116

Ultralyd: Inertiadrome

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Ultralyd: Inertiadrome It's been nearly four years since Ultralyd released its 2007 Rune Grammofon debut, Conditions for a Piece of Music, and a lot's happened since that time. The members of this electrified quartet continue to weave their way through the fabric of the cutting-edge Norwegian improvising scene, ranging from the John Coltrane-inspired, early Jan Garbarek-tinged modal freedom of The Core's Office Essentials (Jazzland, 2008), which featured Ultralyd saxophonist Kjetil T. Møster, to the more structured attack of MoHa!'s One-Way Ticket to Candyland (Rune Grammofon, 2008), with the hard-hitting duo of Ultralyd guitarist Anders S. Hana and drummer Morten J. Olsen. Inertiadrome capitalizes on Conditions' broad soundscape but with a more decidedly relentless approach that makes it an album that's certainly not for the faint-at-heart; but for those whose tendencies lead to the more aggressive, rock-edged end of the improvising continuum, one with no shortage of rewards.

Not that Conditions didn't have its periods of extremity, but Inertiadrome largely dispenses with any of the atmospheric, spatial interludes; even the otherworldly sounds that introduce the album opener, "Lahtuma," only last a minute or so, before Kjetil D. Bransdal's grungy bass and Olsen's persistent cymbal work thunder into the core of the song, with Bransdal's repeating pattern alternating between bars of three and five, while Olsen layers a cross-rhythm to keep the pulse moving forward without ever resorting to something as straightforward as a backbeat. Hana's synthesizer and almost unrecognizable guitar tones create a psychedelic overlay that, as Møster enters with a repetitive baritone sax pattern and the guitarist begins to drive an iterative three-note line, seem like a distant cousin to Pink Floyd's spacey jams around the time of Ummagumma (Harvest/EMI, 1969).

The Pink Floyd references reappears later, as the 40-minute set concludes with "Cessation." Bransdal's tremelo'd bass is straight out of "One of These Days," from Meddle (Harvest/EMI, 1971), but without the safety net of either a rock pulse or easy-to-grab changes. Instead, Olsen's increasingly maelstrom-like kit work, Møster's high-pitched squeals and Hana's combination of expansive soundscapes and powerful but simple guitar lines, build to a climax that gradually dissolves into a 9/4 drum solo that ends Intertiadrome on an unconventional note.

In contrast to Conditions' twelve tracks, most of which ran under the five-minute mark (many under four), Intertiadrome's five lengthy tracks—only one under seven minutes, and "Cessathlon" approaching eleven—mean that there's more time to explore, allowing Ultralyd time to build its collective improvisations at a pace that might be considered relaxed, were the music anything but so intensely driven. With little respite, few soft surfaces and plenty of sharp-edged peaks with very few valleys, Intertiadrome signals a fundamental shift for Ultralyd, even as it's a logical successor to the equally challenging but largely less assaultive Conditions for a Piece of Music.


Track Listing: Lathuma; Street Sex; Contaminated Man; Geodesic Portico; Cessathlon.

Personnel: Kjetil T. Møster: saxophones; Anders S. Hana: guitar, synthesizer; Kjetil D. Bransdal: bass; Morton J. Olsen: drums, vibraphone.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Rune Grammofon


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Live In The South Bronx" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The South Bronx
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2016
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Bright Side" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Side
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!