There wasn’t a lot of information to be found about Sansit Ariso online, so they’ll have to remain like most Swedish psych bands from the 60s; exotic mysteries that excite the imagination of the foreign voyeur desperately seeking context for those tunes he’s now humming to himself at work. Brave Mysteries responded to this foreign voyeur’s excited inquiries about the band that Sansit Ariso exists in the same circle of strange folk groups as Baldruin, Kirschstein, and Brannten Schnure. Brave Mysteries has also developed a penchant for tracking down some of the most unusual high-quality contemporary folk artists out there in recent years. Sansit Ariso is no exception, bringing with this tape a relevant atmosphere to my current circumstances that enhance its listenability; namely, outside my window, it is raining still. It’s been raining for five days in a row outside my home here in Portland, Maine, and the songs on this lovely tape sound as if they were specifically crafted to be the soundtrack to the Northeastern rains that seem to never end.
Upon my first couple of listens, I had an experience with this tape that doesn’t happen often; something very confusing was going on in regards to questions of fidelity, and the recording process seems to differ significantly from track to track. Some of this tape strikes me as refined four-track experiments congealing into musty odors and viscous liquids at the edge of where the “song” begins. These wonderful group-chant choruses bolster certain tunes and stand out in the off-kilter Germanic folk, almost “beerhall” vibe at the end of the first side. Meanwhile, chorus vocals call out while dozens of feet shuffle in time on a wooden floor. There is an aspect of the interaction between male and female vocals that is calming while maintaining a subtle, almost hidden sense of violence, like a kitchen fire reflected on a dusty shelf.
There is a certain collage nature to the recordings that works well with their solemn nature; gentle looped snippets of classical music serve as intros to tracks on both sides as well as the occasional contrasting interlude. The muffled percussion’s interaction with psychedelic-sounding organ, accordion, violin, acoustic guitar, and background tape suggests a delicate meeting of aesthetic boundaries between the Shadow Ring, Waldteufel, and a lost reel-to-reel recording of a vintage Germanic-folk-influenced (not neofolk) pop album engineered by Conny Plank in a cabin somewhere in the alpine wilderness. These are stirring songs that rest in the comfort of long nights around a fire and singing songs into the recorder versus a meticulously planned-out studio recording. One of the finest audio documents that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in the past year.