Thelonious Monk once said: «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». A few decades later a Norwegian trio of 22-years-old students of music at NTNU in Trondheim decided to borrow Monk advice as to the name of their band. I Like To Sleep does not follow Monk’s musical legacy, but opts for a sonic pastiche that embraces elements of classical music, jazz, prog-rock and a muscular kind of improvisation. The thank-you list of the trio sketches more recent influences and includes local Scandinavian heroes as Jan Bang, Kjetil Møster, Mette Rasmussen, Ole Morten Vågan («for great mentoring and source of inspiration») and Mats Gustafsson («for an immense amount of help and inspiration!!!»).
I Like To Sleep are vibes player Amund Storløkken Åse (son of keyboards wizard Ståle Storløkken and vocelist Tone Åse), guitarist Nicolas Leirtrø and drummer Øyvind Leite. «Daymare» is the second album of the trio, recorded in Duper studio in Bergen last year and follows a debut album released on the All Good Clean Records label in 2017. The unique instrumentation and youthful curiosity allow the three musicians to offer a fresh look on the layered pulse, changing roles with the rhythm section, and democratic, leader-less interplay.
The opening «Beyond bedmonsters and no sleep» sketches the rhythmic strategy of I Like To Sleep. Storløkken Åse floats above and introduces the dreamy-hypnotic dimension; Leirtrø’s guitar adds the mean, uncompromising bass role, intensified with many effects, and Leit’s drums ties all the dense commotion to the ground. «Playing with fire» suggests a twist on Gustafsson’s Fire! trio heavy grind, here slowed down but still quite effective. «Circles» unleashes Leite’s punkish energy, balanced by Storløkken Åse and Leirtrø. The following «Braintrain» surrenders totally to an ecstatic eruption of raw, aggressive attacks. Leirtrø’s gentle, lyrical guitar-bass solo on «Pause II» is the only exception here. The last, title-piece offers an open, free-improvised often chaotic approach to rhythm.
With so much energy invested in 40 minutes of music, there is no wonder why these youngsters are desperate to sleep.
Amund Storløkken Åse (vib), Nicolas Leirtrø (bar.g), Øyvind Leite (dr)