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Jo Berger Myhre: Unheimlich Manoeuvre

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Jo Berger Myhre: Unheimlich Manoeuvre
Norwegian bassist Jo Berger Myhre is not new to the music scene—he has worked extensively with Nils Petter Molvaer's quartet, contributing to the trumpeter's Buoyancy (Okeh, 2016) and Stitches (Modern Recordings, 2021). But Unheimlich Manoeuvre is Myhre's first recording under his own name.

In experiencing the artistry of a new (to a particular listener) musician, it is helpful to look toward his touchstones, and Moleavar is a strong one for Myhre. His music contains a similar blend of jazz, ambience, electro drone-ism and expansive soundscaping which gives an impression of a soundtrack to the beginning of the universe, as galaxies are beginning to coalesce. His music captivates by presenting mysteries—things that sound like radio waves surging in from deep space beside soothing pastoral washes which might serve as soundtracks to Claude Monet paintings.

Myhre uses his basses, a drum machine, a Moog Minitaur, a Grendel Drone Commander and "various analogue electronics" to do his musical world-building, and remotely he brings in syths, an organ, acoustic guitar and upright piano and, on one tune, a narration, from the Raymond Carver short story "I Could See the Smallest Things," recited by Vivian Wang. Berger curates all of this into a cohesive whole, surreal and eerie, organic sounds juxtaposed with the synthetic and otherworldly.

Cavernous echoings suggest immensity; organ bursts bring an extra-terrestrial church to mind; bowed bass lines suggest Earthly leviathans, lugubrious plankton eaters plying cold dark water for their sustenance, or immense "sun ghosts" circling stars surviving on the absorption of plasma.

A particularly compelling debut.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Jo Berger Myhre: 1930s German double bass, 1964 Gretsch 6071 bass guitar, Music Man HD150 amplfier, Simmons SDS8 drum machine, Moog Minitaur, Grendel Drone Commander, various analogue electronics; Kaveh Mahmudlyan: tombak (2, 4, 5, 7); Jo David Meyer Lysne: acoustic guitar (2, 3, 6); Jana Anisimova: upright piano: (2, 3); Morten Qvenild: synth (3, 5); Olafur Bjorn Olafsson: organ (5); Vivian Wang: narration (5).

Album information

Title: Unheimlich Manoeuvre | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords


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