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The Norwegian, Stavanger-based duo Naaljos Ljom – Anders Hana (of The End fame), who plays jaw harp, langeleik, fiddle and guitar, and Morten Olsen Joh who collaborated before with Hana in the duo MoHa! and in Ultralyd, and plays analog synths, drum machines and SuperCollider – calls itself a microtonal folk synth dance music maker. The sophomore album of the duo, simply titled 2, expands further its sonic vision and dives deeper into more severe singular and nuanced tonalities mined from the duo’s archive, and exposes tissue samples of modes, forms and progressions of Norwegian folk music.

2 opens with a statement from Norwegian composer and music theorist Eivind Groven, taken from a radio program from 1966: «This is folk music which contains pitches and intervals that are outside the regular tuning system». Naaljos Ljom adapts traditional tunes from various Norwegian villages, found at recycling stations and antiquarian resources centers, including from recordings by Groven. The duo colors these tunes with its electronics and noise matched with folk instruments, often with asymmetrical tonalities and sound collages that contextualize the tunes in untimely and unpredictable, mutational structures.

Naaljos Ljom twists Norwegian folk music into surprising sonic terrains – less innocent and more sober, into exotic territories beyond the Nordic sceneries, pushing for today’s dance clubs, and blurs its ancient roots with imaginative, futurist sounds and studio tricks. The duo promises that its working method is designed to melt the listener’s ears pleasantly. No doubt, Norwegian folk music would never sound the same as before Naaljos Ljom began to deconstruct and reconstruct it, but it still keeps its charm and beauty.

2 is released as vinyl with four different front pages, all with holes through the sleeves showing the inner sleeve, with a download option.

Eyal Hareuveni

Anders Sundsteigen Hana (jaw harp , langeleik, fiddle, guitar), Morten Johan Olsen Joh (analog synthesizers, drum machines, SuperCollider), Rasmus Kjorstad (fiddle)