44

Bol / Westerhus / Snah: Numb, number

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Norwegian trio Bol has always been a melting pot of untimely sound worlds, poetic texts and fearless, improvising character. Vocalist Tone Åse experiments with live electronics and subtle interpretations of poems, as she did on her recent collaboration with drummer Thomas Stronen, Voxpheria (Gigafon, 2012). Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken evokes progressive rock symphonies with his usage of vintage synthesizers, while drummer Tor Haugerud explores original grooves.

On this recording, four years after Skylab (NORCD, 2008), Bol is joined by two extremely creative and unorthodox guitarists— Hans Magnus Ryan (known as Snah), from seminal Norwegian band Motorpsycho, and Stian Westerhus, known for his impressive solo outing Pitch Black Star Spangled (Rune Grammofon, 2010) and as a member of Nils Petter Molvaer's trio. This quintet performed first at Trondheim Jazz Festival in 2010, and the praised performance has culminated in this recording.

The seven compositions vary in nature. All stress the lyrics and are structured as mini-suites. "Numb, number" evolves slowly and gently around the vocalist's expressive recitation of her poem. Åse's vocals and Storløkken's spare electronic sounds embraces the poetic images of e.e. cummings' "Spring is like a perhaps hand" with a perfect, corresponding cinematic sonic envelope.

"You bird—," after a poem by modern Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen, has a grandiose, powerful arrangement, similar to the recent collaboration by Motorpsycho and Storløkken on The Death Defying Unicorn (Rune Grammofon, 2012), with the distinctive sounds of the two guitarists placed upfront. "Waiting Time," based on another Jacobsen poem, develops patiently. Åse plays with the poem, while Westerhus' sustained guitar lines and Storløkken's psychedelic synthesizer sounds engulf her fragile, nuanced reading.

"The Western Wind," also after Jacobsen poem, is a compact prog-rock symphony, governed by Åse's warm, soaring vocals and improvisations. She is aided by the twin-guitar power chords and Storløkken and Haugerud's electric storm. "Asphalt," using another Jacobsen poem, has a spare, threatening soundscape that stresses Åse's delivery of the poetic content concerning the danger of authoritative regimes.

"Singing Again," from a poem by Norwegian port Olav. H. Hauge, is a hopeful, love message to the beautiful nature around us. The poem is performed with an emotional, melodic and delicate arrangement—a fitting conclusion to this magnificent journey in sound and poetry.

Track Listing: Numb, number; Spring is like a perhaps hand; You bird -; Waiting time; The Western Wind; Asphalt; Singing again.

Personnel: Tone Åse: voice, live electronics; Ståle Storløkken: keyboards; Tor Haugerud: drums and guests Stian Westerhus: guitar, vocals; Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan: guitar, vocals.

Title: Numb, number | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Gigafon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read No Matter Where Noir CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Out Of Silence CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Plodi CD/LP/Track Review Plodi
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Secret Language CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Shamat CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Tom Haines Live" CD/LP/Track Review Tom Haines Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "In Times Like These" CD/LP/Track Review In Times Like These
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Bleak House" CD/LP/Track Review Bleak House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Beekman Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Beekman Vol. 02
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "In Praise of Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review In Praise of Shadows
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor