Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Muddersten: Playmates

77

Muddersten: Playmates

By

View read count
Muddersten: Playmates
The amusing cover art is a take-off on a 16th and 17th century Flanders and Netherlands tradition of still life themes known as vanitas (vanity) paintings that basically portray aspects not deemed important when it comes down to living a fruitful life. Somehow, this experimental Scandinavian trio ties all of these connotations into four distinct tracks, "Private Pleasure 1—4."

Akin to life's endless trail of diversions, moods, and routes to happiness, these four pieces are executed with largely unconventional tools of the trade, including objects, microtonal tuba, friction and tape-loops that often equate to fluctuating acoustic-electronic tone poems. At times, analogies to semi-controlled noise making sprees, seasoned with highly expressionistic electronics-based minimalism and remembrances of composer and music theorist John Cage come to fruition. During several movements the trio adds sharply pointed angles to a horizontal musical plane via numerous aberrations. No doubt, the element of surprise is an underlying dynamic throughout.

The musicians cast a net complete with alien dialogues and unorthodox sound-sculpting motifs amid variances in pitch and prismatic choruses, loaded with contrasts that vaporize and reform into fleeting storylines. "Private Pleasure 2," sounds as though Martin Taxt is blurting breaths of air circulating through his microtonal tuba, shaded with electronics driven sounds of raindrops, and sparsely populated insects in a tropical rainforest during the dead of night. However, "Private Pleasure 4," features oscillating pulses, ethereal backwashes and creaky treatments akin to a rather unsettling dreamscape. And while this may read like it's an austere or overly cerebral presentation, the musicians' lighthearted escapades effectively balance the odd contrasts and jagged song-forms with an omnipresent entertainment factor that contains magnetic attributes.

Track Listing

Private Pleasure 1; Private Pleasure 2; Private Pleasure 3; Private Pleasure 4.

Personnel

Havard Volden: guitar and tape-loop; Martin Taxt: microtonal tuba; Jenrik Olsson: objects, friction, piezo.

Album information

Title: Playmates | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: SOFA


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Water is My Song
Synia Carroll
Pata Kandinsky
Norbert Stein
Tributes
Antonio Farao

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.