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Lonesome Demons. A Review of Komplett Kollaps.

November 5, 2022

“The album might be the saddest thing I’ve heard in my entire life. For ‘Komplett Kollaps’ you can cry through the winter darkness and let the pain of life pass by” – Julie Hugsted has reviewed Runar Magnusson’s tribute album to the musician and friend Jóhann Jóhannsson, who passed away in 2018″

The Danish online mag Seismograf published a wonderful review of Komplett Kollaps – a dedication to Jóhann Jóhannsson.

In Danish, but I will put up uncle Google´s english version below.

In english:

LONESOME DEMONS

RUNAR MAGNUSSON “KOMPLETT KOLLAPS (A DEDICATION TO JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON)”

by Julie Hugsted

Few things are as bleak as death, and precisely the farewell is the focal point of this tribute album to musician Jóhann Jóhannsson, who passed away in 2018, leaving Runar Magnusson with a melancholy that is omnipresent on this tearjerker of an artistically well-balanced album.

Aesthetic distortions of organ studies pierce the beautiful and compositionally accomplished Komplett Kollaps, which is one long mourning march, a declaration of love mourning the loss of a friend.

The opening track »Severed Voices« sounds like the slow breathing of a giving up pipe played backwards, while the organ enters a droned character on the 11-minute long »Dr. Diablo Plays the Organ’. The church bells creep away and an electronic voice repeats the words »A Star’s Gone Dim«, before the last track »Buried Treasures« ends the work in dark gray tones. The sound manipulation is subdued, repetitive, non-stop and touching in all its simplicity, and the message is so clear that there can be no doubting the emotions that underlie the music.

The album might be the saddest thing I’ve heard in my entire life. Devoid of melodious summer memories or the sound of spring. For Komplett Kollaps you can cry through the winter darkness and let the pain of life pass by.

#KomplettKollaps #RunarMagnussson #JohannJohannsson #seismograf #organ #dronemusic #electronicmusic #erototoxdecodings #hljóðaklettar #iceland #kodakultur #copenhagen #dedication #thesaddestthingIhaveheard

Organ Sound Art Festival 2022

October 15, 2022

I am looking forward to play at the Organ Sound Art Festival in KoncertKirken, Copenhagen this year.

I will be presenting my new release Komplett Kollaps – a dedication to Jóhann Jóhannsson.

The main sound-source that is used on this album is a recording from 2007, of Jóhann improvising on the church organ of Hellig Kors Kirke in Copenhagen. Together with various recordings I had received from Jóhann though out the years and had laying around on my harddrives for various reasons.

The festival is from 15th – 18th of december. I am playing on friday the 16th.

Thanks to organisers Björn Ross and Jan Stricker to inviting me and to come up with this excellent program.

Extreme Chill Festival last week.

October 13, 2022

It was great to play at the Extreme Chill Festival this year. It was the first time I played live for over 3 years. And first time in the old country for probably 8 years. The festival was great, really good lineup and I had a lot of fun.

I played at the opening night, materials from recent and coming releases such as Komplett Kollaps – a dedication to Johann Johannsson, Sub-Photic Scenario (out soon on a CD), both as a collaborative release between Erototox Decodings & Hljóðaklettar. (Hljóðaklettar having been dormant for a long time, the homepage sadly not updated yet). I played stuff from Potent Lucid Daydreaming Portal With Profound Astral Attraction and Red Wine & Foam that are released on my Bandcamp page (where you can find 5 releases since 2021). And stuff released on compilations the last few years and unreleased stuff. I layered bits & pieces from these various projects and weaved them into a one concise performance. Or as one of the main icelandic music critics said about the set when taking about the evening “Excellent set, dark, concise, beautiful”

It was great to see Klara Lewis, Aristókrasía (Úlfur Eldjárn), KMRU, Fennesz, Maria W Horn, Meitei, Eraldo Bernocci & Christopher Chaplin, Stereo Hypnosis, Kira Kira and Úlfur. There was a lot of stuff i missed as well.

Photos by Ómar Sverrisson & Kristinn Magnusson.

Komplett Kollaps – a dedication to Jóhann Jóhannsson

September 19, 2022

I am happy to announce that my new release Komplett Kollaps – a dedication to Jóhann Jóhannsson is out today on Jóhann´s birthday.

Available now on Bandcamp, as a digital release with a pre-order for the vinyl. You can stream it or purchase via the various streaming services and online shops.

It is a released in collaboraton between the excellent Erototox Decodings and Hljóðaklettar. First activity for Hljóðaklettar in a long time, except for the regular Rous Radio mixes. (More releases on the way.)

This project started in the days after the death of my friend Jóhann Jóhannsson.
I was going through my hard drives listening to and working with sounds Jóhann had given to me for various reasons through the years. Some are parts of music that was to be released, some was master files for coming releases, I had provided some sound manipulation for some stuff and acted as a third ear on some releases. But main sound source was a recording in Copenhagen in 2007, where Jóhann was improvising on the church organ of Hellig Kors Kirke in Nørrebro. He recorded it to study the possibilities of the organ and gave me the recordings to use, which I did later that year when I supported his concert at the magnificent Marble Church in Copenhagen and later made a track that became available on a limited edition tape released by Hljóðaklettar. That track, “Dr. Diablo Plays The Organ” became a blueprint for this project and is included here as well.

This is a dedication Jóhann as well as an insight into my own state of mind at the time, a mental collapse which, in part was triggered by Jóhann´s death in february, 2018 and I did not start to see the darkness lift until the summer of 2021 when I finally sought out professional help. I got the diagnosis ADHD which helped me understand a lot about my life. In that period between 2018 and 2021 I had 3 releases almost ready but had not been able to finish until I got the diagnosis. Only after the fact and after the darkness lifted I could see that these three releases are connected and form a trilogy that show the mental state I was in, an incapacitating, downward spiral, a crushing chaos but in the end searching for the light and a way out of the maze and up to the surface.

I would like to thank:
My wife Gerda and my son Benedikt for the patience in tough times.
Jóhann´s estate for guiding me in the process.
Chandra of Erototox Decodings for the patience and trust.
Goddur & Bjarni H. Þórarinson for the beautiful artwork.
Yann for the endurance and mastery in the mastering process
KODA for supporting this work
And of course Jóhann Jóhannsson, i miss him dearly.

Composed, mixed and produced in 2018 – 2021 @Trans Europe Studios in Vienna & Copenhagen by Runar Magnusson (Except Dr. Diablo Plays The Organ in 2010)

Mastered in Copenhagen by Yann Coppier

Cover Artwork: Bjarni H. Þórarinson
Graphic design: Goddur
© & ℗ all rights reserved

Supported by KODA #Kodakultur

sneak peak:

Another album is on the way from Erototox Decodings/Hljóðaklettar. It will be a CD and is called it Sub-photic Scenario. It is in a way related to Komplett Kollaps. Made in the same period and in the same state of mind. It is inspired by the bioluminescent creatures of the deep sea. Here is a little peak at a part of the cover art.

Stroking (The Strings of Terror)

March 24, 2022

A new release for Ukraine

Pay what you want/can.

This release came originally out on a cassette years ago, on the Ukrainian label ~taqueOT. They did beautiful releases, outstanding packaging and artwork. I am not releasing this digitally to support my friends in ukraine. All profits will be sent to Ukraine. I will cover all transaction fees, so any fee that Paypal takes I will add to the donation from my own pocket. So every dime you decide to give will go uncut to a good cause.

The good people at ~taqueOT will be recommending a place to send the money too.

New Palindrone release: 2 2 0 2 2 0 2 2

February 22, 2022

Welcome to this release containing two new palindrone pieces to celebrate palindrome day 22.02.2022.
Composed, mixed and produced by Rúnar Magnússon in Vienna and Copenhagen february 2022.

A sneak peek to upcoming releases

November 17, 2021

Good stuff happening on the release front. I have received the artwork for my coming LP – “Komplett Kollaps – a dedication to Jóhann Jóhannsson” A very fitting, beautiful artwork by Icelandic outsider artist Bjarni H. Þórarinson & graphic design by professor Goddur. Bjarni is an artist both Jóhann and myself have always loved. I have always wanted art by him (or a Vísirós as he calles them). So when I approced him with the idea that he would provide artwork for the release and explained what it was about, I was so happy that he wanted to do it. And I was blown away by the artwork he sent. When the release is out I will write more about Bjarni and his artwork and his Vísiakademia theories. Final packaging is being designed now. As the situation in vinyl production is in dire straits it will take a long time to get out on the streets, so expect late next year.

The image is a a small part of the artwork.

Also my coming CD, Sub-Photic Scenario is being mastered. This release is inspired by the bioluminescence of the creatures of the deep dark sea. And at the same time exploring my own period of dark depression, trying to find the light under crushing, paralysing pressure of depression.

Here are some comments from the mastering engineer:

“it is all movement in the very lower end, shaking …but it sounds awesome.”

“so rejoice, as I am NOT going to make it into something standard. Also know that it would kill ANY vinyl, so never attempt to put it out on vinyl”

“I see this as an exercise destined to good listening equipment”

“it could potentially give you a nice headache, but surprisingly I don’t seem to get tired after a few hours”

“Jesus man that second track”

“…Currents Collide. A seriously dangerous one to master if you ask anyone in their right mind!”

Both releases to be releases by EROTOTOX DECODINGS.

A third release, a cassette tape called Inside Out of Chaos will be out on Tapeworm.

I was working on all three releases in the same period, a very difficult, dark time for me. Where I was battling depression and dealing with loss of both a good friend and my father. I had labels willing to release these projects for a while but in my condition I could not finish them. Only after I got professional help and got diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year, there was a heavy cloud that lifted and I could see and understand a lot of things that I had been battling. And I could see that these 3 releases are related, they are describing my state of mind, moving in darkness searching for a some light to guide me out of this paralyzing state I was in. I am relieved that this triology is on it´s way out into the world, finally seeing the light of day after having been just as stuck in the dark as I had been.

Potent Lucid Daydreaming Portal With Profound Astral Attraction

May 6, 2021

3rd new release this week.

I am happy to present the 3rd release on my bandcamp page this week.

This release contains 3 longer works that are all very minimal and probably annoying for a lot of people. It needs active listening to get anything from this, or else it might just become annoying background noise. Be dedicated or be annoyed.

Please join my over at bandcamp for more releases.

Oh, Where have I been? A new digital album out.

May 1, 2021

One more release today. A new album on Bandcamp, on top of the single that got released today. Support your local sound peddler, use Bandcamp. Avoid using services such as Spotify that are not interested in supporting artists.

This is an album I was ready to release on a label a couple of years ago but i decided to shelf it. Not being sure about it at the time. I ended up working on a completely new album for the label (Erototox Decodings in the US) which hopefully will be released this year. After going back to this one, and doing some changes, I do think it´s ready to be released. And here goes.

A new (and first) digital release on Bandcamp

May 1, 2021

I am happy to announce my first release on the Bandcamp platform.

A digital EP containing 2 tracks that i have recently made to accompany video works by Austrian artist Josef Trattner.

Here is one of the videos by Josef Trattner. The work is called Monochrome 100.

Showing 100 beautiful paintings he made, painted with red wine from South Tyrol, North Italy. Different type of redwine for each painting. Each one has it’s own shade of red.