The ingredients are all electric on guitarist Eivind Aarset's Dream Logic: plugged-in guitar and bass; programming; samples; dictophone; and electronics. The resulting atmospheric layering of sound with subtle dynamics and inorganic drones could be described as sterile, but what a beautiful, mysterious sterility it is.The Norwegian guitarist has contributed to several ECM Records recordings, including trumpeter Jon Hassell's Last Night the Moon Came Came Dropping Its Clothes on the Street (2009) and trumpeter Arve Henriksen's Cartography (2008), to name just two, but Dream Logic is his first outing for the label as a leader. His music has an ...read more
With the exception of trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær and singer Sidsel Endresen--who each left the label after contributing two fine albums as leaders--there seems to be an increasing number of Norwegian artists who, after establishing themselves on smaller labels, are gaining greater international exposure by moving to the venerable ECM label. Trumpeter Arve Henriksen and Cartography (2008) is one; Food, featuring percussionist Thomas Strønen, is another, with Quiet Inlet (2010); and The Source's eponymous 2006 release, yet another.Now add Eivind Aarset; a guitarist who, following a string of superlative recordings on keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft's Jazzland label and participating ...read more
In a time when the interactive video game Guitar Hero is selling in the millions, Eivind Aarset is, in many ways, the Guitar Anti-Hero. Despite making music that could easily lend itself to the kind of guitar pyrotechnics that are so often the litmus test of a good player, Aarset's emphasis is on texture, on melody, on groove, and on a kind of collective improvisation that's been reshaping and redefining what jazz can be since he released his first album as a leader, Electronique Noire (Jazzland) in 1998. Live Extracts (Jazzland, 2010), featuring various incarnations of his expanded Sonic Codex ...read more
For his fifth album as a leader, Norwegian guitar phenom Eivind Aarset captures the improvisational power and prowess of his expanded Sonic Codex Orchestra. Live Extracts, culled from six different venues over the course of the past year. With minimal editing and no overdubs, this is as close to experiencing Aarset in performance as many will get, and for that reason alone is worthy of attention.Aarset, interviewed recently at All About Jazz, may be more Guitar Anti-Hero than the chops-laden six-stringers who largely populate the upper echelon, but it's not that he doesn't have them; he just chooses ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
Punkt 08's first day of full programming was a full one. In addition to five concerts and three live remixes, festival goers were treated to a lengthy public discussion between Brian Eno and Jon Hassell that proved as entertaining as it was enlightening. Punkt has also been running daytime seminars since inception, but this year another rare and equally enlightening event was Gavin Bryars' lunchtime session, with a performance later that evening that was, along with Nik Bartsch's Ronin, one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the festival. And ...read more
While there are still plenty of the signposts that make this an Eivind Aarset album, Sonic Codex represents some significant changes for a Norwegian artist who has become the most important (and in demand) guitarist to emerge from Scandinavia since Terje Rypdal in the early 1970s.
While Aarset's almost pathological avoidance of conventional guitar tones--and familiar rhythmic and harmonic approaches--remains intact from earlier albums including Connected (Jazzland, 2004), Sonic Codex does have some of his most identifiable guitar playing on record. Aarset is usually such a vivid colorist that, without the benefit of seeing him, it's ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4
As 5:00 PM approached, anticipation of the first official day for Punkt 07 continued to grow. The Agder Theater is a beautiful venue, with a large bar area for meeting up with artists and other media folks from as far away as Japan and China. Like the increasingly cosmopolitan makeup of the musicians who have come to perform at Punkt, there's a large contingent of writers to ensure that the word about Punkt continues to spread.
Yet another unique ...read more