1982 + BJ Cole
BJ Cole can without a doubt be called a living legend. He has been an active musician since the early 1970s within a wide range of genres from pop and rock to jazz and more experimental music. His list of credits is substantial and impressive, to say the least. He has played on albums and toured with Sting, T. Rex, Bjørk, Emmylou Harris, Elton John, Iggy Pop, REM, Brian Eno, Luke Vibert, David Sylvian, Roy Harper and countless others. The group 1982 had discussed often, over a long period of time, that it would be exciting to invite a guest to play with them. This would help them develop as a band and explore new terrain. Nils Økland suggested BJ Cole. They had played together by chance a few years earlier on the initiative of BBC 3 Late Junction presenter Fiona Talkington.
“We thought this was a good and, not least, unusual choice,” says drummer and producer Øyvind Skarbø. Without having played together before, the four musicians entered the Grieg Hall studio after a light lunch and recorded for an entire day. All the musicians were placed in the same room, the same way 1982 had recorded their previous albums. According to Skarbø, “We had never played together before, and I hadn’t even met him. Mainly, we improvised freely for a few hours. At intervals we tried more concrete things, for instance a special fiddle tuning, or we recorded an entire track based on one random idea somebody had during one of the freer sessions.”
BJ Cole brings a new sound dimension to the music of 1982, and the soundscape plays perhaps a greater role on this album than on previous ones. But above all, this is intriguing music with a solid basis at the point of intersection of many different genres. Fiddler Nils Økland comes from the world of folk music, and is internationally recognised for his innovative style of playing. He has released solo albums on the ECM and Rune Grammofon labels to rave reviews, and was a member of the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble for many years. Sigbjørn Apeland plays church organ and harmonium, and holds Norway’s only doctorate in ethnomusicology. He is renowned for operating in the borderland between folk music, church music and improvisation, and has played with musicians such as Håkon Kornstad, John Stevens, folk singers Åsne Valland Nordli, Berit Opheim Versto and Agnes Buen Garnås, electronica innovators Alog, and noise duo Golden Serenades. Drummer Øyvind Skarbø studied with Terje Isungset and has made study trips to Nigeria and Cuba. He currently plays with Bly de Blyant, BMX and Håkon Kornstad. The album was recorded and mixed at the Grieg Hall together with technician Davide Bertolini.
Launch concert together with BJ Cole: 20 October 2012, Hubro Label Night @ Kings Place, London