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Hubro: Making Room for Marginalized Music

Jakob Baekgaard By

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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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