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På skive



Norwegian versatile and in-demand drummer-percussionist-composer Erland Dahlen has played in almost 250 albums, and with all the great artists in the Norwegian scene – singer-songwriters Hanne Hukkelberg and Anja Garbarek, the bands Madrugada and Xploding Plastix, jazz and experimental artists, like trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær, guitarists Stian Westerhus and Eivind Aarset, and the collaboration between Faith No More’s Mike Patton and Norwegian composer-singer John Kaada. But on «Bones», his fourth solo album, like the previous solo albums, he wanted to be on his own, using his own ideas that did not fit other projects. Dahlem integrates sounds of custom-made instruments, ranging from different log drums and a custom-made zither-bass, chromatic blossom bells to metal pie-dishes, musical saw, bowed  zither, and drones from vintage Moog synths and mellotrons.

«Bones» can be experienced as an epic six-movements suite made of intricately layered electroacoustic soundscapes that are based on the propulsive pulses of Dahlen and colored by many eerie sounds. The themes often repeat themselves, sometimes depart and return,  interweave again in different nuances and shapes that defy any attempt to categorize them in any genre or style.

Each movement has its own distinct character, but all excel in their dizzying array of sound-sources. Together, this amalgam of resources sounds like nothing else but Dahlen’s tumultuous yet joyful sonic universe. The opening «Desert» is highly cinematic and sounds as corresponding with symphonic prog-rock. «Wagen», «Hunt» and «Blind» offer intoxicating pulses that intensify methodically until the cathartic emotional climaxes as if Dahlen translates the techno syntax into his own sophisticated, layered aesthetics. «Hunt» is based on imagined, global village tribal rhythmic patterns, orchestrated in a futurist, rich fashion. «Swan», with the electronics of Hallvard W. Hagen, deepens the futurist course but takes it into more abstract and mysterious, deep-space terrains.

Eyal Hareuveni

Erland Dahlen (vintage Slingerland black gold duco dr, cymbells, blossom bells, hand bells, musical saw, xylophone, log dr, gongs, marbles on metal plate, frame dr, steel dr, concert toms, elec, dr.machines, drone boxes, mellotron, Moog grandmother, modular synth, dulcimer, g, v, sticks, mallets, bow on zithers), Hallvard W. Hagen (elec)

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