How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Danish guitarist Lars Bech Pilgaard's musical philosophy denies the existence of any genre or convention. His musical range encompasses free improv, avant-garde, Kraut rock, punkish energy, odd cinematic soundscapes, noise, and even fifties classics. Mammut, Pilgaard's debut as a leader with The Slowburn trio, attempts to find a common thread among this colorful sonic universe. Experienced bassist Thommy Andersson solidifies Pilgaard's imaginative outbursts, while drummer Thomas Eiler, Pilgaard's collaborator in the Svin quartet, pushes him even further.
The album's six pieces have suggestive referencing of states of mind, exotic food and distant locations. Pilgaard's guitar sound is raw, brutal and authoritative, and his playing flows intuitively throughout the open-ended pieces. He leads the trio around the spare theme of "Anesthetic," leaving enough room for Andersson and Eiler to interpret the theme. "Agak-Agak" is a free improvisation mixed with wild and noisy sonic searches. The short, gentle and cinematic "Sfântu Gheorghe," named after the Romanian city, introduces the more expressive and articulated melody of "Raketvej," both enjoying Lars Greve's lyrical clarinet playing. "Eneboer" features the trio exploring sounds, shifting patterns and different modes of raw energy through relaxed interplay. The epic "Nørre Nissum," named after a village in west Denmark, begins with disjointed, often repetitive sonic experiments by all three musicians, patiently assembled by Pilgaard into a dark and enigmatic soundscape.