful and intense.

According to Jörgen, there are three important parts in the making of his music; and he suggests that A Darkened Harbour is a fusion of other people’s music, synthesisers, and chance.

A Darkened Harbour is a truly fine piece of work. 8/10

Buckley Thomas (February 2024)