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På skive


«Explosive Meditations»

The Norwegian Action & Tension & Space (ATS) quartet describes its self as a spaced-out instrumental unit that merges the hypnotic ambiance of The Necks with the doomsday atmosphere of early albums of Pink Floyd such as «A Saucerful of Secrets» (EMI, 1968). The doomsday spirit was intensified by the unique circumstances of the recording of «Explosive Meditations», the third album of ATS, during two days of heavy rain and storm rumbling outside the studio windows, located on the west coast of Norway.

«Explosive Meditations» offers three free improvised, suggestive drones. The twin guitars of Per Steinar Lie, who also plays on the lap-steel guitar, and Øystein Braut, who alternates on organ, layer on the opening piece, «Peruvian Dream», the dark and atmospheric, melancholic tension, so familiar with the era of space-rock of Pink Floyd, while bass player Julius Lind and drummer Ørjan Haaland intensify the hypnotic groove. Mid-piece, «Peruvian Dream» abandons the Pink Floyd territory and searches for shinier, breezy territories.

The following «Mørke skyer over Sildabyen» still sticks to the seminal Pink Floyd legacy, with the ceremonial, cymbal work of Haaland and the atmospheric organs of Braut, but the last piece, the 19-minutes of «Destroyer of All Worlds» offers a different kind of action. It injects much-needed distortion, dirt, noise and punkish energy into the clean, tightly-produced formula of the dinosaur rockers. The groove is still mysterious and infectious, but now the guitars Steinar Lie and Braut explore thorny yet abstract ambiance, and ATS finds itself coming close to the liberating, powerful rhythmic eruptions of The Necks, but with its very own strong voices and identity.

Eyal Hareuveni

Julius Lind (b), Per Steinar Lie (lap-steel g, el.g), Ørjan Haaland (dr), Øystein Braut (g, org)

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