Eivind Aarset - Dream Logic (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz
Artist: Eivind Aarset
Title: Dream Logic
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde, Electronic, Ambient, Experimental, Improvisation
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Recorded and mixed 2011/12 at Punkt Studio and Tjernsbråtan by Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, and Jan Erik Kongshaug
The renowned Norwegian guitarist – who has previously contributed to ECM recordings with Nils Petter Molvær, Marilyn Mazur, Arve Henriksen, Andy Sheppard, Arild Andersen and Jon Hassell – with a first ‘leader’ disc for the label, recorded in Kristiansand and Oslo. “Dream Logic” is aptly named, its slowly developing drifting pieces, built up from layers of guitars, have an almost hallucinatory quality, an otherworldly ambience. Jan Bang, who is co-composer of a number of the pieces, also contributes sounds and samples, and co-produced the disc.
Dream Logic may be guitarist Eivind Aarset's debut album as a leader for ECM, but his résumé with them is abundant. He has appeared on recordings led by Arild Andersen, Andy Sheppard, Marilyn Mazur, Nils Petter Molvaer, Jon Hassell, and Arve Henriksen. Aarset has never been intereseted in drawing attention to himself, only to what he is performing, which explains, in part, his appeal to such a wide array of musicians. Dream Logic, produced by electronic conceptualist Jan Bang, provides ample evidence of Aarset's ability to define his path, while disappearing into it. He and Bang played, programmed, and sampled everything here. What these 11 pieces all have in common is that they use the guitar as a starting point for exploring, yet all but unmake its recognizable sound in pursuit of sound itself. Dream Logic is an "ambient" album, but also a musically courageous one. Its dynamics are restrained; deep consideration is given to space, silence, and an uncluttered sonic presentation, yet contains a wealth of improvisation. Its palpable warmth makes it feel more at home with Hassell's '80s recordings for EG than the icy clarity of vintage ECM. "Surrender," with its nocturnal drift, is a perfect illustration. The guitars are muted as single strings make their way out of a washed-out backdrop. A bass plays a recognizable, repetitive pattern and melody asserts itself almost absentmindedly as a snare loop accents the end of each line. Aarset plucks strings from the ether, using the guitar's bridge as a tonal signifier for his shimmering acoustic and electric chords. On "Black Silence," the primary instrument is space itself. Halting waves of indeterminate sounds assert themselves every 15 or 20 seconds, while string scrapes, plucks of muted strings, and heavily treated bass chords underscore various electronic processes. The implied sense of foreboding is broken occasionally when a flute sample floats to the surface implying a melody. Were it not for Bang's electronic textures, "Reactive" might have passed for an improvisation by Derek Bailey. Just when that comparison becomes almost too apt, Aarset asserts colorful chords into the mix. "Homage to Greene" references Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green. Its plotted chord progression and use of reverb and lyricism, extends the exotic reach of its subject's composition "Albatross" into the 21st century. Set closer "The Beauty of Decay" wanders along the horizon of a single chord, exploring individual notes, textural possibilities, spaces and silences, as guitars and basses, skeletally programmed percussion, and samples and random sonics emerge, entwine, and separate, creating a pulse that governs a labyrinthine melody that is as beautiful as it is haunting. Dream Logic evidences Aarset as an extremely adventurous sonic explorer while simultaneously subtly expressing his considerable gift as an improving guitarist. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
With the exception of trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer and singer Sidsel Endresen—who each left the label after contributing two fine albums as leaders—there seems to be an increasing number of Norwegian artists who, after establishing themselves on smaller labels, are gaining greater international exposure by moving to the venerable ECM label. Trumpeter Arve Henriksen and Cartography (2008) is one; Food, featuring percussionist Thomas Stronen, is another, with Quiet Inlet (2010); and The Source's eponymous 2006 release, yet another.
Now add Eivind Aarset; a guitarist who, following a string of superlative recordings on keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft's Jazzland label and participating on recent ECM recordings by artists including bassist Arild Andersen, saxophonist Andy Sheppard and trumpeter Jon Hassell, now has Dream Logic, his debut as a leader for the label. Aarset alluded to a solo guitar recording in his 2010 All About Jazz interview, and the eleven introspective pieces that comprise the dark, ruminative Dream Logic—despite being unlike anything he's done before—remain unmistakably his, in a recording that couldn't have been made by anyone but Aarset.
Not unlike guitarist Nels Cline's equally superb Coward (Cryptogramophone, 2009), Dream Logic reveals a different side to Aarset. Past recordings possess passages similar to the sometimes ambient, sometimes brooding but always beautiful music of Dream Logic, but invariably find themselves in the more aggressive, pulse-driven terrain intrinsic to his twin-drummer Sonic Codex group of the past few years. Here, however, with Aarset alone layering guitars, bass and percussion, seamlessly integrated with processing and programming—and astute contributions from producer Jan Bang of the annual Punkt Live Remix festival and recent Uncommon Deities (SamadhiSound, 2012) (both collaborations with Erik Honoré, who also mixed Dream Logic with Bang)—the music reveals the full breadth of Aarset's imaginative sonics and unorthodox approaches. On the distinctly Zen "Jukai (Sea of Trees)," Aarset evokes images of the orient, his EBowed guitar emulating a bowed kokyū or, perhaps, a double-reeded hichiriki, over layers of tuned percussion and sonic washes.
Whether it's the soft, comforting, tremolo'd guitar of "Hommage to Green" or the stratospheric soundscapes of the closing "The Beauty of Decay"—its occasional loose percussives, hints of an electric bass pulse and abstruse melodies sounding quite unlike anything heard before on guitar—Aarset has delivered a record so soft as to occasionally come ever so close to silence, without ever actually reaching it. Deep, dark and trance-inducing, Dream Logic is a quiet masterpiece from a guitarist whose uncanny ability to find new aural plains is like the eye following an ever-visible yet never reachable horizon. --John Kelman, All About Jazz
1. Close (For Comfort) 06:36
2. Surrender 04:24
3. Jukai (Sea of Trees) 03:47
4. Black Silence 04:05
5. Active 03:23
6. Close (Variation I) 02:43
7. Reactive 02:23
8. Homage to Greene 05:31
9. The Whispering Forest 05:42
10. Close (Variation II) 01:46
11. The Beauty of Decay 07:06
Eivind Aarset: guitars, bass guitar, electronics, percussion, samples, programming
Jan Bang: samples, dictaphone, programming
You must register before you can view this text. Please register and Login
Would you like to leave your comment? Please Login to your account to leave comments. Don't have an account? You can create a free account now.