The windows are open, summer is here, and I sent a newsletter yesterday. The sun went down at 8:35 tonight, and this bit in Stephen King’s Joyland struck a nerve:

When you’re twenty-one, life is a roadmap. It’s only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect you’ve been looking at the map upside down, and not until you’re forty are you entirely sure. By the time you’re sixty, take it from me, you’re fucking lost.

Yeah, my map is upside down, inscrutable, and probably for a different planet. But I bought a whiteboard yesterday. Maybe this will help. I put a lot of faith in office products to solve my existential problems.

I’ve been reading too many dreary new literary novels lately, so I’ve retreated to Stephen King for a palette cleanser. It’s nice to be reminded that it’s possible to write outlandish, frightening, even bloody things while still liking people and having some faith in the human project.

Tonight I’m putting my faith in Civilistjävel!, which is Swedish for “Civilian Bastard.” That’s all anyone knows about this shadowy outfit, which releases hyper-limited vinyl without much of a digital trace. Some say these records are private tapes unearthed from the 1990s, and their press releases deploy heavyweight phrases like “lonesome, levitating kosmische themes” and “a dronal, dubwise, heavily psychoactive minimal techno realm.” 

Regardless of where these records fit in space and time, they’re a welcome throwback to techno’s ghost-in-the-machine ethos circa early 90s Basic Channel, Studio 1, and Plastikman. And I’m grateful to Sasha Frere-Jones‘s weekly dispatch for alerting me to a proper new Civilistjävel! release available via Bandcamp.

Low-slung and roomy, this is excellent music for the small hours, especially A2 and B1. Any recommendations for more mysterious music in a similar vein are much appreciated.

Civilistjävel! – A2

Järnnätter | Felt, 2022 | Bandcamp

Update: I just came across this interview with Civilistjävel!, posted a few days ago. It’s a nice piece, but I’m disappointed there’s one less mystery in the world.