379

Supersilent: 10

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
At a time when Supersilent has kicked into high gear with three releases in the space of a few short months—two CDs (10 and the forthcoming 12) and one vinyl-only release (11), all on the equally intrepid Rune Grammofon label—it seems incredulous that this Norwegian improvising trio can continue creating music in defiance of easy (or difficult) categorization and, despite its complete and utter spontaneity, unfailing individualism. Still sounding like nobody but Supersilent, each successive album remains clearly delineated amidst its growing discography. 9 (Rune Grammofon, 2009)—Supersilent's first recording as a trio, following the departure of co-founder/drummer Jarle Vespestad—broke new ground with a deceptively simple premise: Arve Henriksen, Ståle Storløkken and Helge Sten were to play nothing but Hammond organs; still, unsurprisingly, they pulled sounds out of these legacy instruments that inventor Lauren Hammond could never have envisioned.

Recorded in two sessions at two different Norwegian studios—Athletic Sound, a regular Supersilent locale; and Oslo's renowned Rainbow Studio, home to more classic ECM recordings than any other studio in the world—10 differentiates itself on a number of fronts. First, despite this being Supersilent's shortest album to date—not even breaking the 42-minute mark—10 contains the most number of tracks of any of its releases, featuring a dozen improvisations that, with the exception of three titles, never even crack the five-minute mark. Second, and most important, is that with Rainbow's reputation for an outstanding piano, a room with particularly beautiful acoustics, and owner/engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug legendary ears , Storløkken's attention weights heavily towards grand piano, making 10 Supersilent's most purely acoustic album to date.

Does that make 10 Supersilent "Unplugged"? Not exactly; certainly the low-frequency tones that form that undercurrent to "10.5" couldn't have been created through acoustic means, nor are the gradually intensifying and densifying sonics, layered by Henriksen's laptop, Storløkken's array of synths and Sten's remarkable ability to work with his trio mates' native sounds, turning them into something other. But even at its most extreme, 10 is Supersilent's quietest album to date and, perhaps even more significantly, its most spare and fragile.

It's also an album that, more than its previous releases—and supporting Henriksen and Sten's comments at a live demonstration in Kristiansand, Norway at Punkt Festival 2010—demonstrates Supersilent's ability to think compositionally, even when pulling music out of the ether. "10.6" may build from nothing, but Storløkken's delicately dark pianism—supporting Henriksen's vocal-like trumpet, and given a gentle pulse by Sten's Steve Reich-ian guitar work—sounds more like Ambient Music-era Brian Eno than the noisier extremes of early albums like 1-3 (Rune Grammofon, 1997).

With only the occasional hint of disturbance, it's the group's most soothing album to date, as Henriksen, Storløkken and Sten explore new ways to shape an infinite series of parameters—both painstakingly and with unfettered abandon—into in-the-moment compositions of profound depth and haunting beauty; one more Supersilent album destined, no doubt, for year-end "best of" lists.

Track Listing: 10.1; 10.2; 10.3; 10.4; 10.5; 10.6; 10.7; 10.8; 10.9; 10.10; 10.11; 10.12.

Personnel: Personnel: Arve Henriksen: trumpet, laptop, effects; Ståle Storløkken: piano, keyboards, effects; Helge Sten: guitar, keyboard, laptop, effects.

Title: 10 | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Rune Grammofon

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
  • 12 by John Eyles
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
  • 10 by John Kelman
  • 9 by John Kelman
  • 8 by John Kelman
  • 6 by Mark Corroto
  • 6 by AAJ Staff
Read more articles
12

12

Rune Grammofon
2014

buy
10

10

Rune Grammofon
2010

buy
 

11

Rune Grammofon
2010

buy
9

9

Rune Grammofon
2009

buy
8

8

Rune Grammofon
2007

buy
 

7

Unknown label
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019