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Morphologies brings together two uncompromising and restless Norwegian free improvisers – drummer Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (of the power trios Hedvig Mollestad Trio and Cakewalk) and guitarist Stian Larsen (of kÖök duo and the power trio Smith Komma John). Producer and mixing engineer David Aleksander Sjølie joins the duo on five pieces with the pedal steel which is rarely heard in such formats.

The atmosphere of the debut album of Bjørnstad and Larsen reflects their previous experiences in everything between rock and free jazz music, mixes tough and thorny, intense and nervous collisions of post-rock and noise, with clear nods to the seminal work of British free-improv pioneer Derek Bailey. The pieces with Sjølie introduce more open dynamics and add subtle sonic depth that leans toward more ambient and cinematic textures and the last piece on Morphologies, «Host Range», with Sjølie’s breezy pedal steel, is simply beautiful.

Bjørnstad and Larsen recorded Morphologies after a series of performances in Norway and Sweden. The eight pieces refuse to subscribe to familiar molds, highlighting the adventurous spirit of this musical journey and the boundless energy of Bjørnstad and Larsen that never ceases to surprise.

Eyal Hareuveni

Stian Larsen (guitar), Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (drums), David Aleksander Sjølie (pedal steel)