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Klaus Schønning – Lydglimt

We are again helping our friends at Frederiksberg Records in spreading the music of another special album. This is the 40th anniversary, official reissue of Lydglimt, an otherworldly blend of ethereal ambient, new age with a droning, nigh-disco beat, originally private pressed and self-distributed by the artist himself in Denmark at the turn of 1980.

In contrast with the loud musical landscape of jazz, rock and punk which dominated Denmark in the late 70s,  Klaus Schønning took a different path: he chose to juxtapose the serenity of nature with the plodding thump of machinery. He bought his first electronic organ at the age of 13 and, guided by his heroes Ray Manzarek and Walter Carlos, became determined to make his own kind of music on electronic instruments. With the introduction of the first Roland synthesizer and a Teac 4-track recorder, Schønning set upon realizing his vision.

In the snowy winter of 1979, the wild-haired Schønning (seriously – look at that cover) biked around Copenhagen with a box of records to sell. The record, titled Lydglimt (‘Glimpses of Sound ́), was the 25-year old’s first album, and it was a private affair. He played every note himself, and he recorded in his home studio. The album was custom pressed. His vision unfolded in two suites that musically illustrated the variety of Denmark’s natural beauty..

One of the secrets to its peculiar sound is the lack of any drum machines. Lydglimt is awash with droning and danceable rhythms. He had a singular obsession, Schønning, so he devised a technique of using white noise and the keyboard itself as a percussion instrument. His aim was to humanize emerging technology, and make the most of his limited means.

40 years since its initial release, Lydglimt has lingered on as an obscure, to-be-classic, as it traces the path between the f folk and prog and classical composition and enlightenment that early electronic music pioneers gave attuned dreamers.