Träd, Gräs och Stenar, as the press release tells us, “are the supreme Swedish leaders of TRANSCENDENTAL PSYCHEDELIC ROCK MUSIC.”
Believe the all caps hype, trust me on this one…
They sound like Can jamming with Neil Young covering a late period Velvet Underground song and occupy a sonic spot on the Venn diagram where the Grateful Dead’s “Dark Star” meets Ornette Coleman, the Jesus & Mary Chain and Acid Mothers Temple with an ounce of good weed and a sheet of blotter acid.
Do I have your attention? I thought so.
Träd, Gräs och Stenar (“Trees, Grass and Stones”) were a sort of hippie/communal organic vegetables-growing Swedish manifestation of the spirit of May 1968, a “New Left” inspired group with an anarchist and “free socialism” philosophy who released their own DIY records long before such a thing was common. In the early 1970s, they travelled around, playing free festivals and parties. They fed their audiences food that they had grown and cooked themselves. They would play in fields, or anywhere. Their music was improvisational. They’d begin tuning and slowly, ever so slowly, a powerful, bone-crushingly heavy-Krautrock-psych-folk-blues riff would emerge from the chaos.
These guys were fucking heavy. Imagine driving out into the Swedish countryside (in 1971) with the car windows open and off in the distance, but getting closer and closer, you hear this:
I’m sure that Julian Cope must be well aware of Träd, Gräs och Stenar, but if he’s not, he needs to get his hands on this stuff, stat. Lucky for the Arch Drude—and everyone who loves this kind of thing—April 8 will see the release of the 6 LP, 3 CD box set Djungelns Lag + Mors Mors + Kom Tillsammans from the wonderful people at Anthology Recordings. The release was put together with the participation of Jakob Sjöholm, the youngest member of the original band. The label liberated several hours of unreleased live recordings from the time from Jakob’s attic which comprises the third 2xLP in the box—and only available with the box—Kom Tillsammans (“Come Together”).
Träd, Gräs och Stenar is contemplative, cosmic, ferocious, joyful, bludgeoning and above all free. If you’re seeking a new form of sonic enlightenment, start here.
Anthology Recordings is graciously allowing DM to premiere this short video about the group, the core which was Bo Anders, Jakob Sjöholm, and the late Thomas Mera Gartz, and Torbjörn Abelli.
This film was made over a weekend in January of 2015, in Svartsjö (Black Lake), about half an hour’s drive east from the center of Stockholm, but may as well be hours as well as decades away. Jakob and his family has lived on this 18th century farm estate since the mid-1980s. Bo Anders came down from up north for the occasion. The film was shot and edited by Jakob’s son, Isak Sjöholm.
After the jump, some vintage footage of Träd, Gräs och Stenar…