Nheap is the nom de musique of Assisi-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Massimo Discepoli. More specifically, it's the title under which he records and releases his own experimental, jazz-influenced compositions (he records his more electronic, club-oriented, music as Nheap XP). Flying And The Silence is the fifth album under the Nheap name since Discepoli started the project in 2007. The jazz influence is not too obvious--Alice Coltrane might well inform the overall vibe, but experimental rock bands like Tangerine Dream seem to be equally important touchstones. Whatever or whoever might be responsible for the foundations of Discepoli's approach, his music is ...read more
Meet Steffen: Ctrl-Alt-U is a project from Thomas Steffen. Born in 1965, Steffen has been a drummer since he was 13 and has studied music science. Steffen has worked in different bands, projects, and film music for Dance 3D Filmfest Barcelona in 2013. Instrument(s): Drums, guitar, bass, sax, trumpet, and others. Teachers and/or influences? Wolfgang Eckholt was my drum teacher. I have been influenced by Miles Davis, Erik Truffaz, John Coltrane, and Stan Getz. I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I was 13 and I had to ...read more
Meet Aage Riisnes: Harlequins Enigma is a Norwegian based band created in 2008 by synth musician, composer, and video producer Aage Riisnes. Harlequins Enigma is mostly a one-man band but Elin Berge, Katie Leung, and Sara Jensen have served as co-members on several albums over the years. The primary musical creations revolve around chip-tune, electronica, techno, experimental, video game soundtracks, space, ambient, and new-age genres. Riisnes began experimenting with synth-based music in the early 1990s. Throughout the years, collaborations with Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Kitaro, Kate Bush, Dave Weckl, Chick Corea, Jan Garbarek, and others ...read more
The script gets flipped in Dysnomia, where calculated syncopations are not generated from laptops or patched-in devices but produced by the post-minimalist acoustic trio Dawn of Midi, paying homage to electronica with 46 minutes of methodically composed music. But then again what is music? As defined by Merriam-Webster: it is a science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity--which is precisely what DOM delivers with this release. The Brooklyn-based trio members' diverse origins of Pakistan (drummer Qasim Naqvi), India (bassist Aakaash ...read more
Compared to the rest of Europe, Norway's thriving music scene--be it jazz, pop, electronic or in-between genres--seems to be the most varied. Since1996/97, with the release of a number of seminal recordings including trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær's Khmer (ECM, 1997), keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz (Jazzland, 1996) and noise improv quartet Supersilent's triple-disc debut, 1-3 (Rune Grammofon, 1997), different strands from that scene joined forces and a new kind of music emerged, one that has not shied away from exploring the integration of electronics and programming with improvisation and interaction in order to create different, innovative and otherworldly ...read more
Impressive in its reach and warmth, the music of keyboardist/sampler/lyricist Erik Honoré and vocalist Greta Aagre on Year of the Bullet feels like a perfect brushstroke of sound calligraphy, full of cinematic passages that are designed to evoke a broad emotional spectrum. This is the duo's third release and first signed under their names--previously, they were known as Elsewhere. Years of the Bullet is an Italian expression describing the hard '70s, when Italy was plagued by political tension and terrorism. Mostly written in Italy, the album combines a masterful and imaginative blending of samples taken from various ...read more
Jon BalkeMagnetic Works 1993-2001ECM Records2012As his flagship Magnetic North Orchestra nears its two-decade anniversary in 2013, Norwegian pianist/composer/bandleader Jon Balke has been performing occasional shows with Magnetic Book, taking a fresh look at the group's repertoire through an expanded edition where its core septet is augmented with an additional six baroque string players. Its 2011 performance, at the Oslo International Jazz Festival, was so compelling in its implementation of unorthodox compositional constructs--doing more than merely blurring the boundary between form and freedom, and instead dissolving it completely--that when All About Jazz was ...read more
As Jon Balke moves further and further away from his '80s work with the Miles-informed group Masqualero, he moves deeper into abstraction, experimenting with instrumental combinations that allow for a broad range of textures within an ever-expanding concept. Since the mid-'90s, with his constantly shifting Magnetic North Orchestra, he has explored the juncture between composition and improvisation in a way that assimilates an increasing number of world music influences, yet never seems to sound directly like any of them. Diverted Travels , his latest project with a radically reworked Magnetic North Orchestra, may be his most obscure release yet; it ...read more
That so many artists can place themselves in a position of ultimate risk on a concert stage, attempting to create something from nothing, speaks of a certain intrepid spirit. That some of those same artists not only succeed at pulling form from the ether, but actually do so night after night, with a distinct and recognizable voice, speaks of something even more special. Not every night is equally successful, however, and between cell phones and YouTube, artists have lost control over deciding what is worthy of permanent documentation. Of course, what constitutes worthy by the artists and their fans may ...read more
He may be nowhere near a household name in North America, but elsewhere-- in particular in his native Norway--pianist Jon Balke's influence continues to grow. That he's better known for the music he writes--and the contexts in which he delivers it--shouldn't be taken as a negative, either; only that, with projects like the brass-heavy Oslo 13, chamber-tinged Magnetic North Orchestra and culturally and stylistically cross-pollinated Siwan (ECM, 2009), the collaboration-minded Balke simply doesn't opt for contexts where his own playing is front and center. Even a solo piano project like Book of Velocities (ECM, 2008), where he's as exposed as ...read more
Meet Christian Grimshei: I started out as a techno DJ in the '90s. I worked on several projects with Erik Hillestad from Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV) in Norway, including Acid Queen: Tranzania (1997). Then I got very sick and didn't make music for 10 years. I studied the history of music during this time. I then stated the label Rabiangrecords.com, which is for electronic music with jazz and classical influences. Instrument(s): Piano, electronics.Teachers and/or influences? Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Jan Garbarek, Erik Hillestad, Michael Jackson, Chet Baker, Peter Christopherson. I knew ...read more
Jøkleba Jøkleba! / nu jøk? Universal Music AS, Norway 2011 (1992) It was the show of the year. When veteran bassist Dave Holland had to pull out of his performance at Norway's Vossa Jazz 2011 due to a serious family illness, the festival approached another veteran with a desperate plea for help. From 1991-96, Jøkleba was a Norwegian collective that wasn't quite yet a super group, but has ultimately proven to be one: keyboardist Jon Balke, trumpeter/vocalist Per Jørgensen and drummer Audun Kleive all later gained broader international recognition for their participation on a ...read more
JuJuIn TranceReal World2011 This is the third album from guitarist Justin Adams and singer/ritti player Juldeh Camara, and, as the saying goes, third time lucky. Not that Soul Science (Irl, 2007) or Tell No Lies (Real World, 2009) were disappointing, only that the duo's visceral mix of traditional Gambian music, jam band-informed jazz and avant rock has reached a new level with In Trance. Partly, this is down to the simple passage of time and the seasoning of style. More significantly, it comes from the expansion of the group from a ...read more
Meet Lars Dietrich: Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Lars was introduced to the saxophone at the age of 10. After performing a duo TV show with famed jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Dietrich decided to pursue a career in music. At the age of fifteen he got accepted to study saxophone at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In 2005 after completing his Masters in Music degree in Amsterdam Lars received a full scholarship from Manhattan School of Music, Dietrich moved to New York and studied under Dick Oatts and Dave Liebman. As a leader Dietrich released his well-reviewed 2009 debut, Breek de Grond, ...read more
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