Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

115

Huntsville: For Flowers, Cars and Merry Wars

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Jumping to the relative upstart Hubro label, Huntsville continues to mine similar territory to its sophomore Rune Grammofon release, Echoes, Arches and Eras (2009), but there are some significant changes as well. Unlike Echoes—its second disc culled from a live performance teaming the improvising trio with American guitar maverick Nels Cline and his partner in alt-country rocker Wilco, percussionist Glenn Kotche—Huntsville pares things back to essentials, going it largely alone.

Even the sole guest appearance by Hanne Hukkelbord on the 19-minute title track—delivering Navyelectre leader Jonas Howden Sjøvaag's spare lyrics in almost emotionless fashion—is more cameo than full-on participation, the singer gone almost as soon as she arrives, over a two-chord vamp driven by a robotic electronic pulse. By the time Huntsville begins to really ramp up the sonics, Ivar Grydeland is creating a bevy of distinctly non-guitar-like tonalities over Tonny Kluften's thumping, arrhythmic heartbeat of a bass line, as percussionist Ingar Zach continues to push the relentless pulse forward...until, that is, the entire trio fades out almost entirely, for a brief moment of psychedelic stasis. Throbbing feedback and otherworldly textures continue to create a persistent drone, as Kluften veers in and out with his staggered pulse, the industrial extremes slowly morphing to the sound of a metronome which, if it doesn't exactly coalesce into form, does act like a lightning rod around which the trio rallies, slowly losing the rhythm entirely and fading to black, over the course of its final minutes, with Grydeland finally contributing simple, angular lines and chords that sound as close to his instrument as he ever gets.

The 29-second "For the Working Class" is a response, perhaps, to Huntsville's debut, For the Middle Class(Rune Grammofon, 2007), a lonely tabla directly referencing the stronger Indo-centricity of its previous releases, coupled with the group's curiously roots-informed place along the free improvising continuum. This time, Huntsville largely deserts both markers, going for a more persistently electric edge, doing so without ever kowtowing to convention. "Ear/Eye Connector," at nearly 13 minutes, is the other major piece on For Flowers, an atmospheric drone that nevertheless fluctuates in tone and timbre, strangely hypnotic as it leads to another long fadeout. Grydeland's heavily overdriven and outrageously processed guitar is at the forefront of the closing "Star Spangled Pillow, Zach's tumultuous drums strangely in the weeds of the mix, even as his cymbals dominate for nearly all of its five minutes as Kluften's bass underscores—simple, but perfect.

As cofounders of Sofa—a Norwegian label of largely fearless free music—it's curious that Grydeland and Zach have chosen to keep Huntsville away from their own imprint. Equally intriguing is Hubro's decision to release this, and some of its other current titles, in vinyl only, with a CD version included but not available separately. It's a sign that the landscape is changing yet again, with experimental groups like Huntsville on the vanguard of a new kind of improvised music scene where noise may be a significant part of the landscape, but is still strangely appealing—even when played loud, as is appropriately recommended.

Track Listing: For Flowers, Cars and Merry Wars; For the Working Class; Ear/Eye Connector; Star Spangled Pillow.

Personnel: Ivar Grydeland: guitars, banjo, effects; Tonnu Kluften: bass, effects; Ingar Zach: percussion, effects; Hanne Hukkelberg: vocal (1).

Title: For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Hubro Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Second City" CD/LP/Track Review Second City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Saturday Night Dogs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Night Dogs
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!