«Solo Electric Bass» is the debut solo album of Norwegian, Berlin-based Dan Peter Sundland, a mainstay of the free improvising and creative music scene in Berlin., and collaborator of drummer Jim Black, trumpeter Lina Allemano and the leader his own groups Home Stretch and the 11-piece Dan Peter Sundland Elevenette. The new album is a self-portrait of his unique, experimental approach to the instrument, a semi-acoustic ’60s Gretsch bass guitar, and its rich palette of sounds ranging from cello-like bowing to melodic, quasi-double bass sounding pizzicato and multitude of percussive textures. The album was recorded at three improvised live concerts in Berlin in 2018 and 2019.
Each of the six pieces of «Solo Electric Bass» explores and investigates distinct sonic aspects of the instrument’s palette of sounds, often intensified by Sundland’s humming voice. Sundland bowing of the electric bass on the opening «Minor Arco Prelude» evokes dark and resonant chamber sounds of a twisted, nasal cello or weirdly amplified viola de gamba. Apparently, sax player Mette Rasmussen challenged him to try bowing the bass while both were studying at Trondheim and playing in the same band. The following «Pizzicato Conclusion» is a melodic piece that makes full use of the percussive qualities of the electric bass. «Under-Over» dives into the dark, deep tones of the bowed electric bass and methodically moves upward, and explores delicate multiphonics and microtonal sounds.
«Fret Not» is another methodical piece, chamber and bowed (included bowing on all four strings), a slow-moving study of close musical intervals, from minimalist and almost static drones to more intense powerful ones, and back again. Sundland goes wild only on «Kayem Mayhem» which focuses on the percussive sounds of the electric bass, including its body and its manipulated strings, with his own set of extended bowing and slide techniques. The last piece, «Uncaged», is another cerebral study in bowing harmonics across all four strings.
Dan Peter Sundland (el.b, v)