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12

Hubro: Making Room for Marginalized Music

Hubro: Making Room for Marginalized Music
Jakob Baekgaard By

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I like to find rooms that sound good for some kinds of music at least and it doesn’t have to be a studio. I think it is often quite uninspiring for a musician to be inside the dry acoustic of a studio. —Andreas Meland
There are times when a record label becomes more than just a label. It becomes an embodiment of a certain period in time. In Norway, think of the German label ECM with the emergence of the so-called Nordic sound propelled by Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and drummer Jon Christensen. Later, Rune Grammofon summed up a more electronic and experimental direction in Norwegian music with acts like Supersilent, Jono El Grande and Alog.

Right now, a new sound seems to be emerging in Norwegian jazz, combining elements of lyrical folk music and experimental jazz. The home of this sound is the label Hubro Music run by Andreas Risanger Meland. Meland is a true musical adventurer and the label reflects his eclectic taste in music, but there is also a signature somewhere that is hard to explain. The point is that Meland is less interested in putting his own stamp on the music than he is in making room for the musicians. It is the musical process that interests him and the relationship with the artists.

All About Jazz: First of all, I would like to know about your way into music and how you got involved with the music business?

Andreas Meland: Where to start? Music has been important to me all my life of course, but when I was teenager I got really hooked. That was in the times when LPs were just thrown away and sold for a penny. So, the money I had, I could spend, and I got loads of music. I was so eager to listen to all kinds of stuff.

Then it started, and I was playing myself, playing guitar and piano. One thing took another, and I got into electronic music, making electronic music and improvised music and then the idea of starting a label surfaced. I had a bedroom label when I was 17-18 years old, for some years. I also started organizing concerts and festivals in my hometown. So maybe that was the beginning in a way. Because when I moved to Oslo (the capital of Norway) to study I kept on playing concerts and releasing limited edition LPs on my bedroom label.

AAJ: And that was your own music or other people's music at that time?

AM: It was both. It was not many releases, but like five-six releases maybe. In a way it was a coincidence that I ended up in a record company because I had been participating on a compilation on Norwegian label Rune Grammofon with a band I played in.

When I was student I also had a job at a grocery store and coincidentally that was the same grocery store where Rune of Rune Grammofon went every day to buy his lunch. He knew me, and he knew about the bedroom label, about the bands I was involved in and the festivals I had been organizing, so one day he just asked me if I could drop by the office to have a chat. I did, and I was offered the job assisting him. I did that for a year and at that point he was also the label manager for ECM in Norway and also running his own label. After a year he stopped being the ECM label manager to focus on his own label and I got his old position as ECM label manager in Norway. I was doing that, I think, from 2003 until maybe five years ago (2013).

AAJ: Just to get all the facts straight. What was the name of your bedroom label?

AM: There were actually two. The first one was Safe as Milk

AAJ: A Captain Beefheart reference?

AM: Yeah, that was also the name of the festival in my hometown, which we had for ten years. And then there was a more electronic label called Melektronikk. I don't think many of the releases are available now. It was like a school for me. I lost a lot of money, of course. That's a lesson too. Getting used to losing money.

AAJ: It's interesting to hear about your journey with Rune Grammofon and ECM because those labels are really cornerstones in Norwegian jazz. How did you think about your own relation to those labels when you started out Hubro and were trying to carve a separate identity for your label?

AM: I think I have to admit that in the start when I started Hubro it was maybe to feed my ego in a way, that's putting myself down, but at that time I had been doing ECM and working as a label manager for quite a few years and since I had a background doing my own label, I was starting to miss that a lot, to be able to interact with the artists and participate in the process. Taking care of things from the start, not only receiving the finished CD to promote and market it.

Of course, I had a lot of direct contact with the artists when I was working with ECM too, I really appreciated that, but I guess it was feeling more like I was delivering a service in a way. I really like to take part in the process from A to Z. I don't need to control it, for me the artist is the boss, but it is more gratifying to be closer to the process. I was feeling an urge to do that, that's the reason I started the label.

I asked my boss if I could start a jazz label because we had been releasing some jazz releases on the Grappa label, but to me it seemed like they just disappeared into a black void because Grappa as a label does not have a distinct profile—it is also releasing a lot of other music and mainly by Norwegian artists with Norwegian lyrics, so I thought we needed a label for jazz releases. He said yes immediately and now I see that maybe it is not a jazz label -so maybe I fooled him. But he gave me carte blanche and he has never interfered in anything. Basically, Hubro is a sublabel of Grappa, so Grappa pays all the bills. It has been a big privilege to start a label not being too concerned about costs and about losing money.

AAJ: So the exact year where you started Hubro was?

AM: Next year is the ten-year anniversary so it was 2009.

AAJ: And when you came to Grappa with this project, did you already have an artist whose work you wanted to release?

AM: Yes. I had been approached by a friend of mine who knew a piano trio who were going to release an album on a Swedish label, but the label had stopped communicating and they were getting a bit frustrated. This was the trio Splaschgirl, so my friend recommended that band to me and I really liked it and they have released six albums on Hubro so far. I also had a project in my cupboard from Sigbjorn Apeland, the harmonium-player. When I was doing my bedroom-label back in the days, he had a project with solo harmonium. It was partly just pure harmonium sounds but also remixes, and we never found out how to put it together, so we never finished that album.

The start of the label coincided with me moving back from Oslo to my hometown on the Westcoast of Norway (Haugesund), and when I was moving I rented a car and it was full of books, LPs and stuff. We were driving over the mountains and I had this CD-R with the music that Sigbjørn never got to release on my former label. I listened to that driving from Oslo to Haugesund and I realized an album could be made out of this, a little editing was just needed and some minor things. I called him, and it became one of the first releases on the label.

There was also Mats Eilertsen. He approached me quite early on and then it just developed like a bit of a snowball effect. After a while there were many offers for things to release.

AAJ: Those offers. Were they contacts like Sigbjørn, recommendations or people you knew or how did that snowball effect come about?

AM: I think it was very organic. Some just listened to the first albums and thought the label seemed interesting and there were recommendations from artists and there were people I knew already that I approached. Now there is no need to approach anyone, I get too many offers. I can't keep the pace.

AAJ: If you think about label identity, it is often connected to a city or scene. Is it the same with Hubro? You said you moved from Oslo. Is there a city or scene you connect with or is it more all over Norway?

AM: I don't think there is a scene. Of course, for marketing it is good to talk about scenes, but I don't think one exists in a way, but Norway is a whole as a scene. It is not that I don't want to release anything from outside Norway, but so far, I have been focusing on the Norwegian artists and people that I can meet and have coffee with without having to fly abroad.

But I think we can sort of speak of a scene in Norway because I think there are some things that are quite specific about musicians in Norway. Okay, you can find it anywhere else too, but I feel like I work with a lot of musicians that have a very broad approach. They can play with pop artists one day and a completely different project the next day and they are also very openminded when it comes to music and the same goes for me. I also have a really open approach when it comes to listening, so I think we find each other in that way and quite often the music I release is between genres. It's not pure jazz music or pure folk music, it is a mix. The musicians don't have the idea: now I want to mix this and that, it is just something that comes into existence organically.

AAJ: But the thing is, when you pitched the idea to Grappa it was a jazz label, so what is your idea of jazz if we say that it's not playing mainstream, hard bop or avantgarde, but is this mixing of genres. Still, what is jazz to you and is it important at all to have this definition?

AM: No, honestly, I don't think that it is that important and it is impossible to define, and I can really love music "from the past" as long as it feels like it is happening now. You don't have to mix everything and make new hybrids to make it interesting, but in Norway I think we don't have a strong American jazz tradition. For instance, when there were American jazz musicians living in Copenhagen for longer periods that didn't happen in Norway, so we just took what we liked and made something else. I think that has been a part of the Norwegian jazz history to try to find our own identity in jazz. But rules are not important to me. I'm not against anything or pro anything, it just has to be interesting.

AAJ: But it is funny, when I think of your own journey, to me, looking from outside it also reflects the kind of narrative that has been sketched about Norwegian jazz. You have Garbarek as a very important figure, associated with ECM, and you have Rune Grammofon and all these artists where you have electronic things and the experimental things and now, in a way, you are taking it to another place, perhaps. The way I hear it, there's a very strong folk element in the music with many people playing violins. Have you thought about this connection with folk and avant-garde? It's also in Frode Haltli's music. It is almost as if there is a sound there that connects some of these artists.

AM: I agree, a lot of journalists have also pointed out recently that folk music is being mixed into the music and used in a new way. I really like to talk about music and discuss music, but I don't see myself as a big thinker. I'm basically just following my instincts. I just try to follow what interests me. But I agree, right now something is happening. It feels new to me at least, the audience and musicians are more interested in folk music again and using it in a less national romantic way than maybe Jan Garbarek did when he did the same.

They are employing other elements of the folk music and they are using the approach of folk music more too. An interesting thing about the Frode Haltli Band, I think, is that they have rehearsed all the music without using any sheet music. It is all just extracts learned by ear and then they develop it together. That makes the music much more flexible and organic instead of first having the sheet music and then struggle to do what the notes are saying, it effects how the music ends up sounding. That's a phenomenon I see quite a lot now. I have another big band also doing the same called Skadedyr. It's sort of a big band in the jazz tradition, but they don't use sheet music and they are very eclectic, so it doesn't sound like a big band at all. It's just a big band in size.

That interests me. The mix of composition and improvisation. Interesting things are still happening in that field. And a lot of musicians are also more pragmatic about recording and improvising now. Improvisation as a tool, not as a goal in itself. The thing about free jazz is that sometimes it seems like the fanatics have this romantic idea that the music needs to be pure and unspoiled.

Maybe it's arrogant, but for me when it comes to this music that is called free improv I really enjoy it live, but for me it's not very easy to listen to on album at home in my living room. I can't do that much. Of course, there are exceptions, but for me that music is more in the moment and the album is something you try to extract and polish to make something that's more lasting. My impression is that the new generation is more pragmatic. They see improvisation as a tool, not a goal in itself. They can record an improvisation, but they are very open to edit it afterwards and to overdub and just use the recording as a tool. Improvisation as a tool, not as a goal in itself.

AAJ: If you think about your aesthetic, how would you sum it up? You already mentioned some things, curiosity and the willingness to change things. There's a clear identity when I look at the releases on Hubro, they have your stamp on it. What is your stamp?

AM: It's hard to answer. I see the label as a channel for things that are already great so it's not the label that makes it great, but then again, I don't release anything I don't love or find interesting so there's a little bit of me in there also. I guess my taste is shaping the label because of this. My feeling is that if I think it's interesting someone else will too.

AAJ: Do you think of yourself as a producer? Manfred Eicher is a clear example of someone who really shapes the process. You also have a background as a musician, do you shape the process as well or do you just let the musicians decide?

AM: I have a big respect for the artists and their independence so even though I really like to participate and express my feelings about things, they have the last word. I'm not like this big shot paternalistic producer who decides everything and if you don't do this then we can't release it. It's more like, for me, if I hear that the album would be better if we do this and this, I tell the artists and we discuss.

AAJ: What kind of changes or suggestions could you make?

AM: There are many different things. Sometimes I just get the finished album and say "yes, perfect, send the title to the designer and let´s get started" and sometimes I have been in the studio and have been acting more like a producer, which I really like, but since I run a label alone I can't do it and keep the pace with all the releases. It's very time consuming, and, also, not every artist is willing to let a producer into the studio. Sometimes I just have suggestions when it comes to the track sequence. There is also a rumor about me and it's true. Usually the Hubro albums are quite short. Most albums are thirty to forty minutes. ECM has seventy minutes albums sometimes, but for me as a listener my attention span is often like forty-five minutes and then I can't concentrate anymore. Because I'm like that, maybe some else has the same feeling? So often I tell the artists if they deliver an album with a long duration: okay we leave out three tracks and we keep the interest through the whole sequence in a better way.

AAJ: One thing is the attention span. Another thing is the belief in the narrative of an album.

AM: We are still dealing with albums. It's not playlists and this kind of music is not suited to the kind of things that playlists and Spotify want to do anyway. I really believe in the album format. I really want the listener to play it once more after having listened to the album.

AAJ: You said that you are a one-man operation. Are you basically taking care of almost everything?

AM: Almost. Of course, I don't do shipments myself and I don't do sales and I have PR agents that I'm collaborating with in different territories, but I do all the contact with the artists and the contacts with the designer and the distributers. So basically everything.

AAJ: Could you tell about the design? Your albums have a very distinctive style. How did this come about?

AM: When I got a go from my boss to start the label, my first thought was that we had to have an easily recognizable graphic profile. Since I had been running labels before, I had been collaborating with different designers and I really liked to work with designers who have a strong will. I'm also working with other labels under the Grappa umbrella and work with different designers and there are designers that are very professional and very flexible and there are designers that are artists in a way. If you ask them if they can move this letter, they just send you something completely different because they don't want you to interfere at all.

I knew about this design duo, Yokoland, which has designed a lot of album covers and book covers that I really liked. I knew they were artist designers and I really wanted to collaborate with them. The graphic profile needed to be different from other labels that we could easily be associated with, like Rune Grammofon or ECM. We needed it to look like a series and the logo had to be on the front cover and then they could do the rest. They suggested that we used another approach with different photos than many other labels so there is a lot of vacation photos and found photos from archives. I'm really happy about it, but there are two sides to it. Because we have a strong graphic identity, there's less space for the artist to say I want to do this and this. That's a bad thing for the artist sometimes, of course, but it's a good thing when it comes to being efficient because the processes can be very lengthy when many people express their meaning. It could happen in the future that we grow tired of the concept, but so far it has been a benefit for the label because it is easily recognizable.

AAJ: What does the name, Hubro, actually mean? The logo is an owl.

AM: It is an owl, yeah.

AAJ: Why did you choose that?

AM: I like owls and, basically, we needed a short name and something that could be nice on a logo and not look very corporate.

AAJ: Yeah, that's the thing. In a way, it is a nice counterpoint to many of the things you talk about. There is this beautiful aesthetic, there's this idea of the work and then you have this owl! It's both cute and kitschy and it kind of disturbs things.

AM: Yeah, it is a quite anti high-brow approach and that's how I approach music myself. I don't need to have a white shirt to go to a classical music concert. It's just about listening, an everyday activity. I want the label to be like that too. I don't have to signal that it is high-brow, important or pretentious in a way. It needs to be unpretentious.

AAJ: Do you find that you have found your audience, and do you have an idea who listens to the music?

AM: When the artists are playing live, they reach more people then they do when selling CDs and LPs because there is a more diverse crowd going to concerts than there is buying music. Nowadays you have to be a music fan to actually buy products, so I think they are many ages, but I guess that unfortunately there are more men than women who buy CDs. They are music lovers. I guess in all ages, but they tend to be men, grownup men.

AAJ: Norway is also a very progressive country when it comes to streaming. What is your take on the whole streaming movement? My feeling is that label owners are very divided.

AM: There is a strong ambivalence because of course it is fantastic to have access to all kinds of music, it is a dream come true, but there are also a lot of negative aspects. Apparently, people are taking music more for granted and take for granted that it is free or almost free, and, politically, the way that the royalties are split up from the streaming services is not very good. I strongly believe that if they had been using the user-centric model instead of the pro-rata model they use now, our reality would have been quite different.

AAJ: Could you elaborate because I'm not sure I understand. It sounds a bit technical to me.

AM: It is very technical. Let's talk about Spotify because that's the biggest platform. When you pay ten euros those go into a big bag and all the streaming on the Spotify platform gets this total number and this total sum of money and the money is split between all those streams so of course, Kanye West gets a lot of money and a release that has been streamed ten times gets no money at all. So, it's sort of like a winner takes it all situation. But it had been different if the money had been following the user. If you listen to John Coltrane and three other albums that you listen to that month then your money would be split between what you listen to. Then it would give more income to music that is not commercial, the marginal music, and it would not hurt commercial pop music either. So, to me, it doesn't make any sense that we still use the pro-rata system.

AAJ: Do you see it change?

AM: I know there are organizations working to change this and I hope it will happen because of course marginal music is getting even more marginalized. For me, the key thing is diversity. If we don't do anything to help the diversity, it will be impossible to keep on making marginal music.

AAJ: If you could sum up some of the highlights in the history of Hubro, what would they be?

AM: I can start by mentioning this album from Erland Apneseth Trio. They have released two albums on Hubro and I have been a co-producer on both. It has been a real pleasure to have been a part of the process of making those albums and I think the last one, Åra, is a really strong release and also there is this guy living in Bergen, who did the mix, Jørgen Træen. I'm doing several projects with him now, he is a mixing engineer, and also a producer, and he is such an artist. There are amazing things he can do with a recording, so it was a big boost for me personally to stay in the studio and take part of this, so that's an album that means a lot to me personally. I also think it is really exciting music and a mix between folk music and post-rock and more electronic music. It sounds very natural and personal.

For me, it is also about the people behind the music, the artists. They are very important to me and it's not only the music, it's also them, their visions. It's always very exciting to follow them and the artistic leaps they are taking all the time, so it's a privilege for me to witness how they are changing and hear the new ideas they get. Another important musician for me is Christian Wallumrød, who used to be on ECM, and that was also in the same period when I was working with ECM in Norway. When he approached me and asked me if I could release his next album, I was a bit stoked about that. Collaborating with him has been really fantastic and he is really a guy who has a big heart and is also very uncompromising at the same time. I love to work with him. A personal favorite is his ensemble album released a couple of years ago, Kurzsam and Fulger. He never ceases to amaze me, and he has a very strong personal vision all the time.

AAJ: It is interesting that he has been on ECM and now he is on your label. Did you ever discuss what happened with the aesthetic and what that move did to the music?

AM: No, it would have been interesting. Of course, ECM is a bigger name and has better distribution and I really respect that label, but I guess he gets more artistic freedom and I also think that his music has taken a more experimental direction in the years I have been working with him, so maybe that's an answer.

AAJ: With ECM there is sometimes talk about a specific sound, especially with the sound coming from the Rainbow Studio. Do you have an ideal sound, like a dry sound, a live sound or something? Or is it more like everything goes?

AM: I have some ideas, but in the end, everything goes if it sounds good. I believe strongly in being in the same room when recording and of course that can make it more difficult to separate things in the mix, but you get all the benefits of actually being in the same room, playing live in a room together. I believe strongly in that, but it's not like a rule. There are many albums that I have released that have been recorded with overdubs, but I think it is less fun and more work for the artists and the interplay also loses something.

I also believe in the natural sound of the room. I like to find rooms that sound good for some kinds of music at least and it doesn't have to be a studio. I think it is often quite uninspiring for a musician to be inside the dry acoustic of a studio. It can be a good thing to be in a good room without a headset and listen to how it sounds in the room. I don't mind noise. It doesn't have to sound very pure. It's no problem for me if there is some noise, just leave it in.

More practically, it is not often that I'm in the studio so when I'm there I try to give recommendations, so the experience is as pleasant as possible for the musicians. For instance, if you are playing the violin, it's not good to have headphones on you when you are playing because you are used to having the tones of the instrument vibrating inside your skull, also you have the violin to your chin so if you have headphones it's very alienating for how you usually feel when you play. These things are important to remember.

AAJ: A kind of empathy with the musical situation?

AM: Yeah, it should not be frustrating. It should be fun.

AAJ: How many releases do you have a year? Do you have a specific schedule?

AM: No, in fact these last couple of years I had fifteen, sixteen releases a year and I'm doing my best to try to reduce it a bit, but I'm not able to do it.

AAJ: Too much good music?

AM: Too much good music and too many artists I would like to have a relationship working with. There's a queue in a way, but I have to be sure that the queue is not too long because then they get frustrated, but I can't do more than sixteen a year.

AAJ: So next year is your tenth anniversary. Do you feel like you are in the place you want to be or are there other goals in the distance? A dream you are chasing with your label?

AM: The dream is to be able to just keep on going. That's the dream. Because since the start it has been developing all the time and it has been reaching all people and the distribution is getting a bit better. Even though the market situation is not easy, it has been going quite well. Like the owl the label is named after, having a label, releasing all kinds of marginalized music, it's quite related with a red-listed bird, anyway. It's not necessarily possible to do this forever so my dream is to be able to do this forever.

AAJ: You don't take it for granted?

AM: I don't take it for granted and I see every day doing this label as a privilege and think the artists feel the same way, that it is a privilege to make a living out of the music they want to make and not being limited by the market situation.

AAJ: Do you also feel that you have a responsibility for documenting this Norwegian sound? I'm thinking of people like Alan Lomax who wanted to record because there was a culture, which shouldn't be lost. You can think of recordings as cultural preservation. Do you think that way?

AM: I'm mainly thinking about recording good music. I don't see myself as any kind of savior, but of course I'm really into Alan Lomax and Harry Smith and I also work a lot with folk music on other labels, there's a strong tradition for documenting. Of course, it is extremely important, but I don't think of that when it comes to running Hubro. Of course, you can say that I'm doing that in a way, but it's not what comes to my mind. I'm thinking about running the label. it is extremely important that someone documents what is happening right now, but it doesn't have to be me.

AAJ: Any closing thoughts?

AM: I have to say that even with things like streaming and the centralization of power into the major companies that has happened, I think we live in a golden age for music. There's so much music everywhere and it is such a pleasure to live right now.

A selection of recommended Hubro releases chosen by Andreas Meland:



Moskus
Ulv Ulv
Hubro
2016

Recorded in an art gallery in my hometown Haugesund, Nils Økland does a brilliant guest appearance on the ever-creative piano trio's album. It's always a pleasure witnessing this trio's creative process.

Stein Urheim
Stein Urheim
Hubro
2014 Stein is one of my favorite guitarists. He is mixing blues, Norwegian folk music, jazz and world music into a very personal and organic blend. This album was recorded in the legendary violinist Ole Bull´s (stone cold) home at Lysøen during the winter time. The room had to be heated with gigantic fan ovens between every take.

Christian Wallumrød Ensemble
Kurzsam and Fulger
Hubro
2016

Again an artist that I have been a fan of for ages, that I got to work with. No-one makes ensemble music quite like this. All the musicians involved are truly special and their sympathy for Wallumrød´s music and the ensemble sound is touching to witness and to listen to.

Mats Eilertsen Trio
Elegy
Hubro
2010

The first out of two trio albums in the catalog with Mats´trio with pianist Harmen Fraanje and drummer Thomas Strønen. I love that they are not scared playing improvised music that is simply beautiful. Too many musicians are scared of making music that does not challenge I think. Splaschgirl
Field Day Rituals
Hubro
2011

Recorded in Seattle with producer Randall Dunn that the trio has collaborated with for some years. I like everything about this release: the music, the interplay, the production.

Kim Myhr
You I Me
Hubro
2017

Two LP length-side pieces, one acoustic and one electric. Kim is a fantastic composer and musician and this album is my personal favorite of his so far. I have listened to this album an embarrassing number of times at the office.

Håkon Stene
Lush Laments for Lazy Mammels
Hubro
2014

Music by Gavin Bryars, Laurence Crane and Christian Wallumrød played by percussionist Håkon Stene, that here also plays guitars, keyboards and other instruments. Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet introduced me to Gavin Bryars´music, and Michal Nyman´s book Experimental Music, Cage and Beyond lead me to other interesting musical thinkers and composers from the same period. Laurence Crane was a new acquaintance for me when Håkon Stene sent me the mixes for this album. I love his music and have released another album of his compositions later on.

Sigbjørn Apeland
Glossolalia
Hubro
2011

This solo harmonium album was one of the first releases on the label. Sigbjørn is one of a kind. I never grow tired of his playing.

1982
Pintura
Hubro
2011

After having heard the debut album of the trio 1982, Nils Økland (Hardanger Fiddle), Sigbjørn Apeland (Harmonium) and Øyvind Skarbø (drums), I got in touch with them and begged them to let me release their next album.

Skadedyr
Kongekrabbe
Hubro
2013

This twelve piece band's debut album was recording during a one-day studio session and later got a spaced-out mix courtesy of Andreas Mjøs (Jaga Jazzist). This album does not resemble how the band sounds like that much, it's a bit unfair to their live sound, but I love it.

Møster
When You Cut into The Present
Hubro
2015

Saxophonist Kjetil Møster and his extremely powerful band. This is one of the loudest bands in the catalog, and it is also one of my favorites.

Geir Sundstøl
Langen Ro
Hubro
2016

Guitarist / lap steel player Geir had been a backing musician for three decades, playing with everyone from A-Ha to Nils Petter Molvær, when he sent me his first demos for a solo album. I am so glad that I got the chance to work with him. He says himself that he is into sad music, and that fits my taste well. It's a worn out description I guess, but for me this is very cinematic and evocative music.

Erlend Apneseth Trio
Åra
Hubro
2017

I have a feeling of witnessing something unique every time I visit a studio session or concert with this trio. The three of them have very different musical background. I have been co-producing both of their albums and it has been very interesting following them as they have been searching for common musical ground, and after that taking off to new destinations together.

Building Instrument
Kem Som Kan Å Leve
Hubro
2016

Starting out as an acoustic electronica band, but then going in a more electronic direction. Again a trio where the three members' contributions sum up to more than a sum of three.

Erland Dahlen
Rolling Bomber
Hubro
2012

Drummer Erland Dahlen is also one of my favorite musicians. Always easily recognizable. He is a fanatic instrument collector, and the sound worlds he builds on his solo albums are so rich and original.

Morten Qvenild
Personal Piano
Hubro
2015

I first noticed Morten when he had the duo Susanna and the magical orchestra together with Susanna Wallumrød. He is a musician that goes all-in in all the projects he is involved in. This album/project from 2015 sounds very original in my ears, and when listening to Oneohtrix Point Never's new album recently I was reminded of this album.

Erik Honoré
Heliographs
Hubro
2014

Punkt-curator Erik Honorés album is also a personal favorite in the catalog. Erik makes musical collages out of improvisations recorded in his studio and at Punkt events. I love the way he builds songs out of Sidsel Endresen's improvisations.

Nils Økland
Lysning
Hubro
2017

I first met Nils Økland when he taught folk music at my high school, and I have been an admirer of his music ever since.

Stephan Meidell
Metrics
Hubro
2017

Guitarist Stephan Meidell mixes electronic music and folk-and baroque influences on this album. I think he is a musical visionary, and have had the pleasure of working both with his band Cakewalk, his solo project, his duo Strings & Timpani and in the studio with Erlend Apneseth Trio.

Jessica Sligter
Fear And The Framing
Hubro
2012

Singer-Songwriter and producer Jessica Sligter's best album in my opinion. It´s a shame that so few have heard of her and her music. Always special and great!

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