3,5 αστεράκια από το music ohm…
Από τον Steven Johnson & το http://www.musicohm.com:
«For the best part of five years the Hubro label has released albums that have consistently showcased some of the best underground, minimalist Norwegian jazz. Their releases have always been defined by a musical sparseness and coolness, with a toned-down undercurrent of suspense also never too far away.
The label deals in music that is primarily derived from a classic jazz palette of bass, piano, brass and occasional strings but leans heavily towards the alternative. If it was possible to gauge the musical temperature of the label in most cases you would expect it to register above zero, but only just.
These traits can be found on the debut album from Norwegian 12-piece band Skadedyr, but they are less obvious and, where they do exist, they are presented in a much different way. Maybe unusually for Hubro, they also find themselves competing with other extroverted musical elements and out and out surprises.
Yet, having said that there’s enough evidence on Kongekrabbe to suggest that Skadedyr are just as adept in creating music that is centred on detailed precision and discreet construction as some of their labelmates. This is nowhere better demonstrated than on the title track, arguably the best on the album, and the piece that seems to achieve the best balance in sound. It emerges thoughtfully, building into something atmospheric but equally attention-demanding, like Jaga Jazzist but maybe with greater nods to abstraction. It also sees the use of female vocals as an instrument, a device that doesn’t always work well in jazz or improvised music but here it stands up as an effective addition.
Prior to this, album opener Intro Linselus displays a contemporary chamber music influence amongst the unorthodox string scrapes and brass splutters, suggestive of something approaching if not quite having fully reached the avant-garde. Following piece Linselus/Due meanwhile is a contrasting suite where dense, percussion-heavy noise sits alongside near silent, piano-based transparency.
The real surprise arrives with Partylus which ushers in a striking change of sound and shows their willingness to experiment. The unexpected quotations of lyrics from Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan and Firestarter by The Prodigy initially jar and confuse, giving rise to the fear that it is too radical and potentially unreconciliable a shift to really work. Musically, however, it is mischievous and unpredictable and helps makes sense of descriptions of the band as an anarchistic collective.
Several small musical fragments are pushed up close together, almost sounding something like The Fiery Furnaces would come up with if they lived in Scandinavia, having been raised with a taste for leftfield jazz and an enhanced sense of playfulness. If that wasn’t sufficient the track also hints at some of the musical paraphrasing found in the work of American classical composer Charles Ives. Regardless of personal opinion on the merits or otherwise of the track, it undoubtedly succeeds in shaking the album up.
Closing track Lakselus takes us in a different direction, rising from esoteric roots to reach a sustained sonic peak before falling away to calmness. Kongekrabbe may only consist of 37 minutes of music over the course of five tracks, but the scale of the ground covered makes it feels like much more. It may require several listens to fully digest and appreciate, but this is an intriguing first release.»