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AKMEE

«Neptun»
NAKAMA NKMO11CD

Akmee is a Norwegian, Oslo-based collaborative quartet featuring musicians who like jazz from its experimental, exploratory side. The quartet was formed in 2013 by drummer Andreas Wildhagen, known from Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit and the groups Nakama, Mopti, Momentum and Lana Trio, and pianist Kjetil Jerve, who also plays in the Lana Trio as in other groups as Orter Eparg (again with Wildhagen) and Baker Hansen. Akmee features trumpeter Erik Kimestad Pedersen, who collaborated with Danish pianist Jeppe Zeeberg recent projects, and bass player Erlend Albertsen, who plays in another of Nakama collective groups, Filosofer.

Akmee played only a handful of European concerts before recording «Neptun», referring to the mysterious planet Neptune, invisible to the naked eye, discovered through mathematical deduction after scientists noticed unexpected changes in the course of Uranus. Neptune is also the Roman god of the sea, the ruler of liquid elements, gifted with tremendous power over our subconsciousness and emotions. «Neptun» was also inspired by the works of John Coltrane and the novel «Haiene» (The Sharks), the major work of Norwegian writer Jens Bjørneboe, known for his turbulent, uncompromising life and his criticism of the Norwegian society.

Akmee attempts to offer a Neptunian sonic experience through a suite that dismisses the distinction between the accurate, composed and rehearsed segments and the personal-intuitive improvised parts that connect, float and drift unconsciously and beyond control. The first part, «Summoning», sets the enigmatic, atmosphere when Akmee flows between lyrical and turbulent poles, establishing its egalitarian, collective interplay. The following «Dance of the Maniae» changes course to a playful, polytonal mode and now Akmee sounds now as dancing according to twisted, fractured rhythm of its own. Then, on «Wavelengths», Akmee explores and drifts across murky, dark oceans, navigating its rhythmic course back and forward. The concluding part in this arresting piece «Tides in Space» is the most beautiful one. Akmee sounds as an organic unit who have found its unique astral sound, lyrical and melodic but one that does not conform to a clear narrative, floating fast between its reserved and urgent modes.

Impressive debut.

Eyal Hareuveni

Erik Kimestad Pedersen (tp), Kjetil Jerve (p),  Erlend Albertsen (b), Andreas Wildhagen (dr)