For me, Älgarnas Trädgård is the reason I collect music. It's so transcendent. It takes me places in my mind that I didn't know existed. I've never been a drug user (just beer and wine for me thanks), but I would imagine the experience must be similar. This album could have been released in 2972. There's absolutely nothing like it in the world. As psychedelic an album as has ever been made. No sonic overload of fuzz like today's bands. But something way more surreal. Another world, another culture. As the album cover indicates. Sometimes I think those "Ancient Aliens" guys (History Channel) might have a point. Here's the soundtrack that they left behind.
Paul Major's review from 1988 (Sound Effects catalog) is too good to not share. Check this out: "Intense otherwordly acidtrip classic! Where you wanted 'Saucerful of Secrets' to take you... ...Primordial rhythms creep out overlaid with trance dual fuzz guitars, chants, atmospheres, barking dogs, and eerie voices - in one weird cover of old men sitting in another world! ... Holding this in your hand is like touching a lost fragment of some ancient pre-human civilization!"
LP: 1972 Silence
LP: 2015 Subliminal Sounds (2LP set that includes one LP of entirely unreleased material)
CD: 2011 Belle Antique (Japan)
I first heard of this album in the mid 1980s, when I first started collecting underground 70s music and gathering mail order catalogs. The description alone had me salivating. It would be around 1988 or so, when I finally secured a copy. The original label, Silence Records of Sweden, was still quite active in the late 80's (and believe it or not they're still around!). They had actually repressed Älgarnas Trädgård's album in the early 80s. The way to tell is the label is bright yellow (rather than pale), and it does not come with the original insert. Discogs says it came out in 1989, but I know that's wrong since I bought it in 1988. Over time, I secured the 1972 original. Or so I thought. The guy I bought it from just sent me the original insert with the album. No cover! But he swore that's how it was originally released. I never believed him. I gave that version to my friend Jeff and he still has it for reference. Eventually I found the real original with the cover and original inner sleeve. Of course I bought the CD in 1995 the day it came out, and the 2 bonus tracks proved to be wonderful additions. Later I picked up the Japanese version that has an additional bonus track. As most of you know, the Japanese mini-LPs are quite reliable on the small details of what the original looked like (except the label oddly enough, which they entirely avoid - never quite understood that). I had to know what the original looked like! Was it truly the brown inner sleeve or did it have the amazing cover? Sure enough, it's what I suspected: Cover with inner sleeve. Now I know. And with a cover like that - a Japanese mini-LP is a must for collectors. The 3rd bonus track, while nice, is not enough to make a difference. So if you already own the Silence CD, and don't care about the collecting aspect, just hold onto it. I decided to move out the Silence CD myself, as there wasn't much reason to hold onto it.
There's been a recent LP reissue (2015 Subliminal Sounds) that features a full LP of unreleased material. And it's great! I will feature that title separately for another day (and that day has arrived!)
Last update: August 5, 2017