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The free improvising trio KTHXBYE is an expansion of the Norwegian duo by the same name, featuring guitarist Stian Larsen, known also from the minimalist duo kÖök, and drummer Brage Tørmænen, who describes his playing as influenced by his background as punk drummer, incorporating elements from noise and metal. The duo already released a self-titled album (2015) and last year it expanded to a trio with British hard-working, tenor sax player Colin Webster. The trio performed in Norway and England before releasing its debut album. The album was mixed and mastered by guitarist Dirk Serries, who plays with Webster in the Kodian Trio.

«Details» offers seven untitled improvisations. The sound of the trio is loud, raw and explosive, flowing with an energy of a nuclear reactor. Webster almost never stops blowing hard, shouting from the depth of his lungs, sounding as if totally possessed by the intensity of the trio, even in the most quiet moments. Tørmænen attacks the drum set with massive power, but also with clever focus on color and details, while Larsen cuts the fast-shifting flow with short distorted riffs.  «VI. 9.11» best demonstrates this kind of burning interplay.

The longest piece, «III. 11.43», suggests that this trio vocabulary and collective interplay is much diverse and versatile. Webster explores extended breathing and multiphonics techniques while Larsen adds monotone, almost metronome-like touches on the guitar and Tørmænen deepens the tension with clever touches on the cymbals. Slowly the collective interplay gains more momentum and volume as the trio resumes its brutal, cathartic mode. The following short «IV. 5.25» and «V. 3.37» expand the sonic searches of «III» with even more subtle and patient interplay. The Last «VII. 5.17» surprises with its gentle and almost silent exchange of imaginative, playful gestures.

Eyal Hareuveni

Stian Larsen (g), Brage Tørmænen (dr), Colin Webster (ts)

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