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På skive


«I Want to Believe»

The Norwegian, Oslo-based quintet Billy Meier chose an escapist title for its third album. I Want to Believe reflects Billy Meier’s wish «to hold on to our right to dream and fantasize about the mysteries of the universe», far away as possible from the gradually more dystopian world we live in, and at the same time, it is a homage to the childish belief in the unexplainable.

Billy Meier – flutist Henriette Eilertsen, violinist Hans P. Kjorstad, guitarist Sander Eriksen Nordahl, bassist Martin Morland, and drummer Ivar Myrset Asheim, all adding synths or drum machines to their arsenal – recorded this album at Athletic Sound in Halden in February 2021. All five musicians contributed their own pieces and added improvisational ideas that have come about through the creative process. The co-production of Billy Meier and producer and studio technician Dag Erik Johansen emphasized pop aesthetics over the jazz background of Billy Meier’s musicians.

The spacious, dreamy sound of vintage synths, processed instruments, drum machines and roto toms, as well as the fact that Billy Meier insisted on not using any artificial reverb in the mix, but rather actively use of compression and delay, gives I Want to Believe a distinct seventies and eighties prog-rock and synth-pop aroma. Or as Billy Meier calls it: retro-futuristic space jazz. The atmosphere is light and shiny, but clearly engaging and inventive with many playful and sometimes childish sonic games. If you wish, this album reminisces a more reserved and settled version of the space jazz of early Gong, extraterrestrial pot-headed pixies trips, with some references to another British prog-rock band of that era, Camel, but not the space jazz of Sun Ra.

I Want to Believe, cements even further Billy Meier’s interest in cosmic hyperspace, as already established in its previous album Sounds from Erra (Øra Fonogram, 2019), and as the titles of the twelve short pieces suggest. Billy Meier is still optimistic that the theories of Swiss Eduard Albert «Billy» Meier about contacting friendly and enlightened beings from outer space and visiting faraway planets would prove right and soon enough.

Eyal Hareuveni   

Henriette Eilertsen (fl, synth), Hans P. Kjorstad (vio, synth), Sander Eriksen Nordahl (g, synth), Martin Morland (b, synth), Ivar Myrset Asheim (dr, drum machine)

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