Thursday, July 24, 2008

mnml ssgs mx08: Jasper TX

The latest ssgmx is an ambient collection of gorgeous drones, guitar tones and neo-classical swells courtesy of Swedish artist Dag Rosenqvist, better known to the listening public as Jasper TX.

Rosenqvist’s guitar-based explorations have drawn comparisons to Fennesz and Oren Ambarchi. But while these artists are most definitely touchstones for Rosenqvist, he has developed a style that is distinctly his own, both melancholic and uplifting, swinging between beautiful melodies and warm haunting drones.

A prolific artist who is showing no signs of slowing down, Rosenqvist has released five full-length albums since 2005, with his very latest ‘Black Sleep’ having just been released on the Miasmah label. (A label worth keeping an eye on, by the way.) He also produces more “traditional” indie-rock sounds with his band De La Mancha.

Rosenqvist kindly answered a few of our questions, talking about the mix, his music and the importance of hope.

1. How did you make this mix?

I made it using Pro Tools. Since there are little or no beats to this kind of music I just wanted to get the tracks flowing seamlessly into each other.

2. Why did you choose these particular tracks?

Well first off I wanted to include one of my own tracks, just as a small introduction to what kind of music I make. It might not be 100% representative of my overall sound but I think it’s a sweet little gem of a song. The rest of the tracks are basically divided into two different categories. Songs by artists that I have been inspired by, and songs from artists that might not be that well known. I realize of course that none of these artists are that well known, some of them are just slightly bigger fish in our little pond. I just felt I wanted to introduce you to some of the smaller fish too.

3. Are there any particular emotions or feelings you would like to express with this mix?

I wouldn’t say that there are any particular feelings I want to express. My intention with this mix is rather to shed some light on the kind of music I like. I think a lot of people out there think of this kind of music as kind of depressing and inaccessible. But to me that’s just not the case. To me this is really uplifting, warm, embracing music that makes me feel very good. I want the listener to have an open mind when listening to this music and really give it a chance.

4. Are there any particular emotions or feelings you would like to express with your music as Jasper TX?

Each song is an attempt to express emotions, feelings, dreams, hopes. A lot of my songs start out as snapshots in my mind. What I then do is try and transform these images into music. Always aiming at coming as close to that initial snapshot as possible.

5. I'm curious about the name Jasper TX. Does it have any special meaning?

In 1998 an African American man named James Byrd Jr. was killed in the city of Jasper TX. On June 7, 1998, Byrd, 49, accepted a ride from three men named Shawn Allen Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John William King. Instead of taking him home, they beat him up behind a convenience store, chained him by the ankles to their pickup truck, stripped him naked and dragged him for three miles. Although Lawrence Russell Brewer claimed that Byrd's throat had been slashed before he was dragged, forensic evidence suggests that Byrd had been attempting to keep his head up, and an autopsy suggested that Byrd was alive for much of the dragging and died after his right arm and head were severed when his body hit a culvert.

So I decided to take the name Jasper TX for my project, so that we never forget and to remind myself that the world can turn into a horrible place if we don’t try and change it. This is why I try to fill my music with hope. Because the last thing that abandons us is hope. Right?

6. Now that ‘Black Sleep’ has just been released, what are you working on at the moment?

I finished an album a while ago that is set for release early 2009 entitled ‘Singing Stones’. It’ll be released on the Swedish label Fang Bomb. I’m also currently working on a follow up to ‘Black Sleep’. I have two or three finished tracks for that one but as of now I have no idea when or where it will be released. All I know is that it’ll be dark and very, very good. Aside from these releases I have a 3” CD coming on the Norwegian label Fenetre Records this fall and I also have a song on a compilation and a split 7” on the Australian label Sound & Fury. Be sure to check by my Myspace frequently for more info and news.

1. Jasper TX – Better days to come (Lidar Productions)
2. Mountains – Sewn two (Apestaartje)
3. Anthony Burr & Skúli Sverrisson – Except in memory (The Workers Institute)
4. Machinefabriek – Somerset (Lampse)
5. Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Sun's Gone Dim And The Sky's Turned Black (4AD)
6. Cerberus Shoal – Omphalos (Temporary Residence)
7. Tsukimono – Gathering heavy breathing (Kalligrammofon)
8. Wouter van Veldhoven – First simple song (Eat This Media)
9. Eluvium – Everything to come (Temporary Residence)
10. Jacob Kirkegaard – Church (Touch)
11. Erik Enocksson – The lingering procession (Kning Disk)

A few technical notes about downloading the mix:

direct download here

Also, the podcast should (hopefully) be working again, so if you would like to subscribe to the ssg cast please do so here.

Jasper TX’s Myspace site

And, finally, a huge thanks to Dag for providing us with such a beautiful mix … and some hope.


  1. big thanks for to dag for this mix. inspiring stuff and special music.

    with the ssgcast, it should be working ok. if not, we might have to can it. but should be ok. for now.

  2. awesome mix, llove the ssgss

  3. beautiful mix, I was listening to the first track while watching a video of my little daughter ride her push bike and suddenly i was tearing.

    again beautiful music!

  4. Hi Ross and Sherman,

    Really glad to hear you liked the mix. It's gorgeous stuff. Sherman, glad to hear you had a proper "moment" with it (I did myself).

    The track at the 27-min mark comes in just after the Johann Johannsson track, so it would have to be:
    6. Cerberus Shoal – Omphalos (Temporary Residence)


  5. Great mix; got that Black Sheep album of Boomkat last week..



  6. great mix, anyone else have any more jasper tx to share or artists similar to him/that sort of sound??

  7. Hi Anonymous (@9:57pm),

    Have you checked out the first ssg mix, by Bvdub? Bvdub's productions are quite different to Jasper TX's, but the ssg mixes they did touch on similar territory.

    You'd probably also like Oren Ambarchi, Fennesz, and Tim Hecker (if you're not into them already).

    Also, definitely follow up on the artists in Jasper TX's playlist! Some great artists there.


  8. Also, I'm really glad to hear people love the mix. Thank you.


  9. Glad you all like the mix!
    It´s always nice to let people have a slice of some good music.

    As for similar music I agree with what Cam said. And use this mix to dig further.

    Again appreciate it!

  10. Big thanks to Dag and Cam for sharing this with us. I love the ride that the mix provides - great selection, Mr. TX. Good opening too, wish you threw in more of your tracks as well.

  11. I waited several listens to comment on this, so apologies for the late "review".

    Wow, this is some incredible stuff. It's the soundtrack to some sort of tech-noir film that I've never seen but desperately want to. It's amazing - uplifting and saddening all at the same time. This is definitely something I'll cherish for years to come and return to repeatedly (as I already have).

  12. I just featured this mix as one of my Ten Favorite Mixes this year... Along with another by mnml ssgs from Luke Hess! [Ten Favorite Mixes]

  13. Fantastic mix, really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of dag's own productions anyway so I guess I was onto a winner anyway! Look forward to the new Jasper TX album in feb.


  14. i bought about 10 - 15 songs because of this mix. these sets generate revenue for artists. need to find some way of redirecting some small amount to you to pay for podcast infrastructure, to boost listenership, and generate more revenue.

  15. Awesome mix!

    Jasper TX will play Cafe OTO, London, Friday 11th March. Wooo!


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