ILK164CD – “Sugarghost – Balls & Balloons”.

Pressrelease for publication April 2010.

Contact: Joakim FrŅystein – phone: +47 46780734 – email:



Katalognr:    ILK164CD

Artist:           Sugarghost

Title:             Balls & Balloons



Distribution:   VME


Distribution:   Orchard

Joakim FrŅystein, releases the CD “Sugarghost – Balls & Balloons” on Copenhagen label ILK, april 19th  2010.  This is a follow up to his first solo-album “Sugarghost – Sweet Secrets” which was nominated for Danish Music Awards in the categories “New Name of the Year” and “Best Crossover Jazz Release”, in 2006.

“Sugarghost – Balls & Balloons” is a dynamic and powerful mix of electronica, songwriting and instrumentals with a strong personal signature. Joakim FrŅystein continues his approach of “high-tech meets fearless intuition in the electronic sphere, where tones pulverize and sounds are remelted.”, a recipe which has led to performances in the USA as well as major Scandinavian  music festivals such as CPH-jazzfestival (DK) Nordberg Festival (SE) and Numusic (N).

The eight tracks on “Balls & Balloons”, his second solo-release, reveal an evolved symbiosis between ”wild seed electronics” and a variety of acoustic and electric instruments. Samples of lost and found sounds melt together with acoustic lap-steel, bass clarinet and drums, while improvised passages are warped into beats, ambient textures and backgrounds for catchy songs. Some of it has a hint of club to it, but with curling bass lines and elastic melodies. Other passages display fragments of country music and free jazz, as well as static minimal loops reminiscent of his friends from Berlin label Scape~, Jan Jelinek and Pole, a label that FrŅystein was in fact working with during the years with “August Engkilde presents EPO”.

Additional musicians on the record are Anders Banke on bass clarinet and flute & Emil de Waal on drums and electronics, who have both been part of the extended live act since 2006.

On “Balls & Balloons” FrŅystein uses voice, guitar. laptop, mandolin, electric bass, analog synth, percussion, beatprogramming, homemade instruments and samples. His favourite instruments and sounds are found in flea markets or other alternative places. In this way he almost feels like if it was the instruments destiny was to fall into his hands. Their unique and often unknown story become part of the story he is telling and this way creating a sum greater than itęs parts. Certain sounds are found in objects that were not even made with the purpose of generating sound. Discarded spring feathers, aluminum ash trays from his grandparents closed down gas station, bouncing balls on his guitar and fingers rubbing on balloons. The sonic properties of the objects were merely a “side effect” FrŅystein says, and continues: “All things have a frequency at which they resonate.  This is something that industries spend a lot of money to avoid. When I create music I want to encourage it, and push it to its limits. Although I try to go new ways, I usually find that most of it had already been done in the 60-ies ”

The lyrics in the vocal tracks are floating between abstractly poetic and romantically naive observations on life in general. FrŅystein insists on using his voice. He considers it the most personal tool of expression and communication. “The human ear is tuned to hearing human voices. When we hear a speaking or singing voice, it catches our attention immediately. I started out writing songs and it has been part of my musical life always, even though I have explored many different ways of composing music. I canęt help it, itęs like the hairs growing out of my ears and my nose. I can cut it with a pair of scissors or pull them out, but they just keep coming!”

The coverdesign by the danish designer is a unique and subtle arrangement made out of childrens drawings. As with the cover on “Sugarghost – Sweet Secrets”, the cover graphics is based on material from FrŅysteins personal-life, but in stead of an old chair inherited from his grandmother and via his parents, this cover has drawings made by his children. The cover not only communicates the playful experimentality put into a professional context which is inherent in the music, but also documents a certain moment in an ongoing development for both Joakim FrŅystein and his children.

Joakim FrŅystein was born 1977 in Oslo, Norway, and grew up being exposed to a vital and diverse music-scene ranging from pop/rock to avant-garde to Norwegian folk and electronic club music. In 1999 he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, to study at “Rhythmic Music Conservatory” where he got involved in a number of musical projects, some of them can be found in his discography. After nine years in DK he decided to move back to his hometown, after having contributed on a number of releases and tours in Europe and the U.S. In addition to his solo act Sugarghost, he has worked with a.o. Jogujo Circuit, August Engkilde presents EPO (Scape~), Sidiki Camara (Percussion pioneer from Mali, know from a.o. Bill Frisells Intercontinentals.) and Aida Nadeem (Iraqi singer who received BBCęs Award for worldmusic ę07 in the category Culture Crossing). He has performed in festivals and clubs sharing stage with names such as Jan Jelinek, Fennesz, Rumpistol, Tys Tys, Casio Tone For the Painfully Alone a.o.

FrŅystein is a member of recording collective ILK, in Copenhagen and has composed and performed music for poetry, theatre, performance-art, film and modern dance. In 2009 FrŅystein received the prestigous “Artist Grant  for Young Popular Music Composers” granted from Arts Council Norway.