The reverberation and sound camaraderie of the young Norwegian trio Klangkameratane (or even better in its onomatopoeic pronunciation, the klang comrades) was founded in 2006, "against its members' will," as its MySpace page declares. All three members of the trio are twenty-five years old, and studied jazz together in Bergen. Guitarist Even Helte Hermansen is a former student of experimental guitarist Ivar Grydeland and is a member of Shining, while drummers Øyvind Hegg-Lunde
and Øyvind Skarbø
have both studied with one of the most creative percussionist and sound sculptors, Terje Isungset.
This limited edition debutonly 300 copies, all home-made CDRs and all hand-painted by children from the musicians' extended families (my copy is painted with lovely blue ducks)features eleven improvisations/compositions that reference diverse influences, from early Ornette Coleman and Scandinavian guitar heroes including Norwegian Terje Rypdal, Finnish/American Raoul Björkenheim and Icelandic Hilmar Jennson, to the Wollof-tribe drumming of Gambia, the obnoxious pop-metal of Kiss and even speed metal.
Nothing is too deep. It is more about outbursts of the trio's distinct skills in creating evocative and often surprising soundscapes, before they join more disciplined outfits. Things become more interesting with "Klondike," where the trio conveys a fascinating cinematic sense, built in a more linear manner.
The longest track, "Kardinal," highlights the drummers' interest in African percussion traditions and the influence of their tutelage with Isungset. The interplay between the African wood percussion instruments, drumming on found objects, and the gentle atmospheric sounds of Hermansen's guitar, creates a dark and mysterious ambience. The anthemic funk-metal of "Kartell" is tolerable only when Hermansen begins to spice it up with heavy doses of distortion and feedback. The closer, "Kaliff," is an unusually reserved, dreamy soundscape, and one of the highlights of this recording. It will be interesting to see what comes next for this trio and its members.