CAKEWALK: Wired (Hubro Music)


Posted on May 31st 2012 01:34 am

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Cakewalk: Wired

Hubro Music 2012
06 Tracks. 30mins43secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Wired may start in somewhat dreamy fashion, but this is only short lived; ten seconds in, drummer Ivar Loe Bjørnstad, soon joined by guitarist/bassist Stephan Meidell, sets a pretty effective metronomic pace, and it is developed over much of the next half hour, only breaking down occasionally with diffuse atmospheric moments. Although this debut album from Norwegian improv power trio is, at just thirty minutes, a rather swift affair, there is enough energy here to power an album double the length of this one. Together with keyboard player Øystein Skar, Meidell and Bjørnstad operate as a close knit formation, finding much of their inspiration in the motorik sound of Can, Cluster or Faust, upon which they apply a work ethic sourced in their respective jazz backgrounds.

Tight and incredibly dense, their sound also occasionally manages to take on a much more fluid and hazy appearance. Amongst the layers of pulsating bass, harsh electric guitars, shimmering electronics and feverish drums flourish wonderful little melodies which the trio nurture and manage carefully, building them up until they blast into highly concentrated clusters. The template is fairly consistent all the way through; Meidell and Bjørnstad create hypnotic rhythm sections over which Meidell later injects heavy doses of electricity, whist Skar brings in in turn burning or lush sweeping synth motifs. If this serves to drive the whole album, the order in which these appear and interact with each other is extremely fluid. Opening piece Glass kicks off with a sunny keyboard loop placed over rumbling guitars, but as the groove settles in, amidst a clatter of wood blocs, the electric guitar tears through synth washes until, three and a half minutes in, the drums suddenly pulls out, the bass drops and the whole thing appears on the verge of collapse. Cakewalk however refuse to leave it at that and drag it all on, switching the focus from percussions to keyboards, and then guitar. The opening sequence of Descent is caught between musique concrète and kosmische effusions until a guitar/pattern slowly emerges from the chaos and builds up the necessary momentum for the piece to take off, scared by screeching guitars and hectic grooves. The surprise though is when the trio suddenly appear to organise all this, in a fraction of a second, into a series of beautiful chords, and take the track in a totally different direction.

Soil is a brooding, sombre, piece of post industrial ambient rock which is rendered more eerie by Skar’s scattered electronics and moody keyboards and Bjørnstad’s threatening percussive assaults. Perpetual feels much lighter and playful in comparison, but its repetitive bass loop rapidly becomes numbing. At first, the guitar seems to wander without any goal, but in the latter part of the piece, it becomes much tighter and corrosive as Bjørnstad progressively pushes the groove into overdrive. An awkward piece of acid rhythm & blues splattered with burning synths and sharp guitars, the title track certainly more than justifies its name; this is Cakewalk at their most incendiary and dense. By contrast, Cakewalk aim for wide cinematic spaces and sweeping chords on closing track Kammer, revealing a side of their musical persona which only flintingly  manifested itself on Glass earlier.

Bold, ballsy and confident, Wired is quite an impressive debut for Cakewalk. The trio wear their influences on their sleeves, but it is how they channel them into something which is totally theirs which gives this record not only its incredible level of energy, but also its overall density and depth. If this first output is anything to go by, Cakewalk’s future promises to be extremely bright.


Hubro Music
Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Comments are closed.