Nils Petter Molvaer: Hamada(Sula Records)
Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket (ACT Label)
The immediately recognizable trumpet sound of Nils Petter Molvaer is brought right to the foreground in his latest CD entitled Hamada. The two tracks which consist solely of Molvaer’s unaccompanied trumpet, Exhumation and Lahar, are for me the most beautiful on the record. The tone which he produces on the instrument is at once dark and delicate, perhaps only comparable to that other great Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henrikson.
A majority of the rest of the album is occupied by vast static soundscapes which act as an effective base for Molvaer’s melodic solo work and provide a contrast to the break-beat influenced Friction (by far the liveliest track on the album). Electronic musician Jan Bang’ s use of live sampling and field recordings give the music an extra dimension; this could be amongst the most dynamic aspects of the group’s up-coming Southbank appearance.
Dan Berglund ’s group Tonbruket is a mixed bag. Their cited influences are ‘from e.s.t. to Pink Floyd, Royksopp and Arvo Part’ and it is true to say that all these are present in some form on this self-titled release. Due to be released early this year EST fans are well catered for, with tunes reminiscent of that ground-breaking trio. Indeed the first track, Sister Sad, is somewhat of an epic. Berglund’s bass is complemented by Johan Lindström’s work on a variety of different guitar sounds, ranging from the ethereal and introspective to all out rock-distortion. Berglund also demonstrates his more plaintive side on the track Sailor Waltz, which starts with a fine duet with pianist Martin Hederos. Other tracks including the ominously named Monstrous Colossus document the heavier, rockier side to the group, giving drummer Andreas Werliin a chance to let rip.
Nils Petter Molvaer plays the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 22 February 2010.
Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket play the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 15 March 2010.