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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elephant9: Atlantis

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Ever a collective, Elephant9's Atlantis represents the Norwegian power trio's most egalitarian outing yet. 2008's Dodovoodoo and 2010's Walk the Nile were, for the most part, dominated compositionally by keyboardist and Supersilent/Humcrush coconspirator Ståle Storløkken. Atlantis is more evenly split between Storløkken's four tracks to bassist Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen's three, but most importantly demonstrates a continued evolution away from Elephant9's early touchstone--American drummer Tony Williams' influential Lifetime--towards ear-shattering, progressive rock-leaning, improv-heavy space rock, a fusion rendered even more nuclear by guitarist Reine Fiske, who guests on two-thirds of Atlantis' hour-long set.Those who caught the 2012 Kongsberg Jazz Festival's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elephant9: Walk the Nile

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After a debut making it to more than one critic's “best of" list for 2008, Elephant9 returns with Walk the Nile. If Dodovoodoo demonstrated this keyboard power trio's affiliation for Tony Williams' late-1960s Lifetime and early Weather Report, mixed with a bit of progressive rock-era Keith Emerson, then Walk the Nile steps a tad further away from its core influences, further evolving Elephant9's definitive voice.Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken's career has been on an upward trajectory since the mid-1990s and Veslefrekk, the trio that ultimately morphed into Supersilent with the recruitment of Helge Sten. Now a fixture across the breadth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elephant9: Live at the BBC

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Despite the re-emergence of vinyl as a once-again acceptable medium, it's still bigger in some countries than others. In Norway, there are now labels that are releasing vinyl-only editions, including the intrepid Rune Grammofon, which introduced its The Last Record Company a couple years back, with limited-run albums including guitarist Stian Westerhus' Galore (2009) and equally experimental vocalist Maja S.K. Ratkje's Cyborgic (2009). Elephant9's Live at the BBC, on Rune's main imprint, is somewhat more modest--lacking TLRC's 16-page art booklets and gatefold, but pressed on white vinyl, and it's still great to see Kim Horthøy's designs on a larger-than-life 12"x12" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Elephant9: DodoVoodoo

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As a member of groundbreaking noise improvisors Supersilent, whose 8 (Rune Grammofon, 2007) was one of last year's best, co-conspirator with percussionist Thomas Strønen in Humcrush (Rune Grammofon, 2004), co-op member of Transatlantic electronic improv group Box with its debut Studio 1 Rune Grammofon, 2008) and guest on the tranquil stasis of Supersilent mate/trumpeter Arve Henriksen's Strjon (Rune Grammofon, 2007), keyboardist Ståle Storløkken may be the closest thing Rune Grammofon has to a house keyboardist. But as distinctive as he's always been as a colorist with these projects and others outside the Rune sphere--including guitarist Terje Rypdal's Vossabrygg (ECM, 2006)--he's ...



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