"Childrens Mind", a compilation of songs recorded between the late ‘70s and mid ‘80s by both the deceased Swedish multi-instrumentalist and producer Sjunne Ferger, and his group Exit, begins with an elegant piano figure wrapped in crystalline synthesiser pads and faint but angelic voices. After two minutes and fifty seconds, a drum machine hand-claps disrupt the paradisiacal soundworld, awakening the song, fittingly titled “Awakening” from an ethereal dream, the kind of dream that could make you believe magic exists.
The first time I heard 'Awakening', it stopped me in my tracks. Between the live instrumentation and studio programming the song is built out of, Ferger struck a perfect balance between the organic and the synthetic. As both modes flow freely in and out of each other, he lands on a genuine technonaturalism that shares a kinship with the fourth world spaces explored by Tokyo’s Mkwaju Ensemble and their peers around the same time period.
As "Childrens Mind" unfolds with the electric piano-led kalediosonics of 'Romance' and the jazz-fusion machine funk of 'Night Rituale', Ferger's visions become increasingly panoramic. Song by song, we witness a blues and jazz drummer diving headfirst into jazz fusion, post-punk, dream pop, and the more Balearic depths of ambient. His roots were organic, natural and live, but as the futurism of drum machines, synthesisers and studio technology became increasingly available, Ferger seems to have wanted to embrace the future without forgetting the past.
Ferger originally wrote some of the pieces collected on "Childrens Mind" for short film soundtracks, partially explaining the rich cinematic quality of much of the material archived here. Near the end of the compilation, Strangelove Music opted to include two alternative mixes of Ferger’s songs ‘Destiny’ and ‘Candlelight’, taken from his cult new wave/art-rock album "Mindgames" (1984). They point towards Strangelove Music’s plans to reissue the whole album later this year. For now, though, let’s just explore the vivid, exploratory sound mapped out across "Childrens Mind", available in LP and digital formats (here).