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På skive


«Reveries and Revelations»

Norwegian double bass player Mats Eilertsen calls his «Reveries and Revelations» «a sort of a solo album». He wanted to do «something that came out of the bass itself» but with a good company of long-time friends and collaborators – trumpeter Arve Henriksen, guitarists Geir Sundstøl and Eivind Aarset and drummers Thomas Strønen and Per Oddvar Johansen, none of them sat in the same room with Eilertsen while working on this album. Eilertsen recorded few basic tracks and then sent them to his comrades and asked them to suggest their ideas from their own home studios before arranging these tracks again.

The end result of «Reveries and Revelations» is therefore produced, cut, edited and layered from the beginning. It offers a new, unique spectrum of insights to the Eilertsen’s masterful bass playing – on the double bass, electric bass and the acoustic bass guitar. Most of the pieces are quite minimalist but all are highly cinematic and evocative, stressing the central role of the bass as the beating heart of any composition.

The opening «Nightride» with guitarist Sundstøl allures to The Beatles’ «I am the Walrus» exotic Indian sonorities but colors this delicate piece with darker, melancholic shades. «Polynesia Pluck» follows this exotic vein and attempts to capture an imaginative Pacific pulse.

The solo piece «Tundra» do suggests a haunting scenery of faraway frozen and barren lands. «Endless» with guitarist Aarset enriches the cinematic atmosphere with the subtle, atmospheric sounds of Aarset’s guitar, contrasting the almost industrial, repetitive pulse of Eilertsen. «Bouvet Blues» sounds as Eilertsen homage to Ry Cooder iconic guitar soundtrack to Wim Wendres’ «Paris Texas».

Drummer Strønen- who plays on Eilertsen Trio – sent few sound files to Eilertsen who arranged them to three pieces. He experiments and process random percussive sounds on «Signal», dives into enigmatic, sci-fi atmospheres on «Venus». «Sibirean Sorrow» returns to quiet, desolate scenery of «Tundra» but ornaments it with lively percussive voices.

Sundstøl takes the most haunting, folky «Hardanger» to an arresting detour in Appalachian countryside. Henriksen concludes this poetic vein with his flute-sounding trumpet on the last «Appreciate», enjoying subtle touches of the snare drum by Johansen.

Sometimes you don’t have to leave your cozy home to have a handful of beautiful sonic reveries and revelations.

Eyal Hareuveni

Mats Eilertsen (b, el.b, bg, g, harmonium, keys); Geir Sundstøl (g, bjo), Eivind Aarset (g), Per Oddvar Johansen (snare dr), Thomas Strønen (dr, perc, elec), Arve Henriksen (tp)

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