May 7th, 2013, New York, New York – The new album from Pontus Gunve has been officially released today. The album is entitled, “The Observer” and it was recorded under the project name of “PHWG.”
NYC-based guitarist, composer and technologist Pontus Gunve’s music embraces the theory that music is a multi-dimensional experience and an adventure in wordless storytelling that fully absorbs the audience. Flowing through time and space, the sonic textures he creates evoke the ethereal landscapes of other-worldly multi-media artists like Jean Michel Jarre and Boards of Canada while still clearly inspired by the thick, dark compositional textures of legendary heavy metal bands like Megadeth.
Gunve was first fully gripped by his passion for music when he saw Jean Michel Jarre’s Rendezvous Houston: A City in Concert on television as a child growing up in Sweden. Blown away by Jarre’s all-encompassing high-tech stage show and the endless layers of his album Oxygene, Gunve began to explore the capabilities of computers to create different sounds and textures. His fascination with rock music led him to electric guitar, which he began to study voraciously, simultaneously imagining ways to expand its boundaries. At the same time, he experimented with sequencing and learned how to build computer and synthesizer modules that could be used practically during performances and on recordings.
Early reviews for the album have been quite positive. Giving it an extremely high numeric rating, Larry Toering said at Mr. Music Chronicles “Pontus HW Gunve is yet another great progressive rock artist on the scene that is full of everything it takes to fit that category and then some, with complex arrangements that border on Space Rock factors combined with Indian themes in the music, which is all there is to it, being an instrumental band as such. The music pulsates a lot of these elements throughout The Observer, and it's yet another delight to simply rave about. These tracks all work together seamlessly, yet they carry enough differences to also enjoy separately, rather than together, as where progressive rock normally doesn't break up quite this well. That is one of the best things about this album, you really can enjoy it track by track without having to necessarily hear it all as one. The Indian drums really carry a percussive vibe that holds it altogether. But the string arrangements are what mostly dominate the recording...I was blown out of my seat at first listen, and that is just something that usually doesn't happen with me. A good thing indeed it is, though. I just love how the beauty of it all has a head on collision with the ears, leaving them enormously satisfied, and how that increases with every listen. The instrumentation backs the lead guitar work so well it almost seems as much in the forefront. There is just no describing the sheer quality on offer here. It's something one must hear for themselves to really dig into properly, so it comes highly recommended…
In a review to be published in the upcoming issue of Music Street Journal, Jason Hillenburg said of the disc, “There are few musicians in the mold of Pontus Gunve. Rarely content to rely on the traditional, but instead plundering it for his own uses, Gunve brings a European sensibility to dense, intensely musical instrumentals. His album, The Observer, ranks as one of the most challenging and, ultimately, rewarding releases of the year.”
Scott Kahn had this to say of the single “Cavalry of Camels” at MusicPlayers.com:
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