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På skive


«Place is the Space»

Norwegian bass hero Ingebrigt Håker Flaten meets his comrades from Austin, Texas, his former hometown, for a free improvised recording of a deeply spiritual statement of hope and perseverance from January 2021, reflecting the worst times of the covid-19 pandemic, when it felt as if music has entirely stopped, and the events of January 6th. Håker Flaten is joined by drummer Lisa Cameron (aka Venison Whirled, who recorded with him and guitarist Tom Carter, Tau Ceti, Astral Spirits, 2020), guitarist Jonathan Horne (who plays in Håker Flaten’s The Young Mothers, and recently recorded with him and drummer Stefan Gonzalez, Texas Butt Biters, Astral spirits, 2022), and alto sax player Joshua Thomson. The quartet met at the studio after a year that they haven’t played together, ready to embrace the «bumps and weird stuff», as Cameron puts it. The album is dedicated to the memory of Milford Graves.

The wordplay of the album title refers not only to Sun Ra’s immortal insight about Space being the Place but also to the vast dynamic range of musical interests of this quartet’s musicians, crisscrossing experimental, free jazz, noise, post-punk, ambient, indie-folk, world, electronic, and avant-garde contexts. The opening pieces «A Quiet Picnic» and «How About Never» cement the reflexive spirit of this album and suggests hesitant and spacious dynamics, but Håker Flaten gently anchors the music in a soulful flow and slowly pushes for more intense interplay. Already now, you can feel the masterful percussive ways that Cameron colors the music, the angular-cosmic guitar lines of Horne and the always passionate playing of Thomson who keeps introducing Ethiopian sax licks, as well as the organic flow of the music.

The quartet locks on a sensual groove on «Juju Window» but Horne insists on injecting atmospheric-psychedelic overtones and slowly shifts the focus of this piece into free jazz regions. «Lapa» offers the experimental, free improvised sides of the quartet and employs breathing, bowing and percussive extended techniques but patiently sketches an enigmatic, lyrical melody. The following «Oxygen» deepens the lyrical, pensive veins, now relying on a catchy pulse. The last piece «Welding An Inverted Flap» unleashes the energetic, rhythmic drive of the quartet, pushed by the massive rhythm section of Cameron and Håker Flaten and ornamented by the otherworldly-noisy guitar lines of Horne. Eventually, there were not many bumps in the natural and inspiring flow of the music.

Eyal Hareuveni

Lisa Cameron (dr, perc, bowed cymbal), Jonathan Horne (g, devices, kalimba), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b), Joshua Thomson (as) 


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