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«The Tokyo Sessions Volume 2: Twist»

«Twist» is the second volume of a trilogy of albums documenting the sonic adventures of young Norwegian accordion virtuoso Kalle Moberg in Tokyo, Japan. Moberg, once a student of with master accordionist Teodoro Anzellotti and now 26 years old, was hired at the age of 19 as kapellmeister at The Royal Palace in Oslo, but three years later he decided to leave behind the classical and traditional music and began a full-time journey into more experimental music landscapes, and recently joined Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit.

The first volume of this trilogy, «Unheard-Of» (Kamo, 2020) (You can read our review of the record HERE) documented his solo work and was recorded on a single day in February 2019 at Jim O’Rourke’s Tokyo studio. O’Rourke is the mastermind of numerous classics by such greats as Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Joanna Newsom and Wilco. O’Rourke assisted again with «Twist», recorded the album at Hoshi to Niji Studio in Tokyo, produced it, and matched Moberg with a few of his like-minded, experimental collaborators – Australian, Tokyo-based double bass player Marty Holoubek, fellow-Australian, Berlin-based drummer Joe Talia (who was an important member of Tokyo’s vibrant improvised music scene) and Japanese drummer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto.

The five pieces of «Twist» are free-improvised but despite their raw, sometimes even wild spirit, Moberg always plays-improvises with compositional sensibilities, orchestrating the most free-associative and intense interplay into a dramatic narrative. He does so on the opening «Twisting», with Holoubek and Yamamoto, and leads this piece into an energetic, ecstatic climax., while still enjoying exploring the most eccentric timbral qualities of the accordion. When Talia replaces Yamamoto on the following pieces the focus shifts to exquisite sonic searches and more tense and challenging dynamics. Moberg’s accordion sounds at times on these pieces as extending the subtle bowing techniques of Holoubek and Talia’s work with his cymbals, but adapting organically to the free pulse of Talia. «A Treacherously Bright Morning» is the most interesting and daring piece here, alternating between an abstract, ethereal drone, a twisted yet lyrical, chamber piece and fiery outbursts. The last «Crash and Burn» delivers what its title promises – a series of wild, reckless and energetic attacks, but with a compelling playful sensibility.

Looking forward to the third volume of Moberg’s wild sonic adventures.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Kalle Moberg (acc), Marty Holoubek (b), Joe Talia (dr), Tatsuhisa Yamamoto (dr)

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