Nils Petter Molvaer: Hamada (2009)
and electronicist Jan Bang, who provide spacey, heartbeat-like counterpoints to his modal peregrinations. The tunes have depth, but are subtle enough to require highly focused listening to unlock.
Molvær, in fact, is a master of both chilled out sonic backdrops and intense, rhythmically charged jazz, a duality which makes simple brand definition hard to achieve. Both approaches are represented on the excellent Hamada. Eight of the 10 tracks are gentle, velvety musings on which Molvær is accompanied only by guitarist Eivind Aarset
Sandwiched amongst them, however, tracks four and eightthe aptly named "Friction" and "Cruel Altitude"are something else entirely. Both are angry, passionate, high decibel workouts in which the trio is joined by electric bassist Audun Erlien and drummer Audun Kleive, and the group proceeds to kick out the jams with a fervor for which Detroit's acid 'n' amphetamine-driven MC5 would have been proud. On these two tracks, which total just under 15 minutes of playing time, Molvær cranks the music up further than ever before, beyond even the level reached on previous stomps such as "Nebulizer" and "Solid Ether" (both included on An American Compilation). He also introduces a degree of rock, as opposed to dance or funk, sonic and rhythmic influences not previously heard in his work. The sound and the arrangements are closer to prog rock than to jazz, but unlike classic prog rock are infused with snarling punk ferocity.
finally did on Mistico (Fantasy, 2007). For the remaining 30 minutes or so, he soothes rather than provokes the savage beast. It's a juxtaposition of extremes, but it works.
On this strand of Hamada, Molvær has got in touch with his inner rock musician rather like guitarist Charlie Hunter
Track Listing: Exhumation; Sabkah; Icy Altitude; Friction; Monocline; Soft Moon Shine; Monocline Revisited; Cruel Altitude; Lahar; Anticline.
Personnel: Nils Petter Molvær: trumpet, voices (2-4, 8), beat programming (4), sound carpet (5, 7, 10), programming (6), metal percussion (10); Eivind Aarset: guitars (2-8, 10), programming (3, 6), bass (6), editing and arranging (6); Audun Erlien: bass (4, 8); Audun Kleive: drums (4, 8), editing (4, 8); Jan Bang: live sampling (5-7, 10), field recording (5, 6, 10), programming (5, 7, 10), editing and mixing (10).
Record Label: Sula Records
Style: Fringes of Jazz