The Geordie Approach: Shields

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The Geordie Approach: Shields
Two Norwegians and a Geordie—the nickname for someone from an area of North East England—excel at semi-structured and largely improvised acoustic-electric works, and celebrate their first album for this multi-dimensional UK-based record label that is unrestricted by any musical boundaries. Therefore, the trio straddles avant-garde, ambient-electronica, and other EFX-framed offshoots. However, they defy tradition because of drummer Ståle Birkeland's asymmetrical timekeeping and pulsing beats, which are not commonplace in cosmic, textural, and colorific electronica outings. Basically, the unbalanced cadences drive home these off-colored murals, sparking one's imagination to run rampant.

The two lengthy tracks project a broad spectrum of noise-shaping events which could be backdrops for sci-fi thrillers or, in some instances, impending cataclysmic events, but Birkeland's beats inject a free-jazz improv element into the production, swaying it from the norm. On "North" Petter Frost Fadnes and Chris Sharkey morph different pitches with an undulating synth dialogue into episodic storylines, often gleaning a series of menacing occurrences along with forceful rhythmic build-ups and a sweeping soundstage.

"South" begins with crackling and reverberating EFX canvasses, charted on an ominous sound design and perhaps smashing atoms along the way, as the tenor and tonalities shift during its 37-minute length. But the drummer's straightforward bass drum groove leads the trio into a dark forward-moving current toward a digital abyss of sorts. Moreover, they could be saluting the gods of free jazz amid Frost Fadnes' searching sax lines and Birkeland's peppery use of cymbals and small percussion implements just before closeout. Hence, the trio's unorthodox electronica slants elevate the production into much more than just a dreamlike fantasy.

Track Listing

North; South.


Stale Birkeland: drums; Chris Sharkey: guitar; Petter Frost Fadnes: saxophone.

Album information

Title: Shields | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Discus Music

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


Read Jammin' With KC
Jammin' With KC
Sylwester Ostrowski
Read What Comes Next
What Comes Next
Peter Bernstein
Read A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
Bruno Parrinha/Abdul Moimême/Carlos Santos
Read Suite!
Roberto Magris
Read Rhythm City
Rhythm City
Ptah Williams, Larry Kornfeld, Rob Silverman
Read Stringers & Struts
Stringers & Struts
Read Live In Maui
Live In Maui
Jimi Hendrix Experience

All About Jazz needs your support

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.