British bassist/electronics player Chris Mapp initially formed the Stillefelt trio as a "quiet band" in response to his group Gonimoblast, which can often be quite the opposite, as heard on Gonimoblast Live (Stoney Lane Records, 2017). The band name means "quiet field" in Norwegian. Mapp is joined by Percy Pursglove (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Thomas Seminar Ford (guitar and electronics) on this debut recording, recorded live at Royal Birmingham Conservatioire.
Featuring a trumpet in a "quiet band" runs counter to the instrument's brash reputation, but it is a common choice in the Norwegian music that was the inspiration for this band's approach (trumpeter Arve Henriksen was one of the featured guests on Gonimoblast Live). "Opening" finds Pursglove's trumpet insinuating itself into an atmospheric guitar and electronic texture. "A Kind Of A Day" features a true lead trumpet line with a guitar echo, all over a throbbing bass.
"Towards A Rusty Future" shows the band at its most electronic, an ethereal soundscape which gradually reveals some more conventional instrument sounds (along with backwards effects and heavy reverb). It leads directly into "Quiet Field," in which Mapp plays a rhythmic bass ostinato for the first time. "Half Life" finally features a true guitar solo, with a straight tone: proof that Ford is capable of Bill Frisell-like lines, in addition to the looping. "Never...ending" continues on from "Half Life" without pause, like a brief coda.
Mapp composed all of this music, but nothing about the group's sound suggests that. It is very much a collective approach, with a distinct collective identity. Hopefully the experiment will continue. The CD version of this album is limited to 500 copies, and includes original artwork and design by Tom Tebby. The Bandcamp download also includes a bonus Gonimoblast live album, recorded on the same day as two halves of the same concert.
Opening; A Kind Of A Day; Towards A Rusty Future; Quiet Field; Half Life; Never...Ending.