4

Huntsville: Past Increasing, Future Receding

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
For their fourth album release—the second on the Hubro label—the Norwegian guitar/bass/drums (plus effects) trio Huntsville have moved away from the collaborations (notably that with vocalist Hanne Hukkelberg) which characterised their last two recordings, and again opted to record as a threesome. The main reason for that is obvious once the music begins. Past Increasing, Future Receding was recorded in the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum at Slemdal in Oslo—a dimly lit barrel-vaulted room completely covered in frescos painted by Vigeland, who erected the building in 1926 to house his sculptures and paintings in the future. Now a popular concert and recording venue, the space has extraordinary acoustics so that even the smallest sound in it produces a long echo.

The opening track, "Presence in Absence," begins with a low-key drone that is unobtrusive enough to cause no great echoes—and then, some eighty-four seconds in, a far louder percussive sound resounds (and resounds and resounds...) for all of ten seconds, amply demonstrating just what the space is capable of. Among improvising musicians, it has become a truism that the space in which an ensemble performs is like an extra band member, and just as important as other members. Here, that is particularly true, for the space assumes as much importance as the members of the trio, making any other collaboration unnecessary. As they would with any collaborator, the three musicians play around with the space, finding out what it can do and how it responds to the different stimuli they send to it. That process makes fascinating listening as they go on a voyage of discovery... but it would have been good to hear more of the journey they went on.

Oddly, Past Increasing, Future Receding is "the result of three intense working days with sound technician Thomas Hukkelberg." One of the more remarkable things about it is that the sum total of those three days is less than thirty five minutes of released music. One can only conclude that lots of music was recorded but never used—maybe experimentation in the space that was not totally successful? As a result of such selection, the music that was released is of a consistently high standard with no troughs or flat patches. Time after time, the three musicians plus the space combine together to create an appealing groove that contains enough variation and detail to stay fresh and interesting over many repeated listenings.

There is a considerable history of albums recorded in acoustically extraordinary environments; notable examples include John Butcher and Toshimaru Nakamura's Cavern with Nightlife (Weight of Wax, 2002), Butcher's solo recording Resonant Spaces (Confront, 2006), Evan Parker's September Winds and September Duos (Creative Works, 2000) and, of course, several Deep Listening Band albums such as Troglodyte's Delight (¿What Next? 1990). Now, Past Increasing, Future Receding deserves to join such a distinguished list.

Track Listing: Presence in Absence; The Flow of Sand; In an Hourglass

Personnel: Ivar Grydeland: guitars, effects; Tonny Kluften: bass ; Ingar Zach: percussion, effects.

Title: Past Increasing, Future Receding | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Hubro Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Destinations" CD/LP/Track Review Destinations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Mal Sirine" CD/LP/Track Review Mal Sirine
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Original Demos" CD/LP/Track Review Original Demos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "The Wrong Waltz" CD/LP/Track Review The Wrong Waltz
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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