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På skive


«Bow Shoulder»

«Bow Shoulder» was recorded a decade ago in June 2010 at Chicago’s Loft,  the studio and rehearsal space of Wilco, a day after the experimental Norwegian trio Huntsville – guitarist Ivar Grydeland, percussionist Ingar Zach, and bass player Tonny Kluften performed in the city’s Millennium Park. Huntsville hosted Wilco’s guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Glenn Kotche, keyboards player Yuka Honda (coo-founder of Cibo Matto and partner of Cline), and bassist Darin Gray, who plays with Kotche in the duo On Fillmore, for a free-improvised session.

But the relationship between Huntsville and Wilco goes way back. Huntsville and Cline played at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Quebec, Canada in 2006, and in a shared ride found out the Grydeland is a fan of Wilco and Cline is a fan of Huntsville. In the following year when Wilco and Huntsville were both programmed at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Cline and Kotche joined Huntsville on stage., captured later on Huntsville’s second album, «Eco, Arches & Eras» (Rune Grammofon, 2008). Cline and Kotche joined Huntsville again in 2012 at the Guelph Jazz Festival in Canada.

The addition of the four musicians to this spontaneous session expanded the unique kind of Huntsville’s sound and percolating strain of ambient drift, as Peter Margasak calls it in his insightful liner notes, and enrich the melodic, textual interplay with more nuances and rhythmic layers. Kotche even called this incarnation of Huntsville an expanded chamber band. There is no sign of too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen and the dynamics are focused on building patiently detailed layers of driving rhythmic patterns of ambient drones.

You can still discern the individual voices of Huntsville, especially of Grydeland, on the opening, «Side Wind», and enjoy how the tender searching sonic probes of this trio are followed and colored by its guests. The timbre and the interplay in the four extended pieces are, obviously, richer and denser but maintain the organic flow and exquisite reserved envelope of Huntsville’s aesthetics. «Higher» introduces a new vein, a delicate and hypnotic one, revolving around the snaky lines of Grydeland, Cline, and Honda who produces guitar sounds from her keyboards, while «Lower» contrasts this introspective approach, adding an urgent and chaotic dimension to the patient, rhythmic grind. The last, the sparse «The Unshot» brings a breezy, ritualist aroma, led by Grydeland who plays in his very own way the banjo.

Our world needs more of this kind of potent, human, and invigorating music.

Eyal Hareuveni

Ivar Grydeland (g, pedal steel, bjo, elec), Tonny Kluften (b), Ingar Zach (dr, perc, tabla machine, drone commander), Yuka Honda (keys), Nels Cline (g, eff), Darin Gray (b, prep), Glenn Kotche (dr, perc, elec) 


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