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The duo debut album is entirely improvisational. It highlights the breadth of the musical vocabulary of both Qvenlid and Nilssen and how the two melt elements from spacey- progressive rock, fusion, experimental sonic textures and free jazz into a cohesive, highly playful set of compositions. It also features their clever understanding of how the studio space can be used for creating a unique sound of their own and the immediate and profound communication between these gifted musicians.
The duo title and the titles of the nine pieces refer to an actual and imaginary journey in spacethe rhesus monkey Albert II was the first ever monkey in space that passed the Kármán line of 100 km taken to designate the beginning of space. The music moves in few parallel directions. It is rich in its melodic tones and driving, rhythmic ideas, but at the same time there is always a subversive undercurrent that obscures the melodic theme and progression with electronic noises, fractured beats and adventurous sonic searches. And vice versa, beneath any electronic, noisy storm there bubbles a melodic theme.
"Chopping Wood In My Brand New Moon Boots" and "Blue Baboon and Carpenter" sound as reserved, lyrical pieces and both are if they were played on Qvenild's piano only, but both are embraced by delicate yet disturbing, spacey soundscapes that imbue both with a disquieting tone. The humor of the pieces titles reflects the openness and unconventional employment of soundsany sounds that stress the joyful fascination of creating a new sonic language, as the two demonstrate on "Digital Cigarettes," and "Meanwhile In A Galaxy Far Away." The two enjoy the free improvised, intense collisions of sounds, acoustic, processed and electronic, exploring and turning the noisy mayhem into impressive, nuanced textures. "sPacemoNkey" and "Long Distance Call" feature the duo as structuring epic, cinematic stories, almost as prog-rock suites, with dramatic shifts in some tense plots.
Surprising and stimulating music. sPacemoNkey is a unique duo, with a distinct and highly personal sound and interplay of its own.
Track Listing: Aeronautics; Chopping Wood In My Brand New Moon Boots; Digital
Cigarettes; Darkness; Blue Baboon and Carpenter; sPacemoNkey; Meanwhile
In A Galaxy Far Away; Long Distance Call; Landing Day.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.