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«Sleeping Beauty»

The young Norwegian trio I Like To Sleep – vibes and mellotron player Amund Storløkken Åse (son of keyboards wizard Ståle Storløkken and vocalist Tone Åse), guitarist-bassist-mellotron player Nicolas Leirtrø (who also plays in TEIP Trio) and drummer Øyvind Leite, are only 24 years old and still students at NTNU in Trondheim. The trio adopted its title from a saying of Thelonious Monk («I like to sleep. There is no set time of day for sleep. You sleep when you’re tired and that’s all there is to it»), and all its albums («Bedmonster», All Good Clean Records, 2017, and «Daydream», Rune Grammofon, 2020) related to distinct aspects of sleep. «Sleeping Beauty» is already the third album of the trio and the most ambitious, varied and mature one. It is loosely based on the first movement of Olivier Messiaen´s Turangalila symphony.

In 2021, nyMusikk’s annual festival of sound Only Connect commissioned an interpretation from I Like To Sleep of the first movement of Messiaen’s one of his most notable works, Turangalila symphony (1946-48). This commissioned work led to a 15-minute piece performed at the festival, with the trio re-writing the music of Messiaen, but also rewriting the music of its own. Messiaen symphony was used as a reference and a compositional tool. But on «Sleeping Beauty» the trio also experiments with heavier riffs than before, «seasick grooves» and tempi, and deeper ambient soundscapes. This album suggests extensive improvisation, extreme effects and processed sounds, including the vibes-samples from the vintage mellotron, that preference vibes extraordinaire Bobby Hutcherson. «Sleeping Beauty» was recorded in Duper Studio in Bergen and co-produced with the band’s all-time favorite sound wizard Jørgen Træen.

I Like To Sleep opens the album with a brutal and intense introduction to «Daydream», as if determined to wake the mysterious sleeping beauty, but soon float with Miles Davis 1970s-tinged, electric funk, that methodically gets funkier and tougher on the following «Bedrock», «Cuckoo» and «Broken Record», with Åse’s percolating vibes, Leirtrø’s mean bass and the powerful drumming of Leite, in a disciplined and nuanced arrangement that sounds like an imaginary meeting of the prog-rock of King Crimson with the driving rhythmic energy of Tony Williams Lifetime. «Quarantillity» matches the floating vibes and the vintage, mellotron’s vibes-samples with dreamy echoes of the theme of Messiaen’s symphony while the last piece «Don’t Wake The Sleeping Beauty» dives deeper into a hypnotic ambient soundscape, distills a few sparse but suggestive echoes of Messiaen’s symphony, but concludes with a grandiose coda.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Amund Storløkken Åse (vib, mellotron), Nicolas Leirtrø (bar.g, b, VI mellotron), Øyvind Leite (dr)


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