In 2002, Swedish musicians and longtime friends Malin Dahlström, Lisen Rylander and Lisa Nordström began formulating the idea for Midaircondo, a potent blend of electronic and acoustic improvisation. The scene could have been straight from a holiday greeting card.
"We met at my house in the middle of winter," says Dahlström, "and it was quite funny because we were actually just planning to have some kind of knitting session and make big sweaters. We were in the kitchen and I was making some kind of cake, and we just started talking about all our different bands and what we wanted to do. It suddenly occurred to us that we should be doing music together."
While there's nothing sappy or sentimental about Midaircondo, it was still a fitting genesis for the band. Not because of antiquated gender associations between women and domestic duties, but because the intricate, delicate beauty of Shopping for Images, the trio's Type Records debut, could have only come from a group so close to and comfortable with one another. "I think we listen a lot to each other," offers Dahlström, "so if someone starts playing you have to immediately relate to that."
Performing with an array of electronic equipment and live instruments-including woodwinds, saxophones and a piano-the three musicians appear to exert a gravitational pull on each other as they play, creating ebbing and flowing currents of noise. Songs slowly coalesce, including the pastoral piano piece "Serenade," the exuberant "Perfect Spot" and the jumpy "Could You Please Stop," which rides an acoustic bassline and tense synthesizers. Recorded by prolific Swedish glitch electronic producer Andreas Tilliander, Shopping For Images is a testament to the band's stated goal of finding new and unexpected ways to create and present music.
It's also not limited to the aural realm. When performing, the group manually manipulates projected visuals live-one of the highlights of their performance this year at Barcelona's Sonar Festival. "You have five senses and you always use them," explains Dahlström. "So if you come to a place or venue you're always going to experience the room, whether you think about it or not. We want to utilize that."