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SUPERSILENT: 8 (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Nov 29th 2007 01:30 am

Supersilent: 8

SUPERSILENT
8
RCD2067
Rune Grammofon 2007
08 Tracks. 68mins17secs

Norwegian entity Supersilent have become master at confusion. With albums and tracks carrying chronological numbers as sole mean of identification, it should be quite easy to keep up with the band’s progress, yet 8 is only their fifth album in the traditional sense, their fifth if 7, which, despite featuring all new material, was only released as a DVD, is to be counted. They have, over the years, unashamedly treaded the boundaries of jazz and avant-garde and thrived on the energy they have drawn from both, without ever committing to any. The only constant in their work, apart from personnel head count and the aforementioned numerical cataloguing, is the way each of their record has been built from lengthy improv sessions, with no overdubs, and usually recorded in a handful of days. Continue Reading »

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SUSANNA: Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Aug 9th 2007 01:28 pm

Susanna: Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos

SUSANNA
Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos
RCD2066
Rune Grammofon 2007
12 Tracks. 48mins10secs

Three years ago, Susanna Wallumrrød, sister of jazz pianist Christian Wallumrrød, and In The Country pianist Morten Qvenild teamed up on the superb Maps Of Lights And Buoys, their debut album as Susanna And The Magical Orchestra. Their impeccably restrained and pure pop, with Wallumrrød’s crystalline voice set against a stark backdrop of soft electric piano. Two years on, the pair returned with Melody Mountain, an entire album of covers on which they applied their highly sensitive atmospheres to songs by artists as diverse as AC/DC, Prince, Depeche Mode and Scott Walker.

Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos is Susanna’s solo debut. If the mood doesn’t immediately seem to depart or differ greatly from previous recordings, the soundscapes applied behind the voice are discreetly more elaborate and ornate. Continue Reading »

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ULTRALYD – Conditions For A Piece Of Music (Rune Grammofon)

Max Schaefer on Aug 1st 2007 09:56 pm

Conditions For A Piece Of Music

ULTRALYD
Conditions For A Piece Of Music
RCD2065
Rune Grammofon 2007
12 Tracks. 54mins20secs

The third full-length effort from Norway’s Ultralyd rings true as an allergic reaction to the present-day obligation to see, to the impossibility of not seeing. To the extent that the quartet compresses their frenetic energy – displayed with some extravagance on previous efforts – producing tightly wound compositions that exploit extremes of pitch and dynamics, they cling to a certain disheveled denial of words, and a conscientious objection to the transparent object. Album opener Saprochord seeks to demobilize itself, the players nailing themselves down to sharp-honed, muted tone and harmonic contour and a bubbling rhythm section. Continue Reading »

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OPSVIK & JENNINGS: Commuter Anthems (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jun 12th 2007 01:02 am

Opsvik & Jennings: Commuter Anthems

OPSVIK & JENNINGS
Commuter Anthems
RCD2062
Rune Grammofon 2007
10 Tracks. 46mins36secs

Opsvik & Jennings first appeared as an entity two years ago with their debut album, the superb Fløyel Files, released on NCM East. While Norwegian-born bass player Eivind Jennings had already two albums under his belt, Overseas and Overseas II, published in 2003 and 2005 respectively on Fresh Sounds Records, and had contributed to a considerable number of albums and formations, guitarist Aaron Jennings, hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a relative new comer. The pair met in New York where they both relocated in the late nineties. Continue Reading »

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ALOG: Amateur (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on May 24th 2007 01:02 am

Alog: Amateur

ALOG
Amateur
RCD2069
Rune Grammofon 2007
12 Tracks. 59mins34secs

Thanks to tirelessly inquisitive minds and an unquenchable thirst for sound processessing, Norwegian duo Alog have, in just three albums, stretched their musical universe beyond recognition. In their hands, nothing ever sounds totally ordinary, and as their approach as become more experimental with each release, moving from largely electronic structures to much more delicate soundscapes built around acoustic instrumentations and found sounds, they have developed a truly unique semantic and continue to refine it. Alog deal with sound on a large scale, taking as much consideration perfecting elements of their tracks which are not directly within audible range as they do crafting overhead components, resulting in extremely detailed and complex pieces more fitting to avant-garde than to traditional electronic music. Continue Reading »

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ARVE HENRIKSEN: Strjon (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Mar 16th 2007 04:40 pm

Arve Henriksen: Strjon

ARVE HENRIKSEN
Strjon
RCD2061
Rune Grammofon 2007
12 Tracks. 47mins08secs

With fingers in more pies than humanely imaginable, it is a wonder how Norwegian trumpeter extraordinaire Arve Henriksen actually finds the time to work on his own music. An active member of formations as diverse as avant-garde improv super group Supersilent, Iain Bellamy’s Food, Audun Kleive’s Generator X and the Christian Wallumrød and Trygue Seim Ensembles to name but a few, Henriksen is one of the most adaptable and gifted musicians of his generation. His first solo album, Sakuteiki, released on Rune Grammofon at the end of 2001, introduced his sparse and beautiful soundscapes, while its follow up, Chiaroscuro (2004) vastly extended his sonic range. Continue Reading »

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HUNTSVILLE: For The Middle Class (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Dec 14th 2006 07:17 pm

Huntsville: For The Middle Class

HUNTSVILLE
For The Middle Class
RCD2058
Rune Grammofon 2006
04 Tracks. 50mins09secs

Experimental country music, now that’s a concept that Norwegian trio Huntsville seem eager to stick their milk teeth into. Not that it represents the bulk of their debut album mind, but the band mention country music as being one of their many influences, and it certainly finds its way into Huntsville’s largely improvised compositions.

Formed by guitarist Ivar Grydeland, multi-instrumentist Tonny Kluften and percussionist Ingar Zach, who have been working together in a variety of outfits since 1998, including improv expanding ensemble No Spaghetti Edition, which they founded, and smaller formation HISS, Huntsville represents a shift from the demanding outputs of previous incarnations to much more refined and hypnotic playgrounds. Continue Reading »

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PHONOPHANI: Phonophani (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Oct 30th 2006 12:46 pm

Phonophani: Phonophani

PHONOPHANI
Phonophani
RCD2054
Rune Grammofon 2006
13 Tracks. 75mins28secs

Phonophani’s Espen Sommer Eide began his solo quest with this self-titled opus back in 1998. The album originally received a very confidential airing on Geir Jenssen’s Biophon imprint in 1998, and has just been re-released by the ever-excellent Rune Grammofon with an additional three tracks. Eide has since released two further albums, Genetic Engineering (2001) and Oak Or Rock (2004), and has teamed up with Dag-Are Haugan to form Alog, with whom he has released three albums and a handful of EPs which were recently collected on the excellent Catch That Totem! Continue Reading »

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SVALASTOG: Woodwork (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Sep 12th 2006 09:33 pm

Svalastog: Woodwork

SVALASTOG
Woodwork
RCD2056
Rune Grammofon 2006
10 Tracks. 45mins25secs

Svalastog’s take on folk music is nothing short of interesting. Using traditional Norwegian acoustic instruments as a basis for his work, Per Henrik Svalastog then processes them to create a series of delicate hypnotic pieces with impressive evocative power.

Originating from Tromsø, Norway, home of Biosphere, Röyksopp, Alog, Mental Overdrive and many more fine electronic artists, Svalastog is perhaps best known for being one half of electronic duo Information, with who he has released three albums to date, the last one, Biomekano, published on Rune Grammofon four years ago, but he has also contributed a number of 12” and remixes under a variety of monikers, and released his debut solo album, Silencer, last year on Beat Service. Now returning to Rune Grammofon with his sophomore effort, Woodwork, he continues to explore the sonic imprints of various traditional instruments. Continue Reading »

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SUSANNA AND THE MAGICAL ORCHESTRA: Melody Mountain (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Aug 29th 2006 01:06 pm

Susanna & The Magical Orchestra: Melody Mountain

SUSANNA AND THE MAGICAL ORCHESTRA
Melody Mountain
RCD2057
Rune Grammofon 2006
10 Tracks. 42mins35secs

Two years on from their wonderful debut, List Of Lights And Buoys, Susanna Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild return with this sophomore effort, once again produced by Deathprod. While their debut featured mostly tracks written by themselves, with the exception of the two opening tracks, Leonard Bernstein’s Who Am I and Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Melody Mountain sees the pair applying their delicately textured sound onto a variety of classic songs taken from the repertoires or artists as far apart as Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, Prince, AC/DC, Scott Walker or Fairport Convention to name but a few. Continue Reading »

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HUMCRUSH: Hornswoggle (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Aug 17th 2006 07:23 pm

Humcrush: Hornswoggle

HUMCRUSH
Hornswoggle
RCD2055
Rune Grammofon 2006
08 Tracks. 42mins45secs

When they recorded their debut album together, one time Food drummer Thomas Strønen and Supersilent keyboard player Stâle Storløkken still operated under their own name, but by the time the album came out, they had adopted its title, Humcrush, as their nom de guerre. This, at the time, caused some confusion to who was what, yet, the album was leaving no doubt to the two men’s chosen direction. Humcrush (the album) confronted Strønen’s and Storløkken’s parallel sonic worlds in very playful fashion as the pair developed a series of improvised pieces. While the music challenged the mind, it proved impossible to resist the sheer energy and joy that exulted from this debut collaboration. Continue Reading »

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