TONE ÅSE/THOMAS STRØNEN: Voxpheria (Gigafon)

themilkman on Mar 23rd 2012 01:15 am

Tone Åse/Thomas Strønen: Voxpheria

TONE ÅSE/THOMAS STRØNEN
Voxpheria
GIGA005
Gigafon 2012
09 Tracks.47mins40secs

 Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

The human voice is an instrument like no other; in turn fragile or powerful, soft of harsh, ethereal or banal, it is, more than any other, a highly versatile tool, and it is one that Norwegian sound artist Tone Åse is keen to experiment extensively with, not only by processing it with electronics, but also by exploring largely uncharted vocal territories. A regular member of quite a few formations, including Bol with Ståle Storløkken and Tor Haugenud, or all-female vocal ensemble Trondheim Voices, she teams up with drummer and percussionist Thomas Strønen the time of Voxpheria, a hugely ambitious and challenging records which brings together fascinating vocal acrobatics, exquisite electronics and intricate drumming.

At times Åse’s vocals are not without recalling the soft silky tones of Susanna Wallumrød (Koloust) or the rawer textures of Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ Mariam Wallentin (Numb Street Cabaret, Chson), yet at others, she is much more reminiscent of Sidsel Endresen, not only in the slightly smoky quality of her voice, but also in her approach to words and non-words, and in her use of extremely syncopated buccal sounds. Continue Reading »

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THE LIVING ROOM: Still Distant Still (Ilk Music)

themilkman on Jan 15th 2012 07:28 pm

The Living Room: Still Distant Still

THE LIVING ROOM
Still Distant Still
ILK182
Ilk Music 2011
08 Tracks. 45mins31secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

The meeting of three extremely talented and respected musicians in their own right, The Living Room is a breathtaking formation with a particularly developed taste for complex avant-gardist jazz. Formed of Danish saxophonist Torben Snekkestad, pianist Søren Kjærgaard, also from Denmark, and Norwegian drummer and percussionist Thomas Strønen, The Living Room have, for their debut, devised a series of intricate minimal improvised pieces where they explore the outer reaches of contemporary jazz.

Still Distant Still is not an easy record to ease oneself into. Right from the opening moments of Tremolo Hiving, the tone is set: sparse percussions over which a sax flutters hesitantly, never gathering any more than a few notes at any one time. Continue Reading »

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INTERVIEW: THOMAS STRØNEN The Importance Of Being Thomas Strønen

themilkman on Dec 4th 2011 08:48 pm

INTERVIEW: THOMAS STRØNEN: The Importance Of Being Thomas Strønen

Thomas Strønen is undoubtedly one of the most talented drummers of his generation. A member of Food, Humcrush, Meadow, Monsters & Puppets and many more, his very diverse, yet highly recognisable style puts him is at the heart of these projects. With new albums from Monsters & Puppets, Humcrush and The Living Room, Thomas takes some time off his incredibly busy schedule to talk to themilkfactory about how he started playing drums, his long-standing collaboration with Iain Ballamy as Food, his relationship with Maria Kannegaard and how it led to Monsters & Puppets, and what his next solo project may be. Continue Reading »

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HUMCRUSH with SIDSEL ENDRESEN: Ha! (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Oct 25th 2011 01:45 am

Humcrush with Sidsel Endresen: Ha!

HUMCRUSH with SIDSEL ENDRESEN
Ha!
RCD2114
Rune Grammofon 2011
09 Tracks. 41mins37secs

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

A singer with a totally unique and challenging vision who has developed improvisational techniques which invariably takes her way beyond language into territories where her voice becomes an extremely versatile and visceral instrument, Sidsel Endresen has worked extensively with Bugge Wesseltoft, recording three albums with him between 1998 and 2002, and has also collaborated with Nils Petter Molvær, Django Bates, Christian Wallumrød and Helge Sten, Jan Bang or Håkon Kornstad to name but a few. Here, she joins Humcrush, the duo formed of keyboard player Ståle Storløkken, who, although best known for his contribution to Veslefrekk and Supersilent, is also a driving force behind Elephant9 and Box, and drummer Thomas Strønen, who, beside his work alongside British saxophonist Iain Ballamy in Food, can be found performing as part of Meadow, the Maria Kannergaard Trio, the Mats Eilertsen Trio and recently Monsters And Puppets. Continue Reading »

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MONSTERS & PUPPETS: Monsters & Puppets (Gigafon)

themilkman on Sep 28th 2011 01:24 am

Monsters & Puppets: Monsters & Puppets

MONSTERS & PUPPETS
Monsters  & Puppets
GIGA003
Gigafon 2011
09 Tracks. 38mins23secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Norwegian jazz pianist Maria Kannegaard and drummer Thomas Strønen formed Monsters And Puppets after they were invited to perform at the Molde Jazz Festival together, yet while this is an entirely new project for them, the pair have worked together from some years as part the Maria Kannegaard Trio, with bass player Ole Morten Vågan, and have a number of albums under their belt. With their self-titled debut album, the pair go beyond the confines of jazz to incorporate elements of improv, noise and rock.

Far from the airy landscapes of the Kannegaard Trio or the delicate formations of Iain Ballamy’s Food, with whom Strønen has been involved for over twelve years, Monsters And Puppets is an often dark and complex affair which continuously shifts from relatively minimal set ups to much denser, and often harsher, moments. Continue Reading »

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FOOD: Quiet Inlet (ECM Records)

themilkman on Apr 20th 2010 11:55 pm

Food: Quiet Inlet

FOOD
Quiet Inlet
2734919
ECM Records 2010
07 Tracks. 46mins58secs

Amazon UK: CD iTunes: DLD

Formed around the nucleus of British saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Thomas Strønen, Food once also counted trumpet player Arve Henriksen and bass player Mats Eilertsen as permanent members. The quartet debuted over twelve years ago when Ballamy joined the three Norwegian musicians for a one-off performance on stage. A self-titled album, then a second, Organic & GM Food, two years on, followed, both published on Ballamy’s short-lived Feral Records, before the quartet moved to Rune Grammofon, where they released two more albums, Veggie (2002) and Last Supper (2004), before both Henriksen and Eilertsen left, leaving Ballamy and Strønen sole in charge for the 2006 album Molecular Gastronomy. Continue Reading »

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Food/Vladislav Delay/Eyebrow, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12/11/2009

themilkman on Nov 13th 2009 01:07 am

Food/Vladislav Delay/Eyebrow, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12/11/2009

Pete Judge and Paul Wigens form Eyebrow, a trumpet and drums duo which is found somewhere on the cool headed side of jazz. With pretty impressive CVs under their respective belts, each having performed alongside the likes of Super Furry Animal, Cousteau or Natasha Atlas, the pair were first to take the stage at the Union Chapel this rainy November evening. In the twenty minutes or so of their set, Eyebrow created a rather impressive series of jazz-infused tracks. Judge, on trumpet, assisted by a delay pedal borrowed from Vladislav Delay, and a few effects, provided the melodic structure, often in light floating strips, over Wigens rather delicate drumming. Continue Reading »

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