S/S Motsol: Parallel Pleasures (2012)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Experimental Norwegian duo Motsol vocalist Stine Janvin Motland and drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg is a versatile unit. Last year the pair joined forces with reed player Frode Gjerstad and Chicago-based cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm on VCDC (Hipsid, 2011), and with Parallel Pleasures expand into an octet, comprised from some of the more forward-thinking musicians from the Oslo and Stavanger improvised music scenes.
The ten unnamed miniatures are structured in a cohesive manner. All still emphasize Motland's imaginative, creative vocal prowess and Solberg's idiosyncratic time conception, solidified into the distinctive language demonstrated on the first playful duet piece. Their telepathic interplay thickens with the addition of the horn players, beginning with "2," and the piano from "4," as the music becomes more abstract. The balance between each nuanced and spare sonic gesture becomes so delicate and fragile it that calls for extreme sensitivity.
Motland takes the ensemble into a more energetic path beginning with "5," shifting its full force while telling vivid stories in wordless utterances. She invokes dramatic tension on "6," with her otherworldly voices and the extended techniques used by all the horn players are stressed on "7," its quiet rustles transformed, by Solberg, into a loose rhythmic patterns on "8," the basis for a fiery, muscular free jazz improvisation headed by saxophonist Klaus Ellerhusen Holm, pianist Nils Henrik Asheim and bassist Per Zanussi. The masculine tone softens on the shorter "9," with Motland taking the lead again on the concluding "10," her vocals soaring over the restrained sonic turmoil.
A fascinating adventure in sound.
Track Listing: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10.
Personnel: Eivind Lønning: trumpet; Klaus Ellerhusen Holm: alto sax, clarinet; Hild Sofie Tafjord: french horn; Børre Mølstad: tuba; Nils Henrik Asheim: piano; er Zanussi: bass; Stine Janvin Motland: voice; Ståle Liavik Solberg: drums, percussion.
Record Label: Creative Sources Recordings