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Eivind Aarset

Eivind Aarset is a guitarist with a unique musical vision that absorbs and reflects all manner of music while retaining an enviable individualism and high quality craftsmanship that can span from quiet intimacy to searing intensity. His debut as a bandleader on Jazzland Recordings was described by the New York Times as "One of the best post-Miles electric jazz albums," setting a high benchmark that Aarset has consistently met and exceeded, both in the studio and in live performance.

As one of Norway's most in-demand guitarists, Eivind Aarset has worked with Jon Hassell, David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Jan Garbarek, Paolo Fresu, Marilyn Mazur, J.Peter Schwalm, Mike Manieri, Marc Ducret, Michel Benitas Ethics, Martux-M, Stefano Battaglia, Michele Rabbia, Talvin Singh, and Andy Sheppard. He has worked with Nils Petter Molvaer's band, (appearing on all of Molvaer's albums, including the breakthrough album "Khmer" and 2006's award-winning "ER"). He also has collaborated with Dhafer Youssef, both live and in the studio.

Aarset's musical awakening happened when, at the age of 12, he heard Jimi Hendrix. "I started on the guitar as soon as I heard him," he recalls with a smile. "I bought a second hand Hendrix record and that was it. Then I started getting into rock bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Santana and Pink Floyd before my brother introduced me to the music of Miles Davis, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Return to Forever. After a while, I got into the ECM sound of Jan Garbarek, and Terje Rypdal, who was a big influence. Then I went on the road with a fulltime heavy metal band, a fantastic experience, until I got tired of being angry every night! Then I quit and became a session musician."

As part of the band, Ab & Zu, he created the unique guitar style and sound he would later develop further as part of saxophonist Bendik Hofseth's group. However, it was his involvement with Bugge Wesseltoft and the Oslo Jazz underground that crystallized the sound he was seeking: "What drew me to this music was the hypnotic grooves and musical freedom I found," says Eivind. "There's no established rules or tradition in what I am doing, you can make the rules up as you go along. Rhythm is the centre of the music, the landscape the soloist travels through. It's fresh territory and I have no idea where this scene will end up, but there's a lot of great sounds and new music being created which makes it such an exciting scene."

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Review on Connected by BBC:

The two years since avant guitarist Aarset's last opus, Light Extracts, have been filled with several major shifts in direction. Up until now (at least outside his native Norway), his name's been, err, connected mainly with jazz 'n' bass trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer. Yet, apart from last year's triumphant appearance with Molvaer at the ICA (performing a live soundtrack to Lang's Metropolis), he's been using new, younger collaborators to push his work in fresh directions. Connected bears the fruits of those endeavours.

Two key names in the aforementioned change in direction have been Dhafer Youssef, the Parisian-based singer and oud player on whose album Digital Prophecy he made a major contribution, and fellow Norwegian electronica man-of-the-moment, Jan Bang. It's the latter who makes the biggest impact on Aarset's sound here. While only appearing on a couple of tracks, both his and fellow boffin Raymond Pellicer's digital trickery have led Aarset to tone down his dance-oriented leanings and get a whole lot more subtle in his approach.

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John Derek Bishop
live sampling

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Transneptunian Planets

RareNoiseRecords
2022

buy

Phantasmagoria, or a...

Jazzland Recordings
2021

buy

Snow Catches on her...

Jazzland Recordings
2020

buy

Trunks

C+C Records
2020

buy

Dream Logic

ECM Records
2013

buy

Dream Logic

ECM Records
2012

buy

Electromagnetic

From: Live Extracts
By Eivind Aarset

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