gullbuy music review

Sophie Rimheden






Sophie Rimheden CD coverSophie Rimheden is one of the more striking Swedish artists to come around in recent years. She started in the late 90s with a band called Hayce and has since released two albums, including Hi-Fi on the Mitek label in 2003 (which was followed up by an entire remix cd called H2-Fi - Hi-Fi Remixes). She fits right in with other Swedish artists like Håkan Lidbo and Mikael Stavöstrand (who are both given the chance to remix her work on the remix disc).

Sophie Rimheden is interesting because she uses her voice like an instrument, often putting it through a vocoder and manipulating it beyond recognition. Hi-Fi is an album of ultimate female manipulation. Hi-Fi is a failed but fascinating experiment in this regard since the vocoder is often looked down upon as the effect of choice for the likes of Cher, but I contend that there is a failed masterpiece hidden in the busy grooves and freaked on vocals of Hi-Fi.

Sophie Rimheden treats her voice how Miles Davis treated his trumpet during his electric period by transforming it beyond the normal use of voice to where it becomes like another instrument. Once you get past the pyrotechnics of Sophie Rimheden's voice, you can see that Hi-Fi is full of nuances that make for rewarding listens.

  • Sometimes the groove is laidback and ambient like on the cd opening Lovin´ where she lets her voice fly into the ether while glitch rhythms bounce and prod underneath.
  • In Your Mind on the other hand is the alternate beast of 80s beats past, sounding like a Bananarama song on acid.
  • Flow has a seething underpin of a rhythm while the sweet backing squeels peel off behind the layered vocals.
  • Sunlight has a strummed guitar and boxed rhythm which give her vocals the bed to rise through the ether.
  • Touch has the most electro-like feel to it.
  • Panic combines that 80s vibe again with some buried, swathed vocals.
  • Strange has one of the more basic pulsing backings while her voice mutates over top - it's the track that seems the most like it could've been a hit somewhere.
  • You is more industrial glitch in sound.
  • If you're sick of Sophie's style, Batman is an instrumental which rounds out the album with a driving beat and glitchy bass.

---Patrick, June 21, 2005