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ÅR & DAG, AD13

Blomsten (flower in Danish) is a Danish, Copenhagen-based quartet of percussionists-drummers that acts in a circular choreography assembled as one instrument in the shape of a flower. The quartet features Mads Pind Forsby (who played in Girls in Airports), Anders Bach, Victor Dybbroe (who plays in Girls In Airports and before in The Black Nothing and Travelling Tribes), and Anders Vestergaard (ZAV). Forsby, Bach, Dybbroe and Vestergaard played together before in the Aar & Dag tentet (Tifold af Fri Form og Fælles Motiv, År & Da, 2021). Pladsen (The Square) is the debut album of the quartet and it imagines Blomsten merging into an aural embodiment of an eight-armed organism.

The four percussionists share a small setup of a flipped bass drum, a snare drum and a cymbal, bongos and small objects united in a cascading configuration, as seen in the the cover of Pladsen. The possibilities and limitations of this unusual circular architecture of a shared drum kit define the aesthetics of Blomsten. The compositional approach of Blomsten is egalitarian and collective and develops interdependent parts together. The quartet uses improvisation as a means to create spontaneous, anarchic, or highly organized musical organisms.

The live performances of Blomsten must be a fascinating sight, with the four musicians guiding their sticks, brushes and mallets in new and unexpected ways, and exploring the sonic possibilities of this rare collective entity. But Pladsen offers enough reasons to marvel at the organic flow of the music and the imaginative, resonating and well-coordinated choreography of the four musicians while they weave together rhythmic plateaus, tonal states and phasing rhythms. Blomnsten music sounds untimely, seductive and stimulating, even as it references modern written music, with obvious debts to Steve Reich’s iconic, minimalist Drumming, or ancestral, ceremonial and hypnotic drum traditions.

Eyal Hareuveni  

Mads Forsby (percussion, drums), Anders Bach (percussion, drums), Victor Dybbroe (percussion, drums), Anders Vestergaard (percussion, drums)