CAKEWALK: Wired (Hubro Music)

themilkman on May 31st 2012 01:34 am

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. Continue Reading »

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ERLAND DAHLEN: Rolling Bomber (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Feb 8th 2012 01:42 am

Erland Dahlen: Rolling Bomber

Rolling Bomber
Hubro 2012
07 Tracks. 35mins44secs

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

Having worked with an impressive list of artists across a wide array of genres (from Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset or Nils Petter Molvær to Hanne Hukkelberg, Mike Patton or as part of rock band Madrugada), Norwegian drummer and percussionist Erland Dahlen steps out in the limelights with his first album as a solo artist. Released on the decidedly inspired Hubro Music, Rolling Bomber was recorded early last year in Oslo during three sessions with long term collaborators Jens Petter Nilsen and Hallvard Wennersberg Hagen, who both regularly officiate as Xploding Plastix, and was mastered by former Deathprod mastermind Helge Sten.

The album takes its name from Dahlen’s main instrument here, a vintage Slingerland Rolling Bomber drum kit dating back from World War II Continue Reading »

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1982: Pintura (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Jan 24th 2012 01:27 am

1982: Pintura

Hubro Music 2011
08 Tracks. 34mins32secs

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

If all three members of 1982 come from somewhat diverse backgrounds, their common interest in improvised music and, in the case of Nils Økland and Sigbjørn Apeland especially, taste for traditional Nordic folk music makes it a very intriguing formation. Together with drummer Øyvind Skarbø, Økland and Apeland have, with 1982, formed one of the most unconventional improv groups around. Using traditional Hardanger fiddle (Økland), harmonium and Wurlitzer (Apeland) and drums (Skarbø), 1982 work from openly folk-inspired basic structures, but they rapidly expand beyond these to create music which is truly unique and original.

Following a first album released under their three names and entitled 1982, published on NORCD almost four years ago, Pintura (the Spanish word for ‘Painting’, a name inspired by a visit that Skarbø made to the Foundation Miró in Barcelona), was entirely improvised and recorded over just one session at the end of 2010. Continue Reading »

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MATS EILERTSEN: SkyDive (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Oct 19th 2011 08:53 pm

Mats Eilertsen: SkyDive

Hubro Music 2011
09 Tracks. 53mins26secs

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

Like many of his contemporaries, Norwegian bassist Mats Eilertsen has learnt his craft playing alongside some of the best jazz musicians around, from Tord Gustavsen, Sonny Simmons or Jarle Vespestad to Thomas Strønen, Trygve Seim or HÃ¥kon Kornstad, and has been, and continues to be in most case, a member of various formations. He was notably one of the founding members of Food, the then quartet led by British saxophonist Iain Ballamy, with Thomas Strønen and Arve Henriksen, and still regularly contributes to the Tord Gustavsen Ensemble, The Source and Wolfert Brederode Quartet amongst others. Continue Reading »

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INTERVIEW: SPLASHGIRL Crossing The Boundaries

themilkman on Aug 29th 2011 06:58 pm

INTERVIEW: SPLASHGIRL Crossing The Boundaries

Norwegian trio Splashgirl may have started as a fairly conventional jazz formation, but as time went on, they have evolved into a much more fluid formation, incorporating elements of other genres in their increasingly improvised music. As they are releasing their third album, Pressure, following a refined performance in London in June, Jo Myhre and Andreas Løwe talk about their predominantly acoustic approach, pushing further into improvisation, experimenting with sound and how their various other projects all inform what they do as a trio. Continue Reading »

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SPLASHGIRL: Pressure (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Aug 11th 2011 01:26 am

Splashgirl: Pressure

Hubro Music 2011
07 Tracks. 49mins25secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD | LP

Formed in 2003 by three Oslo-based musicians, Andreas Stensland Løwe (piano, synths, electronics), Jo Berger Myhre (double bass) and Andreas Lømo Knudstrød (drums, percussions), Splashgirl released their first album, Doors. Keys. on AIM Records five years later. Two years ago, their second opus, Arbor, Norwegian imprint Hubro’s very first release, saw them moving away from the clearly defined jazz forms and purely acoustic instrumentation of their debut to accommodate for a wider range of genres to feed into their music. Continue Reading »

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KETIL BJØRNSTAD: Early Piano Music (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Jul 22nd 2011 01:38 am

Ketil Bjørnstad: Early Piano Music

Early Piano Music
Hubro Music 2011
27 Tracks. 113mins11secs

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

Born in the early 1950s in Oslo, Ketil Bjørnstad is a pianist, composer and author with an extensive body of work spanning over four decades. A classically trained musician, Bjørnstad is also a keen jazz enthusiast, and his work has often found a place somewhere between the two genres. He names influences from Bach, Ravel or Stravinsky to Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Norwegian folk music. In the mid-eighties, while he had been working on a series of grand scale projects, he composed twenty four Preludes, which were recorded and released on two albums, published in 1984 and 1985, and a third album, entitled Pianology, in 1987. With these records, Bjørnstad was seeking to return to more stripped down and minimal musical forms. Recorded at a key moment in his career, a few years before he began a long-standing and fruitful collaboration with ECM, these albums were produced by Bjørnstad, and have long been unavailable. Continue Reading »

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Splashgirl, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London, 8/06/2011

themilkman on Jun 10th 2011 01:10 am

Splashgirl Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London, 8/06/2011

Formed in 2003 by Andreas Løwe (piano, electronics), Jo Myhre (double bass, zither, electronics)  and Andreas Knudsrød (drums, percussions, electronics), Splashgirl released their first album, Door. Keys. five years on, and followed it with a second, Arbor two years later. The album was also the debut release of Norwegian imprint Hubro Music, a label which has since been going from strength to strength. With a new album due out in August, Splashgirl visited London’s Pizza Express Jazz Club, a venue hidden below street level with a stage shoehorned between tables and a bar, just big enough for a Steinway baby grand piano, a drum kit and a double bass.

In the short Q&A that preceded the set, Løwe explained that the music Splashgirl play is not jazz. Continue Reading »

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JÆ: Balls And Kittens, Draught And Strangling Rain (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Jan 27th 2011 01:13 am

Jæ: Balls And Kittens, Draught And Strangling Rain

Balls And Kittens, Draught And Strangling Rain
Hubro Music 2010
10 Tracks. 43mins25secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD Amazon US: CD | DLD

Somewhere between the über delicate introspective pop of Susanna Wallumrød and the wonderfully pastoral folk of Alela Diane is Dutch-born singer Jæ, who currently spends her time between Amsterdam and Oslo. Jessica ‘Jay’ Sligter studied music at the conservatories of her native town, Utrecht, and, later, Amsterdam, but it is in Oslo that she recruited the musicians who were to bring this album to life, by hanging around the Norwegian Academy of Music and progressively getting acquainted with members of the improv scene.

Jæ’s music is essentially folk-infused, but the rich arrangements and breadth of instruments used (Jæ herself plays guitar, melodica, piano, flute and recorder, to which are added, amongst others, percussions, strings, brass, mandolin, harmonium, musical saw, ukelele) give this record a much broader scope. Continue Reading »

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