I met Fredrik Nilsson, aka A.O.T in person once at Norbergfestival in 2015. I had a disposable camera with me, which he advised I use by taking snaps at random; holding at waist height, an extended arms length to the side or above - basically anything possible to avoid regular perspectives.
Reflecting on Nilsson’s music, it seems there are some parallels here. He has touched on a broad range of genres, from dub-techno to ambient, jungle, drum and bass and dubstep. He’s even remixed Evanescence. The common thread is Nilsson does his upmost to put the listener somewhere awkward and unconventional; the references are familiar, but the viewpoint is totally new.
His latest offering is ‘Alternativ Jul’, a cassette release on Rundgång Records. Here, the Malmö-based artist offers everything from the jaunty distortion funk of ‘Dans kring granen’ to 15 minute dub-forest epic, ‘Annandag djungel’. The former grunts and contorts with stop-motion style discord, each element overdriven to breaking point. In comparison the latter is a meditative, soul-searching affair, calling to mind the likes of T++ or Demdike Stare.
Sandwiched between these two offerings we are treated to two burnout percussive assaults. ‘Jungle Bells’ is a tarmac-shredding slab of dense atmospherics and pulverising low-end, while ‘Elaka Tomten’ darts from the starting blocks with powerhouse kicks and unsettling pinch resonances.
For a four-track cassette, its fair to say you get your money’s worth with ‘Alternativ Jul’. There is half an hour of music here, and as usual Nilsson’s approach to dance genres of all shapes and sizes offers ingenuity and oddball quirks at every turn. An exhilarating ride as ever.
Read our review of A.O.T’s Rundgång EP on SonuoS here.