The Norwegian trio Moskus is no ordinary piano trio. Moskus does not fetishishes the acoustic piano – grand or upright – and often happy with electric keyboards can do the work. Accordingly, Moskus is not bothered with purity of sound, virtuous techniques or the integrity of their compositional structures. Moskus prefers to explore ideas, improvise and play with these ideas but do not spend much time in shaping these ideas into themes or tunes. Apparently, it is much more interesting to jump from one idea to another, not to attach to any fleeting idea and always look for a refreshing, joyful newer ones.
The fourth album of Moskus, «Mirakler», is full of playful, weird and joyful miraculous games. Keyboards player Anja Lauvdal, known from other local groups as Skadedyr, Skrap and Broen, double bass player Fredrik Luhr Deitrichson, who also plays in Skadedyr and in Wolfram Trio, and drummer Hans Hulbækmo, another member of Skadedyr and known from the Swedish-Norwegian quintet Atomic and from Hanna Paulsberg Concept, turn this album into a restless visit in a big, ghost building where every room promises vintage, almost bygone sonic surprises, from echoes of Sun Ra’s Solavox to Vangelis’s early-digital Fairlight and Kraftwerk’s analogue synths.
Most of the pieces of «Mirakler» were improvised spontaneously and few are based on compositional ideas of Hulbækmo, but all are collectively arranged. These pieces were recorded in few sessions during 2017 at Studio Paradiso, Oslo, and at Lauvdal’s rehearsal space, at Øveriet, Oslo. These pieces 13 stress the immediate, subversive and the ready-to-embrace-all kind of interplay of Moskus.
Anything goes, from the lyrical, almost choral opening and closing pieces «Anslag» and «En Natt», through Hulbækmo’s twisted-Turkish dance of «Irsk Setter», the childish melody of «Eventyrdagene» to Hulbækmo’s witty incarnation of a vintage space-lounge theme «Voyager». «Ludwig XIV» may be a parody on some forgotten soundtrack of Ennio Morricone and the minimalist «Haiku» lasts only 13 seconds, not enough time for the common 17-syllables-notes. «Jailhouse art music» is an irreverent matching of West-African percussive themes with infantile organ meandering, and only Hulbækmo’s eerie «(¨,)», with him playing the musical saw, lingers in mind. Eventually, you may think that your new, shiny digital radio (or application) somehow was tuned to late-night programs of the most obscure radio stations from the farthest locations possible, where only local psychedelic music is being played.
Anja Lauvdal (p, MS10, Yamaha DX100, Hammond org, electric org), Hans Hulbækmo (dr, perc, vib, rec, casio MT-65, electric org, musical saw), Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson (b)
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