5

Eivind Aarset & Jan Bang: Snow Catches on her Eyelashes

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Eivind Aarset & Jan Bang: Snow Catches on her Eyelashes
Although they had been collaborating since the early 90s, the first recording on which the Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset and American-born, Norway-resident Jan Bang appeared together was Bang's Pop Killer (Virgin, 1998). In the years since, Aarset and Bang have collaborated on many more albums, but this is the first to credit them as a duo. Particular high spots in their collaborations have included Bang's album on David Sylvian's label ...and Poppies from Kandahar (Samishadsound, 2010), Aarset's Dream Logic (ECM, 2012), produced by Bang, which included plenty of Aarset-Bang (or Aarset-Honoré-Bang) compositions, Arve Henriksen's The Height of the Reeds (Rune Grammofon, 2018), and the song-based Dark Star Safari (Arjunamusic, 2019)—a mouth-watering playlist.

While Aarset's guitar, and Bang's production, mixing and sampling have been crucial ingredients in the sound of much modern Norwegian music, it would not be proper to neglect many other musicians who have also contributed, particularly as quite a few make appearances on this album, including trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, vocalist Sidsel Endresen and sampler and synth player Erik Honore.

Right from the start of the opening track, "Purplebright," listeners are in an electronic soundscape constructed from synths, samples and guitar notes which are interwoven, ebbing and flowing together. "Asphalt Lake" has more of an industrial characteristic, being underpinned by a relentless low-frequency pulse with occasional melodic fragments over the top. The all-too-brief "Before the Wedding" features Hilde Norbakken on melodic piano over an electronic backdrop. Such tracks typify the modus operandi throughout, with seemingly incompatible ingredients from a variety of sources being juxtaposed and fitted together in ways which work and are effective, often with an underlying rhythmic pulse easing things along. While there are ingredients which are identifiable as originating from dub, contemporary composition, folk or pop music these are integrated together into a seamless whole rather than being showcased.

Running for about forty-three minutes, the album's forward momentum will be sufficient to carry most listeners along and leave them contentedly glowing at the end. Devotees of the contemporary Norwegian music scene will find plenty here to reinforce their devotion and keep them coming back for more. Those who are curious, but have yet to see the light, are recommended to invest time in seriously listening to Snow Catches on her Eyelashes; converts are referred to the earlier mentioned list. Aarset, Bang and company go from strength to strength, as does the Norwegian scene. Onward and upward.

Track Listing

Purplebright; Asphalt Lake; Before the Wedding; Two Days in June; Outer Space; The Witness; Inner Sphere; Serenade; Monochrome; Night Spell.

Personnel

Eivind Aarset: guitar; Jan Bang: live sampling; Sidsel Endresen: voice / vocals; Erik Honore: samples/effects; Nils Petter Molvaer: trumpet; Hilde Norbakken: piano; Anders Engen: drums; Audun Erlien: bass, electric.

Album information

Title: Snow Catches on her Eyelashes | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Jazzland Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read When You Find It
When You Find It
Arthur White and Merge
Read Rainbow Baby
Rainbow Baby
Cathlene Pineda
Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane
Read Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah!
The Claire Daly Band
Read Artlessly Falling
Artlessly Falling
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Read Hi-Fly
Hi-Fly
Howard University Jazz Ensemble
Read And Then It Rained
And Then It Rained
The Michael O'Neill Quartet

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.