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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Skogen - Ist Gefallen In Den Schnee (Another Timbre, 2012) *****

By Stef 

Rarely has a title been as precise as for this album, capturing a feeling in mid-phrase "has fallen in the snow", offering possibly one of the most delightful and lightest musical dishes you may have consumed ever.

The band consists of Angharad Davies and Anna Lindal on violin, Toshimaru Nakamura  on no-input mixing board, Petter Wastberg on electronics, Leo Svensson Sander on cello, Erik Carlsson on percussion, John Eriksson on vibraphone & crotales, Henrik Olsson on glasses and bowls, and Magnus Granberg on piano, but equally rarely will you have heard a nonet with a more open, lightfooted and fragile sound.

Magnus Granber takes the lead on piano, using sparse notes as the reference for the other musicians who intervene with the beauty and transparance of single snow flakes, single-toned, well-paced and creating an atmosphere of perfect tranquility and peace.

The album contains one single track, lasting just over an hour, and despite its minimalism is not boring for one second. On a superficial level you might say that nothing much happens, but quite the contrary is true, nothing is ever the same, as the partly composed piece evolves with subtle and sometimes unexpected sounds. As with other bands using the same approach, such as "Dans Les Arbres", "Silencers" or "Mural", the musicians' utter instrumental control and restraint are astonishing, resulting in this wonderful coherence that is the result of high level common improvisation, made interesting because of the real intensity of the created soundscapes.

Again, as with lots of new music in the past decades, Scandinavian musicians offer us new aural experiences, and indeed very welcoming ones. Highly recommended!


  © stef


simon reynell said...

thanks for the review, Stef. I guessed that there must have been a positive new review somewhere because there's been a little flurry of sales today. thanks again!