Danish, Gothenburg-based sax player Signe Lykkebo Dahlgreen is known from the all-Scandinavian power trio Yes Deer and frequent collaborations with local Swedish improvisers as tuba player Per-Åke Holmlander and Anna Högberg. Dahlgreen is described by her trio as a «heavy solo performer». Her debut solo release, «Kunki Snuk», a limited-edition cassette (and a download option), reaffirms this keen observation.
The six improvisations on «Kunki Snuk»all titled by Danish poet Jesper Elving, all recorded on May 2017, suggest distinct, methodical and masterful strategies of expanding the saxophone sonic ranges. Dahlgreen is well-versed with the extended techniques of innovative sax improvisers as Peter Brötzmann, Steve Lacy, John Butcher and Mats Gustafsson but has her own personal voice and vision.
The first piece «Stibelk» is an urgent and raging one, erupting with Brötzmann-esque/Gustafsson-like manic physical power, but later shifts into a restless, internal dialog between a rough, wailing voice and a gentle, singing one. «Nón» offers a delicate drone, vibrating slowly with Dahlgreen circular breathing, at times sounding close to a twisted bagpipe. She patiently colors this drone with new nuances, charges it with more and more energy and even adds repetitive rhythmic patterns. On the brief, ethereal «Rostis» Dahlgreen shows an impressive, focused restraint of her breaths.
«Kubek» suggests an arresting story where Dahlgeen takes her time while building the tension and twisting the narrative with sudden shifts and almost silent interlude, before concluding with a cathartic coda. «Stannet» is the most experimental piece here. Dahlgreen balances her extended breathing techniques with water gurgling, creating a fragile, industrial-like soundscape that employs cleverly the resonant space. The last «Nó» returns to sheer, physical attack of the first piece, but now she builds these fiery onslaughts methodically, exhausting all options and angles before claiming victory.
Real heavy stuff by one-of-a-kind heavyweight performer.
Signe Lykkebo Dahlgreen (s)