Monday, 8 October 2012

CINNAMON - SUMMER MEDITATION (1995)

Does it make you feel this way?
How does it feel?
You try not to act, not to interfere

Those days you wish to count
Midsummer dream is close
I want to be where the poet grows on the trees

Everyday, everynight
Trojan heroes
Let the city fall

Those days you wish to count
Midsummer dream is close
I want to be where the poet grows on the trees

Everyday, everynight
Trojan heroes
Let the city fall

Everyday, everynight
Trojan heroes
Let the city fall


[from the lyrics of "Me As Helen of Troy" by Cinnamon]



The Swedish group Cinnamon was formed in Stockholm by Jiri Adamik-Novak and Frida Diesen sometimes during 1993, as one of the many local Indie Dance / Twee Pop bands in the wake of The Cardigans and Saint Etienne.

Guitarist Jiri Adamik-Novak (...now a successful designer...) was born and raised in Prague and lived in Sierra Leone for a while. He and Frida met for the first time in 1992 when she joined Jiri's band of that time (Love on Ice, named after a song by Momus).

In 1993, after having dissolved the band, they started co-writing and recording songs that eventually found their way to Lars Tengroth, Soap Records' A&R man, who simply loved what he heard and signed the band.

The duo became a trio in the spring of 1994 when guitarist Björn Öqvist became a permanent member of the group. At this time Magnus Karnock (bass) and Krister Svensson (drums) also participated in the project as added members.

Öqvist, Karnock and Svensson left in 1995 after the release of the debut album "Summer Meditation" - the subject of this post - to form their own band named Planet of the Poodles (...and later Wan Light, without Björn Öqvist).

Since then, Cinnamon has been centered around Jiri (...guitars, keyboards, programming and other instruments...) and Frida (...vocals, keyboards and extra bits...) who were helped in the studio by various guest musicians, most notably Per Linden on further guitars and keyboards, Samuel Laxberg on bass and Christian Ekwall on drums.


"Summer Meditation" booklet, page 2


"Summer Meditation" booklet, page 3

Following the release of "Summer Meditation" in 1995, Cinnamon released two other albums, namely "A Northwest Passage" in 1996 and "Vertigo" in late 1999 (early 2000 in the U.S.), a few EPs and singles, including the debut "Vox EP" that we already discussed here, and "The Many Moods of Cinnamon" in 1999.

"The Courier" was also published in 1997 by Island Records, it was a collection of songs mainly culled from their two previous full-lenght CDs aimed at a worldwide market. During this year the band toured Europe and the U.S. to promote the album and was exposed to a wider audience.

Before ceasing their activities in 2000 - for reasons that I wasn't able to discover - Cinnamon recorded "Vertigo", an album whose perfect and rare beauty leaves the bitter taste of farewell. This work was co-produced by Bernard Burgalat, with string and horns arrangements by Louis Philippe: how couldn't it be a masterpiece?


"Summer Meditation" booklet, page 4


"Summer Meditation" booklet, page 5

During summer of 1994 Cinnamon moved to Longville-sur-Mer, France, just in front of the Atlantic Sea, to gather ideas and write songs for their debut album. That summer was one of the hottest in decades, but the rain helped the band to control the situation and they returned home with a bunch of cool songs.

The "Vox EP" was released in March 1995 and "Backwards", possibly the most appealing number, soon turned into a minor radio hit in Sweden.

"Summer Meditation" was published in Sweden a few months later, aptly during... summer. The album received a fair amount of critical acclaim and was also released in Europe and Japan.


"Summer Meditation" booklet, page 6


"Summer Meditation" booklet, page 7

As the band explain in the following short feature/interview, ex Wire member Graham Lewis was essential in the production of the album. This text was translated in English from the Swedish version published on issue #12 of Pop magazine; the original version is available here.


On the French coast just north of La Rochelle is the small town of Longville. Last year pop-trio Cinnamon spent a few weeks here writing new songs.

- It was pretty rainy, says keyboardist Jiri Adamik-Novak. We could not do much other than sit indoors and compose.

- Longville is a very quiet place, says guitarist Björn Öqvist. Where nothing happens.

After a few cloudy but creative weeks songwriter Jiri, Björn and singer Frida Diesen went back home to Stockholm. There, they recorded their debut album in Frida's home-studio on Kungsholmen. A delicate collection of songs that breathe Cocteau Twins and The Sundays.

- We did not need to rush. It was nice, says Frida.

- And the hot summer in Stockholm was a snap. Everything worked, says Jiri.

In the studio, it was not as good. The record company hired several Swedish producers who did not understand what Cinnamon wanted to achieve.

- They cut the trees into a studio musician, says Jiri. A large part of our sound is based on what is recorded in Frida's house. Crackling from the neighbors and the entire place.

The solution was Graham Lewis - a former member of the British post-punk group Wire - which took over production. He was able to understand the delicate contours that the band desired.

- And he knows Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, adds Jiri.

The first single "Backwards" sounds like Saint Etienne's "Mario's Cafe" has moved to Kungsholmen. It is pop music as easy as cigarette smoke hovering over a cup of Earl Grey. This fall the band released a brittle debut album.

- Our music is quite vulnerable and melancholy, says Jiri.

- We hope that it could appeal to anyone, says Frida.



"Summer Meditation" inlay card, front


"Summer Meditation" was released by Soap Records / MNW, the original Swedish version features the following songs:

01. Vox Revisited (0:05)
02. I Wanted It, But Now I'm Not So Sure Anymore (3:59)
03. Backwards (5:15)
04. London Town (3:22)
05. Seaweed (5:18)
06. Me As Helen of Troy (3:20)
07. Moments (4:05)
08. Secret Lover (3:46)
09. Promenade (4:28)
10. I Can't Recall (3:06)
11. Hopeless Case (2:50)
12. Take Me (Out Tonight) (4:30)

All tracks are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files.

Before you burn this album on CD-R using the provided CUE file you will need to convert the original files to WAV format using an appropriate software. Here's an option for FLAC to WAV conversion and one for MP3 to WAV conversion.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.




Here's the credits and personnel list of "Summer Meditation" as they appear on the booklet:

Cinnamon are: Frida Diesen, Björn Öqvist, J.A. Novak with Magnus Karnock on bass and Krister Svensson on drums.

All songs written by Cinnamon, published by MNW Music.
All instruments played by Cinnamon except where indicated.

Produced by Cinnamon. Tracks 03-06, 08-10 and 12 were co-produced by Graham Lewis.

Recorded at home. Additional recordings made at MNW Studios by Curt-Ake Stefan, MVG Studios by Carl-Michael Herrlöfsson and Quest Studios by Thomas Hedquist.

Mixed at Quest Studios by Graham Lewis and Thomas Hedquist (tracks 03-06, 08-10 and 12), at MNW Studio by Cinnamon and Thomas Pettersson (tracks 02 and 07) and at home (track 01).

Track 11 was recorded and mixed at Decibel Studios by Adam Kviman.

Lars Jonasson: bass on tracks 07 and 09.
Mats Persson: drums on track 12.
Tobias Carlsson: bass on track 12.

Additional programming on tracks 03, 05, 06, 09 and 12 by Graham Lewis.

Sample on "Seaweed" taken from Dead Can Dance "As the Bell Rings, the May Pole Spins", courtesy of Beggars Banquet Music / Momentum Music Ltd.

Design by Lars Sundh at Dynamo.
Cover photo and Cinnamon photo by Irmelie Krekin.
Additional photos by Frida Diesen.


"Summer Meditation", Japanese Edition obi strip

The Japanese edition of "Summer Meditation" also includes four additional tracks: "The Man On Your Street", "Take My Love", "Backwards (Acoustic)" and "The Playwright". These tracks are taken from Cinnamon's debut release entitled "Vox EP".

This edition also include an extra booklet with lyrics (both in Japanese and English), a sort of mini-zine entitled "Info Rock News - October 1995" - which comes in the form of another simple booklet - and the usual obi strip.


Cover of the "Info Rock News" mini-zine included in the Japanese Edition of "Summer Meditation"


Advertisement about "Summer Meditation" included on the "Info Rock News" mini-zine

Another edition of "Summer Meditation" was released somewhere in Europe during 1996, this has a completely different running order and tracklisting: "Vox Revisited" is omitted and three tracks from the "Vox EP" are added: "The Man On Your Street", "Take My Love" and "Backwards (Acoustic)".

This CD also features a cover in a similar style but with a different picture; inner pictures on the booklet are also different. I will hopefully be able to include scans here at a later date.

The following live versions of "Me As Helen of Troy" and "Take My Love" played by the original trio of Jiri Adamik-Novak, Frida Diesen and Björn Öqvist  were recorded live at a showcase in Yokohama, Japan, in november 1995 and are available courtesy of YouTube.





A videoclip of "Me As Helen of Troy" is available here, audio quality is awful, but it is another rare occasion to watch the band.


A few more information about Cinnamon is available here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon_%28Swedish_band%29

https://www.discogs.com/artist/31835-Cinnamon

https://www.youtube.com/user/fridaryden/videos

http://www.jiriadamiknovak.com/

https://popviminns.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/cinnamon/

https://popviminns.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/album-cinnamon-summer-meditation/

http://www.pauseandplay.com/cinnamon-an-e-mail-qa/

http://www.salon.com/2000/04/12/cinnamon/

http://www.allmusic.com/album/vertigo-mw0000699174


If you have any other useful information about Cinnamon and "Summer Meditation" - especially corrections/improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

9 comments:

  1. nice blog. thanks for the link to summer meditation

    ReplyDelete
  2. FLAC: http://dfiles.eu/files/dgnrjmmpd

    MP3: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?d41it9d45s3hps3

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks! you wouldn't happen to have Vertigo would you??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Sorry, "Vertigo" is not going to be posted on the blog, but you can email me and I'll be glad to help you.

      Delete
  4. Many thanks for this album.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh! Once I had a disc of "Summer Meditation" -- bought it for 2$ blindly, coz I liked sleeve design. And liked this disc so much... Lost it ... Couldn't find nowhere this small forgotten jewel and found it again on your site! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, hopefully I will compile another Cinnamon post soon!

      Delete
  6. a northwest passage album please :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you may want to contact me in private about that: stereocandies@hotmail.com

      Delete

Be nice, keep it clean, stay on topic, no spam, thank you!!!

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