YODOK III began operations in Norway as the Trondheim-based duo of Swedish drummer Tomas Järmyr and tuba player Kristoffer Lo in 2008. They have released one EP (I, Self Produced, 2012) and one album (II, Perfect Hoax, 2013). Both Järmyr and Lo are versatile musicians, active in the local Norwegian experimental and improvised scene. Järmyr collaborated with Lo in the heavy drone trio Sunswitch (its self- titled album was released by Riot Factory, 2012) and the alternative jazz- pop outfit Doffs Poi. Lo plays in the art-rock bands PELbO and Highasakite, is a member of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and the experimental tuba trio Microtub (its debut was released by Sofa Music, 2011). He is an independent musician who released a fascinating solo tuba album Anomic (Gigafon, 2013), where he redefined the instrument's sound with effects, pedals and electronics.
Järmyr and Lo wanted to push Yodok's musical envelope in a thick mix of noisy, industrial ambience and heavy drones. They addressed Belgian guitarist and sonic sculptor Dirk Serries, known before through the monikers Vidna Obama and Fear Falls Burning, after they were fascinated by his minimalist ambient works. The collaboration was recorded over one session in August 2012 and mastered by American experimental guitarist and producer James Plotkin. is released as a limited-edition (240 copies with download codes) vinyl album by a new imprint of the Dutch vinyl label Tonefloat, ironically called A New Wave of Jazz.
The A side, simply called "One," is a contemplative, psychedelic journey. Waves of resonant sounds, comprised of distant echoing guitar lines, amplified, deep-toned tuba sounds and light- ringing or scraped cymbals, join to form an infinite aural spectrum. All three musicians have equal parts in creating giant sound waves, with no dominant voice. The thick, rich sounds patiently grow bigger and deeper, enriched with noisy feedback, the singing voice of the tuba, nervous drumming and distorted guitar lines until it becomes a monolith of enigmatic, dream-state soundscapes that embrace a listener in a commanding, ritualistic meditation. The B side, "Two," present a different approach. Jarmyr's methodical pulse sets the course for a linear progression. This powerful pulse slowly evolves with noisy, atmospheric sounds that keep swirling around heavy beats, stressing the tension and mysterious, tribal mood until a monumental climax.
An exceptional, invigorating listening experience, suggesting a new means of creating free improv. One of the most impressive and original releases of 2014.
Tomas Järmyr: drums; Kristoffer Lo: tuba, flugabone, effects; Dirk
Serries: electric guitar, effects.
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