Category: Norway

Kanaan – Diversions Vol. 1: Softly Through Sunshine (2022)

“Minimalism, contemporary psychedelia and ecstatic acid jams is what constitutes the musical landscape which Kanaan and Håvard are voyaging through. Ersland contributes with otherworldly synthesizers, acoustic piano and his signature cranked Hammond organ. Diversions Vol. 1: Softly Through Sunshine documents spontaneity and fertile creativity in a meeting between an open minded, cutting edge and explosive rock band and one of Norway’s most interesting keyboard players.”

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Action & Tension & Space – Tellus (2022)

“The band describe themselves as a spaced out, instrumental loungerock outfit, with added vibes of folk music, jazzy surf, psychedelia, free improvised chill-out, jangly post-rock and travelling bass. Not much for us to add here, apart from possibly a pinch of krautrock. “Tellus” is the quartet’s fourth album, and their debut on Rune Grammofon… With “Tellus” ATS heads into the Hardangervidda (the big plains connecting the eastern and western parts of southern Norway) terrain of wide open spaces, spare vegetation and unruly weather conditions, especially during the winter. The album was recorded in a small studio in Haugesund during two days of heavy rain showers and stormy winds rumbling outside the windows.”

Kanaan – Earthbound (2021)

“Emerging from an ocean of fuzz like a Kyuss that went to jazz school, instrumental power trio Kanaan are ready with their fourth studio album in as many years… Where Kanaan’s former albums have been jazzy and psychedelic explorations, with forays into kraut and free improvisation, the new album Earthbound comes at you, heavier than a ton of bricks. However, even though they wear their stoner rock influences on their sleeve, the music is not a departure from their earlier projects, more of a continuation. Inspired by bands such as Colour Haze, Hawkwind, Elder, Motorpsycho and Acid Mothers Temple, Earthbound serves up plenty of surprising twists and turns, beautiful and mellow passages and masterful musicianship. Although never flashy, the whole album is a showcase of the three wildly talented musicians as they plow their way through enormous riffs and thunderous grooves.”

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Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Smells Funny (2018)

“When a power trio can share the stage comfortably with the likes of John McLaughlin and Black Sabbath, you know two things: They rock hard, yet provide enough harmonic content and improvisational daring to make it interesting. Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio does precisely that on its sixth album. Recorded live in the studio, Smells Funny is a metal-jazz excursion that often tips into the Sonny Sharrock zone, fueled by Ellen Brekken’s rumbling bass, Ivar Loe Bjørnstad’s insistent pulse and Mollestad’s hellacious chops and fertile imagination… When Frank Zappa famously said, “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny,” he was referring to a moldering of the music. The Hedvig Mollestad Trio aims at providing an antidote with this audacious outing.”

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Møster! – Dust Breathing (2020)

“The band has been growing or cultivating a certain sound over the years, and I feel this has found its best form so far on ‘Dust Breathing’. This album sort of mirrors ‘States of Mind’, where I wanted to make the band into more of a collaborative group, and to step down from the bandleader role. The members have such strong musical personalities that the only way I had of getting that out of them was to open the gates and just record for days. We did some collaborative songwriting and lots of free improvisations, with the composition done in the post production, editing and mixing process. On ‘Dust Breathing’ I have tried to distil the type of music we created together on ‘States of Mind’, carefully keeping in mind the balance between composing/pre-directing/controlling and letting all band members act as equal contributors.”

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Krokofant – Q (2019)

“Norwegian trio Krokofant plays energetic and explosive jazz rock that is both free and structured.
Krokofant consists of Tom Hasslan (guitar), Jørgen Mathisen (saxophone) and Axel Skalstad (drums). They are heavily rooted in the 1970 jazz rock sound, with strong references to King Crimson, early Mahavishnu, John Zorn and Peter Brötzmann. An expression that hits both rock audiences and freejazzers. With a drummer sounding like a turbocharged hybrid of Keith Moon and Elvin Jones, Krokofant plays precise and heavy riffs that are redeemed by jarring and strong improvisations. Long, wild saxophone solos are matched by extremely creative, virtuoso guitar playing, without compromising on interaction and groove.”

Grand General – Grand General (2013)

“This Norwegian fusion quintet features the same instrumental lineup as Mahavishnu Orchestra, so comparisons to John McLaughlin’s legendary ’70s band are probably inevitable. But on the basis of Grand General’s eponymous 2013 Rune Grammofon debut, such comparisons would merely scratch the surface. The bandmembers have the chops to match any fusioneers past or present, but they’re also fond of the relentless rock pummel, undergirding their pyrotechnics with a powerful rhythm section possessing deep reserves of energy.”

Kanaan – Windborne (2018)

“Oslo based trio Kanaan quickly established themselves as one of the most important groups in the youngest generation of psychedelic impro-rockers. As accomplished players – all three educated in jazz – they marry fiery energy with musical intricacy, and possess a rare ability to balance power and delicateness. They devote as much energy to exploring airiness and atmosphere as they do to intensity.”

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