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KARL BJORÅ’S APERTURE

«The Most Obvious Solution»
ØRA FONOGRAM, OF138

Young Norwegian guitarist Karl Bjorå has positioned himself as an adventurous and intense guitarist in the Nordic power trio Yes Deet, but other collaborations of him – with Emmeluth’s Amoeba and the Megalodon Collective – demonstrated his versatile, far-reaching aesthetics. His debut album as a leader, the conceptual «The Most Obvious Solution», highlights his gifts as an original and clever composer and bandleader.

Bjorå composed strong and rhythmical melodic themes, but arranged these pieces as chamber, fragile pieces. He has gathered like-minded, young musicians who would realize best his ideas – violinist and viola player Adrian Løseth Waade, double bass player Bárður Reinert Poulsen, drummer and electronics player Andreas Winther (who also plays in the Megalodon Collective), all have played together as a working band for few years now. Cellist Astri Hoffmann-Tollaas joins the quartet on three pieces.

The eight distinct pieces emphasize the breadth of Bjorå’s rich, sometimes eccentric compositional ideas, inspired by the Third Stream and art rock. The opening, title-piece flow beautifully as it plays with gentle, swinging feelings of contrapunct and bitonality, exploration of natural overtones and dance-like rhythmic patterns, slowly evolving into a modern folk song. «Something Staggering» offers a contemplative, chamber interplay that stresses the ethereal bowing work of Waade and Poulsen, contrasted by the rhythmic lines of Bjorå. The most enigmatic piece, «Eastbound», suggests haunting, cinematic tension created by the chilly, atmospheric guitar lines of Bjorå and the noisy electronics of Winther, but wrapped with warm strings of Waade and Poulsen. «Lightheaded Lizard» is an innocent, playful folk melody and the last piece «Spiral» offers an energized, tensed interplay that repeats a powerful and intense rhythmic pattern.

Eyal Hareuveni

Karl Bjorå (g), Adrian Løseth Waade (vio, viola), Bárður Reinert Poulsen (b), Andreas Winther (dr, elec); Astri Hoffmann-Tollaas (c)