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Live Reviews

Punkt Festival 2009: Day 2, Kristiansand, Norway, September 3, 2009

By Published: September 5, 2009
Live Remix: Mungolian Jet Set Featuring BJ Cole, Jan Bang and Erik Honoré

With Mungolian Jet Set at the helm—Norway's predominant remixer, whose latest double-dsc, We Gave It All Away...Now We Are Taking It Back (Smalltown Supersound, 2009) is the remix album of the year—the expectation was that a remix of Jarle Bernhoft's funkified soul music would be equally deep in the groove. But bring Jan Bang and Erik Honoré into the mix and the possibilities become greater. Add British pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, who has played with everyone from Elton John, Peter Sinfield and Gerry Rafferty to David Sylvian, Harold Budd and Peter Blegvad, and things open up even further.

Punkt Festival 09 / Jan Bang / Reider Skar, BJ Cole, Pal Nyhus / Erik Honore

Of course, Mungolian Jet Set—a longstanding duo of turntablist Pål "DJ Strangefruit" Nyhus and sampler Reider Skår, who also holds court at the late night Punkt Klubb—is more than just dance floor beats and hypnotic sounds. Nyhus, for many years a member of trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer
Nils Petter Molvaer
Nils Petter Molvaer
's group, is one of the most innovative turntablists in the world, laying waste to purist claims that turntables are not musical instruments. His intuitive skills are deep, making him an ideal collaborator.

And so, while expectations were that the remix of Bernhoft's set would be even more dance floor-ready, the music went in a surprisingly different direction, as Honoré grabbed only snippets of Bernhoft's music—a bass line here, a rhythm guitar loop there—to create a foundation over which Cole, positioned front and center, could layer everything from jaggedly distorted swells to lush voicings that, at points, began to enter the jazz realm. Cole, after the performance, talked about the influence of Daniel Lanois' work on Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtrack (Virgin/Astralwerks, 1983), and both that album and the music Cole created with another ambient forefather, Harold Budd on By the Dawn's Early Light (Opal, 1991), were markers for the remix.

The ability of one artist's music to inspire something completely different and, at times, only loosely connected is what makes Punkt live remixes always worthwhile. Some work better than others; this is, after all, risk-taking of the most extraordinary kind. But when the stars align, magic is made, and Mungolian Jet Set's remix of Jarle Bernhoft's performance—a compelling mix of abstract and ethereal sonics, Cole's impossible to resist melodies and viscerally attractive harmonies, and rhythms that were largely present but far from completely defining—was one of those beautiful nexus points where everything comes together in reverence to the source material, while creating something altogether new.

Tomorrow: Anne Marie Almedal, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Susanna & The Magical Orchestra; remixes featuring Guy Sigsworth, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Arve Henriksen, J. Peter Schwalm, Erlend Dahlen and Eivind Aarset.

Visit Adam Rudolph, Lab Field, Kim Myhr, Sébastien Roux, Sidsel Endresen, Maja Ratkje, Jarle Bernhoft, Mungolian Jet Set, BJ Cole and Punkt Festival on the web.

Photo Credits Page 1, Adam Rudolph, Jan Hangeland

Page 1, Kristiansand, John Kelman Page 2, Lab Field, Sidsel Endresen, Jan Hangeland

Page 2, Sébastien Roux/Kim Myhr, Maja Ratkje, John Kelman Page 3, Jarle Bernhoft, Jan Hangeland

Page 3, Live Remix, John Kelman Page 4, John Kelman

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

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