Jaga Jazzist has become something of a musical phenomenon in Norway since they started 15 years ago. Not only is this 9 piece instrumental band regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative in Norway, the members are all involved in other musical projects and have in one way or another contributed to almost every significant recording to come out of that part of the world in the last few years. It has been this strong involvement with different projects, and different musical styles and sounds which is the key to the unique sound of Jaga Jazzist. With no boundaries and an arsenal that includes trumpet, trombone, electric guitars, bass, tuba, bass clarinet, saxophones, keyboards, vibraphone and a rack of electronics, Jaga Jazzist create timeless music. Melodic, hypnotizing, delicate and subtle.
Jaga Jazzist started out in Tonsberg (a small town outside Oslo) in 1994 at which time Lars Horntveth (the main songwriter in Jaga) was only 14 years old! In 2001 they released their debut album, A Livingroom Hush on Warner in Scandinavia to massive critical acclaim and great sales (the album sold over 15000 copies in Norway alone..). The band then signed a deal for the rest of the world through Oslo`s Smalltown Supersound. Throughout 2002 the band shocked fans and critics alike with their blistering live shows and the buzz resulted in sold out dates all over Europe and the band soon came to the attention of Ninja Tune who did a license/collaboration deal with Smalltown Supersound.
At the same time that their debut album was gaining more and more international success, Jaga recorded the follow up titled The Stix, their first for Ninja Tune. As with their first album it was produced by Norwegian superproducer Jørgen Træen the man behind Duper Studios in Bergen (home of Røyksopp, Kings of Convenience, Sondre Lerche et.al.) but this time Jaga wanted to push their musical limits even further and really create a sound they could genuinely call "Jaga Jazzist." It was the perfect balance between (hu)man and machine, and it never lost the organic nature of a live 10 piece.
After heavy touring next came their most radical What We Must album, the result of the band going into an isolated studio out in the Norwegian woods and recording the demo now known as the Spydeberg Session. Put down in one take in one day, it was a breakthrough moment for the group.