77

Muddersten: Playmates

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to 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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Earth
Earth
Dave Liebman
Read Urban(e)
Urban(e)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read Hiding Place
Hiding Place
Mark Murphy, Folk Artist
Read The Truce
The Truce
Markus Reuter
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.