77

Muddersten: Playmates

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019