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På skive



Swedish pianist-composer-poet Sten Sandell captures beautifully the essence of the experimental duo of guitarist Finn Loxbo, known from the power trio Dog Life, and pianist Karin Johansson: «in a rain forest of moments. the eye hears what the ear sees». Loxbo and Johansson worked together for five years before releasing their rain forest of sonic moments on the debut album, «Vent». Unfortunately, their only album to date.

This democratic, free-improvising duo investigates with firm conviction all points and layers of their respective instruments sonic spectrum – preparations inside the piano strings, tabletop guitars, with many inventive extended techniques and even more imagination. All sounds are beautiful and precise «as scattered bird calls may be crucial to the totality and the outcome of the drama as a whole», to quote Sandell again.

«Vent» lasts only 31 minutes but each of the nine distinct pieces manages to teel its own story and to awake an «archetypical weave of strings being pulled and plucked further into our audible and visible listening», as Sandell calls it. Loxbo and Johansson sound like an organic-telepathic entity, flowing-floating peacefully in their very own sense of space and time. They explore gently the resonating space on the opening «Nook»; dive into a weightless dream-state with the reverberating «Trace»; court each other on the restless «Needs»; offer a brief, tensed cinematic moment on «Transit»; search for exotic, Eastern sonorities on «Attic»; imagine a light industrial soundscape on «Passage»; focus on urgent, rolling, rhythmic patterns on «Claim»; pay respect to Pauline Oliveros’ concept of deep listening, with Johansson’s ethereal accordion, on «Scope»; and conclude with the joyful song and West-African-tinged dance of «Gap».

Don’t let this rare, fascinating gem disappear from your radar.

Eyal Hareuveni

Finn Loxbo (g, elec, v), Karin Johansson (p, toy p, acc)

Karin Johansson / Finn Loxbo 2018-09-05 from Karin Johansson / Finn Loxbo on Vimeo.

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