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Building Instrument: Building Instrument

 
HUBROCD2541/HUBROLO3541
Norwegian releasedate: 07.03.2014
International release: 16.05.2014
 
CD/LPiTunesSpotifyWimp
 

 
On the eponymous debut album by Building Instrument we encounter a band that has taken plenty of time to distil its essence into a distinctive mode of expression. This is a rare quality in our modern day, whose underlying mantra is that everything must happen NOW. The trio are finally releasing their first album, six years after the group was established, and expectations are high. The concerts they have presented have made a lasting impression on many audience members. After one concert the Irish Times wrote: “[I]t’s a pleasure to discover their creativity and cheerfully aggressive attitude to music … It’s exciting to watch, very accessible and highly emotive.”
 
The members of the trio Building Instrument are Mari Kvien Brunvoll (vocals, sampler, zither, percussion, kazoo), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums and percussion) and Åsmund Weltzien (synthesizer, electronics, melodica). Drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde plays in two bands that have recently released records, the Big Almost and Crab is Crap, with Ståle Storløkken, and is currently on a world tour with José Gonzalez of Sweden and his band, Junip. Åsmund Weltzien plays with Thea Næss.
 
Vocalist Mari Kvien Brunvoll from Molde is singing in Norwegian for the first time on this album, and is even using her local Molde dialect. She has been described as “an exceptional talent” by pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, who released her first solo album on his Jazzland label. The album was nominated for a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy) in the open category. Her second album, also nominated in the same category, presented her duo collaboration with Stein Urheim, who also has a new release out on the HUBRO label. The song “Everywhere You Go”, from her solo album, earned her a new, large audience when the ubiquitous musician and DJ Ricardo Villalobos discovered the song and created a long and inspired remix of it. At the end of 2013 she also released a little lo-fi masterpiece of an album with the duo Tim Tygg. Mari has toured extensively as a solo artist, and has a unique ability to fire up an audience.
 
The trio began to play together in Bergen in 2008, and their original idea was to explore electronic music. This project was quickly abandoned in favour of a more acoustic and home-grown focus. The members of the trio have now found their own self-defined niche within a genre that could be described as a no-man’s-land. Their material is largely improvised and playfully invented as an ensemble. One of the trio’s most striking features is their mastery of the arts of both self-restraint and boldly letting everything loose. The musical leaps taken by the trio seem to be entirely seamless, from catchy rhythms through freely improvised sections to emotionally charged melodies.
 
Building Instrument’s debut album was recorded over a long period of time, and is a release that has definitely been worth waiting for. The band knows how to impress and move the listener with music that is elegant, imaginative and sensitive.
 
The LP comes in a 180g audiophile pressing, includes CD and is limited to 500 copies.
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Reviews:

  1. Det er som om en kan høre at dette er musikk som har brukt lang tid på å utvikle seg. Her har det antagelig vært mye prøving og feiling, kanskje det er derfor resultatet er blitt så riktig.
    - Bergens Tidende 5/6 (NO)

  2. Musikken til Building Instrument er like spennende og original som bandnavnet.
    - Side2.no 5/6 (NO)

  3. Eit fargerikt album
    - Dagsavisen (N)

  4. Building Instrument, en trio bestående av Øyvind Hegg-Lunde, Åsmund Weltzien, og Urheims duokollega Mari Kvien Brunvoll – en sangerinne som virkelig griper tak i lytteren. Her på klingende romsdalsdialekt, med dynamisk og knudrete lydfølge, i et insisterende elektroakustisk ingenmannsland. Svært vakre og fengende melodier man knapt har hørt maken til i en slik setting. Den taler til noe i lytteren som lytteren selv har fortrengt. Fra disse, og fra henne, kan det komme veldig mye viktig musikk i de
    kommende årene.
    - Dagens Næringsliv, Audun Vinger (N)

  5. Ikke la deg lure av coveret og det kryptiske bandnavnet. Musikken til norske Building Instrument er pur pop. Smånaiv og akkurat passe søt, men fremfor alt uhyre fengende når man først får den på hjernen. Låter som «Bli Med» og «Klokka Sju», beviser alene at trioen langt på vei har funnet oppskriften. Den stilfulle instrumenteringa og de fiffige melodilinjene, er noe man fort kunne funnet hos mer etablerte pop-veteraner som Veronica Maggio og Lykke Li. Men musikken er åpenbart ikke utelukkende laget for å trigge nynnemusklene. Hør bare på midtpartiet til nevnte «Bli Med», eller det langsomme og søkende mellomspillet, «Mellomtida». I tillegg tar vokalist Mari Kvien Brunvoll med seg lekenheten fra improvisasjonsmusikken, der live-sampling og elektronikk bidrar til å tylle låtene inn i et deilig lydteppe. Og når Åsmund Weltzien velger melodicaen som kompinstrument på «Kanskje», viser det at trioen også har øre for musikalske kontraster.
    - Trønderavisa 5/6

  6. Out there on their own are Building Instrument, a twinkly electronics, zither and melodica trio whose songs and their self-titled debut album are topped by the Molde-dialect vocals of Mari Kvien Brunvoll. Uncategorisable, yet with a familial relationship to the Birmingham-area Pram, this frequently lovely and spacey music would be at home soundtracking a Jan Švankmajer fantasia.
    - The Arts Desk, Kieron Tyler (UK)

  7. Wow, wow, WOW! The debut album by a Norwegian trio founded six years ago. They’ve worked long and hard, and the result is irresistible. A blend of naive uplifting songs, delicate improvising, and sophisticated balance between acoustic and electronic, Building Instrument is ravishing from A to Z. The voice of Mari Kvien Brunvoll will haunt your most sensual dreams: in “Kanskje”, her presence is so immediate you’d think she’s right there with you. The soundworld and melodicism found on this album evoke Stein Urheim (with whom Brunvoll has worked in the past), Bjorn Olsson, and Skadedyr. The Hubro label just keeps on releasing low-key records of incredible beauty. Bravo!
    - Monsieur Délire (CA)

  8. La Norvegia non smette di stupire. Il panorama di medie e piccole etichette è stupefacente. La Hubro è in attività da meno di cinque anni e ha già un incredible catlogo, che spazia tra jazz, psichedelia, folk, improvvisazione e neoclassica. Come se i generi comunemente accettati per classificare la musica che ascoltiamo non esistessero più. Dimostrazione vivente ne sono i tre Building Instruments – Åsmund Weltzien, Øyvind Hegg-Lunde e Mari Kvien Brunvoll -, che suonano con I`attitudine di veri freak di San Fransisco e con le capacità di navigati musicistio accademici. Il loro omonimo album d`esordio è unu scrigno di meravigliose atmosfere sognati, impreziosite in alcuni casi dalla voce vellutata della Brunvoll. Da innamorarsene.
    - Rockerilla – Roberto Mandolini (IT)

  9. Trioen Building Instrument’s sangerinde Mari Kvien Brunvoll (der også spiller på sampler, zither, kazoo og percussion) har fået stor opmærksomhed i forbindelse med hendes to tidligere soloalbums udgivet af pladeselskabet Jazzland. Her har hun sunget på engelsk. Mens hun på denne udgivelse synger på norsk – endda på den særlige dialekt fra hjembyen Molde. Sammen med Øyvind Hegg-Lunde på trommer og percussion og Åsmund Weltzien på synthesizer, electronics og melodica har Mari Kvien Brunvoll skabt et særegent musikalsk univers, der oprindeligt var mere elektronisk i udtrykket – men langsomt er gået over i et organisk output, hvor der er fokus på improvisation. Building Instrument efterlader et stærkt aftryk i popsjælen. Mari Kvien Brunvoll er en fantastisk sangerinde! Det er en rigtig god plade der er fuld af norsk sjælepop.
    - Jazznyt (DK)

  10. Als Mike Oldfield 1975 auf »Ommadawn« keltische Folklore mit südafrikanischer Percussion verband, war das ein weltmusikalischer Meilenstein, dessen harmonische Fügung überraschte, aber trennscharf blieb. In »Bli Med«, dem Kernstück von Building Instruments gleichnamigem Erstling, lassen die Percussion von Øyvind Hegg-Lunde, ( der hier seine Studien in Gambia einbringt,) Åsmund Weltziens tragende Hammond-Sounds und Mari Kvien Brunvolls leichtfüßig die heimatlichen Fjorde überspringenden Vocals diese Fügung zwar noch nachklingen, weltmusikalische Kategorien aber hat das Trio da schon längst hinter sich gelassen. Dass es bei jenem ursprünglich mal um Elektronik gehen sollte: Randnotiz der Bandgeschichte. Nach einem Soloalbum, das ihr eine Nominierung für den norwegischen Grammy und Props in Form einer Remix-12″ von Ricardo Villalobos einbrachte, und einem Duo-Album mit Stein Urheim, beide auf Jazzland, ist Brunvoll im Bandformat nun auf Hubro angekommen – wie auch erwähnter Urheim, mit dem sie eine musikalische Offenheit und Reiselust teilt, in der ein Faible für Indien oder Blues mit Wurzeln in Norwegen wie verzaubert einhergehen. Der intuitive Zugang des gemeinsamen Er-Improvisierens scheint das Geheimnis dahinter, exotische Anverwandlung zu umschiffen und stattdessen neu und zugleich authentisch zu klingen. Dass die drei gestandene Musiker sind, denen verwinkelte Melodien und Rhythmen leicht und swingend von der Hand gehen, ist kein Nachteil – auch nicht, dass sie inzwischen schon sechs Jahre gemeinsam unterwegs sind. Weltziens warme Orgel-Sounds zwischen Lounge und Andacht, Hegg-Lundes variablen, lockeren Grooves und Brunvolls norwegischer Gesang (in ganz natürlichem Timbre zwischen Björk und der jungen Kate Bush) halten einen Atlas auch kleinster Andeutungen zusammen, in dem Westcoast-Folk und Kingston, Hip Hop-Beats und Melodika, Zither und Elfentraum zuhause sind. Man fühlt sich wieder wie ein Kind, wenn man ihn durchblättert.
    - HHV MAG 8.2/10 (DE)

  11. The first remarkable thing you hear is the voice of Mari Kvien Brunvoll who sings in her native Molde dialect. I would describe it as existing somewhere in amongst Liz Fraser, Beth Gibbons and Bjork with a dab of Kate Bush thrown in for good measure. I shit you not. The use of live sampling helps to make the experience of hearing it completely mesmerising. The other key feature of this album is the use of melodica. At times it gives the album a relaxed, dubbed-out flavour even without the use of echo laden effects. In fact the use of melodica, kazoo and zither on this album conjure up a childlike atmosphere which belies the compelling musicianship on offer. Whether it is the aformentioned instruments, or synthesiser or drums,
    nothing sounds anything other than exactly as it should.
    - Whisperin and Hollerin (UK)

  12. Erst nach sechs Jahren wurde der Name von Building Instrument zum musikalischen Programm. Ursprünglich wollten die drei Norweger ganz allgemein
    die elektronische Musik auskundschaften. Doch fanden sie – wie viele andere – rasch, dass die Bauweise vieler elektronischen Instrumente und deren Vorprogrammierungen die Kreativität eher einschränkt als fördert und den eigenen künstlerischen Ausdruck mehr hindern als fördern. So verschoben Building Instrument ihren Fokus in Richtung
    Akustik, mit einem starken Einschlag einer D.I.Y.-Ästhetik, und erprobten diesen in einer sechsjährigen Live-Einspielphase. Nun liegt das Debut vor und der lange Reifeprozess hat sich gelohnt. Die Elektronik hat in diesem, von folkiger Inspiration geradezu durchtränkten Umfeld eine untergeordnete Rolle zu spielen, damit sie das Traditionelle nicht überspült. Als nuancierende Beigabe zu einer liedhaften Natürlichkeit aber vermag sie das Essentielle wirkungsvoll zu unterstreichen.
    - Jazz N More (DE)

  13. The album is a delight of colliding worlds. Fragments permeate, glimpsed through the corner of your ear. The zither in itself, by way of its relationships with its similar sounding cousins, can of course appear to add the sparkle of other cultures. Drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde’s draws on his studies in Gambia to provide the pulsing drums that push through ‘Bli Med’ under the organ of Åsmund Weltzien. The fifteen second descent within the same song brought to mind 1960’s Pink Floyd. Another track, ‘Mellomtida’, had me thinking of a few prog albums in which the keyboard player is given an interlude to provide a short organ piece. The last two are starting to make it sound as though we are in or close to prog territory, but that would be wrong. ‘Klokka Sju’ on its own makes you aware of the different areas that you touch upon as you traverse through the album. I had them treading on the toes of Bulgarian women and The Cure, amongst others here. Dissecting the final track ‘Språk’ might give a better idea. My notes for this start with Tolkien (I used to have an LP of Nicol Williamson reading The Hobbit in which the zither (or similar) was played like this); Bardic (something about the start has a Norse feel to it); jazz; cross between Slapp Happy and Pentangle. Somehow within 4’45” they manage to filter all this in. Just two seconds more than John Cage.

    I think there is something apt in the mention of Slapp Happy. Not only does Mari Kvien Brunvoll’s vocals remind me at times of those of Dagmar Krause (however minus the sandpaper/Gauloises), but also there is that just off-centre feel to this trio which Slapp Happy had. The songs are largely built from improvisation, generating a freedom that they take full advantage of in the more folk/jazz moments. Much to my surprise the album has grown on me. There is something decidedly charming about it. If this album hasn’t been played to death on Night Waves I’m Freddy Fjord.
    - The Sound Projector (UK)

  14. Debiutancka płyta została nagrana przez troje artystów: perkusistę Øyvinda Hegg-Lunde, wokalistkę Mari Kvien Brunvoll oraz klawiszowca Åsmunda Weltziena. Norwegowie wprowadzają nas w melancholijny, a wręcz senny nastrój. Marzycielska atmosfera utrzymuje się przez cały album. Śpiewająca po norwesku Mari posiada balsamiczną barwę głosu, który jest bardzo emocjonalny i oddaje jej uczucia z głęboką wrażliwością. Muzyka jest częściowo improwizowana, a innym razem tak przemyślana, że łatwo wpada w ucho. Pewnym urozmaiceniem jest wykorzystanie takich instrumentów, jak cytra czy kazoo (rodzaj fletu), które nadają muzyce pierwiastek etniczny. Muzyka jest oparta na dźwiękowych i wokalnych impresjach, a przede wszystkim pełna artystycznej wyobraźni. Ten album potwierdza, że Norwegowie nigdzie się nie spieszą i w taki sposób stawiają się w opozycji do pędzącego na oślep współczesnego świata.
    - Moozik.bloog.pl (PL)

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