“Magic/Khands” is an inventive, drawn-out work by Swedish musician Johannes Brander. A delicate quality of exploratory instrumentation is central to the album: at various times the music is created out of high, muted, and echoing organ, synth, vocal, percussion, and guitar lines, structured around one another in hazy adornments. The timbre of the instrumentation is warm and interestingly affected by having been recorded on cassette.
The use of harmony and melody on the album is also notable. Brander has a gift for expressing a great deal of sadness through a series of humble chord changes played against a repeating melodic line, particularly on the tape’s second side, where the music becomes more sorrowful and faster and the chord changes become more immediate and compelling; he seems deeply familiar with many different types of music, and it is interesting to hear a variety of influences combined within the space of only a few songs.
At base, “Magic/Khands” is worth exploring, and shows the work of a musician pushing himself artistically.