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Erlend Apneseth Trio: Det Andre Rommet


 
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“Like poets, Apneseth, Hegg-Lunde and Meidell conveyed a compelling story with a spare vocabulary whose every syllable and every grammatical twist carried weight.”
Ian Patterson, allaboutjazz.com
 
“Blikkspor”, Hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth’s critically acclaimed debut album, presented fiddle tunes, Apneseth’s original compositions and improvisations side by side. On this, his follow-up album, he ventures further into an open landscape as part of a trio with extensive experience within improvisational music and rock.
 
Erlend Apneseth from Jølster is one of Norway’s foremost young fiddlers. He competes in the elite Category A in the National Contest for Traditional Music, and has received so many prizes and awards that dusting his mantelpiece has become nearly a full-time job. Erlend studied at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss, as well as with Håkon Høgemo.
 
Erlend is a performer who stands with both feet firmly planted in the Norwegian folk music tradition, but who at the same time improvises and searches for new modes of expression – all the while with the sounds of the Hardanger fiddle and folk music as his point of departure. He has collaborated with musicians from a variety of different genres, has been a soloist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and has played with larger improvisational ensembles, folk- and jazz-based groups, overtone and joik singer Torgeir Vassvik, and poet Erlend O. Nødtvedt. In 2012 he received Grappa’s New Artist Award, and the following year he released his debut album, “Blikkspor”, produced by Arve Henriksen, which received glowing reviews in the Norwegian and international media. Drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (Electric Eye, Building Instrument, José González) and guitarist Stephan Meidell (Cakewalk, Krachmacher) joined him on the last track of the album, and Erlend found this collaboration so inspiring that he asked them to form a trio with him. Meidell and Hegg-Lunde had worked together as an improvisational duo for several years before Erlend invited them to participate in his project. For the past few years Erlend, Stephan and Øyvind have played regularly, and have let their music develop slowly but surely. By the time they went into the studio they were full of ideas, songs, sketches and the joy of improvisation.
 
“Det andre rommet” is a lovely, inquisitive and adventurous album that takes the music in new and unexpected directions. It was recorded at Hallibakken Lydproduksjon, mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast in Seattle (Splashgirl, Earth, Thurston Moore) and mastered by Jørgen Træen at Lydgrotten in Bergen.
 
 
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  1. Og hele veien er det hardingfela som står i sentrum. Apneseth er en mester i faget, og skal man absolutt sammenligne han med noen, så må det bli Nils Økland. Vi får 10 låter hvor fire er gjort av de tre i fellesskap, mens resten er skrevet av Apneseth, og hele veien føler jeg at dette er en felespiller som har funnet grunntonen i hardingfela. Jeg føler at den musikken som her blir framført, er akkurat slik som den som, en gang i tiden hadde tenkt at hardingfela skulle brukes. Musikken er sart, og mye er basert på den norske folkemusikkskatten. Men samtidig tilfører Apneseth så mye personlig i musikken, at det helt og holdent blir hans egen. Hør for eksempel på den fine «Sapporo», som låter både norsk og japansk samtidig. Meidell og Hegg-Lunde er egentlig mest med her for å gjøre musikken mer variert, for det er Apneseth som står i sentrum for denne musikken fra start til mål. Og etter hvert som man hører på den noen ganger, dukker det opp nye nyanser og ideer. Og hele veien er musikken spennende og fascinerende.
    - Salt Peanuts, Jan Granlie (N)

  2. I suoni arcani e fiabeschi dell’hardingfele, uno strumento a corda norvegese simile al violino ma con il doppio numero di corde, sono la voce che rapisce i neuroni nei dieci brani di Det Andre Rommet, orchestrati da Erlend Apneseth con gli amici Stephan Meidell (chitarra elettrica, elettronica) e Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (percussioni). Un mondo incantato, popolato da vecchie leggende nordiche, dove folk, jazz e improvvisazione si incontrano su sentieri che svelano mondi immaginifici. Come ascoltare i Dirty Three in studio con Terje Rypdal. Il secondo disco del talentuoso musicista di Jølster è stato registrato in Norvegia ma mixato a Seattle da Randall Dunn (MMOB, Sun City Girls, Sunn O))), Earth, etc.).
    Un incanto.
    - Rockerolla, Roberto Mandolini (IT)

  3. Bildet på omslaget til Det andre rommet er tatt inne fra en tunnel, en ubelyst, trang tunnel der fjellets egne, grove formasjoner utgjør en naturlig hvelving. Utenfor, nede i svingen, står et hvitt bolighus. Jeg vet ikke om vi med denne platen drar ut av tunnelen og inn i lyset, eller om vi er på vei bort fra hverdagens normalitet og inn i det ukjente. Men en reise tas vi med på: Erlend Apneseth Trio inviterer deg til uutforskede steder, lytteren inviteres med til å ta del i musikk som er ute av denne verden.
    Erlend Apneseth kommer fra Jølster. Han er utdannet ved Ole Bull Akademiet, der han studerte under Håkon Høgemo. Sin unge alder til tross har han opparbeidet seg en solid status som elitespelemann i A-klassen. I tillegg til Apneseth selv på hardingfele, består denne trioen av Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (Electric Eye, Building Instrument, José González) på slagverk og Stephan Meidell (Cakewalk, Krachmacher) på gitar og knotter. Randall Dunn har stått for miksen i Seattle-studioet sitt, og han har jobbet med artister som Earth, Sunn O))), Akron/Family og Six Organs of Admittance. Det er undergrunnsnavn som nok ikke vekker umiddelbar gjenkjennelse blant norske folkemusikklyttere – men de deler alle noe av den norske trioens eksperimenttrang. Det andre rommet følger opp Erlend Apneseths prisbelønte og kritikerroste debut Blikkspor fra 2013. Apneseth viser igjen et bemerkelsesverdig vidt spenn i sin tilnærming til musikken, og trioen har i enda sterkere grad funnet et spennende formspråk. Med tradisjonsmusikken som fundament begir de seg inn i et lydmalende landskap hevet over tid, sted og sjangre. Jeg har brukt liknende fraser om mange andre plater for denne spalten tidligere, men få har overbevist i like stor grad. Erlend Apneseth Trio legger ikke bare en ny dimensjon til folkemusikken. De utvikler sitt eget språk og sin egen tonalitet, oppløser den i et improviserende samspill der fragmenter fra jazz, samtidsmusikk, dronemusikk og post-rock utforskes, plukkes fra hverandre og settes sammen på stadig nye måter. Det andre rommet er ikke noen umiddelbar plate, og den vil nok heller ikke appellere til den som søker et umiddelbart musikalsk kick. Her ligger kunsten like mye mellom linjene, i det uventede og i de små detaljene. ”Trollsuiten” innleder plata med en vemodig melodilinje fra en gjenkjennelig hardingfele, som etter hvert får selskap av dirrende elektroniske overtoner. Slik går teppet opp for en plate der det gjenkjennelige smelter sammen med det abstrakte. På ”Under Isen” avløses hardingfelens jordnære søken av noe langt mer dunkelt og pulserende. Supersilent, David Lynch, Nils Økland, John Cale og ambientmusikken til Aphex Twin er de umiddelbare referansene som dukker opp i mitt hode. Tittelsporet står som platens høydepunkt, et mektig beist som langsomt reiser seg fra nær sagt intet og vokser umerkelig fra varsom strengplukking til ren støymusikk. Jeg vil også trekke fram ”Magma”, med sin klokkespill-likende rytmikk som kunne tilhørt Tortoise, intense felespill og en majestetisk melodi som lett kan overføres til rockens idiom. Imellom disse enkeltutvalgene eksisterer det et vell av impulser og innfall som til sammen danner et kompromissløst og tiltalende hele. Inne i plateomslaget gir Erlend Apneseth selv en kort beskrivelse av prosjektet. Han skriver blant annet: ”One of my greatest sources of inspiration has been exploring my own instrument, finding new sounds, discords, really anything that can evoke a new mood or association.” Erlend Apneseth og hans trio har funnet et rom som er i konstant bevegelse og utvidelse, og vi som lytter blir selv en del av det. Det andre rommet er en døråpner, og Erlend Apneseth vil være garantert være en sentral kraft i norsk musikk i tiden framover. En liten gest til plateselskapet Hubro er også på sin plass. I en årrekke har de stått som landets kanskje fremste representant for en åpen holdning til musikk og stilarter, og en like kompromissløs garantist for kvalitet og musikalsk nysgjerrighet. Se etter ugla neste gang du besøker platebutikken eller strømmetjenesten.
    - Folkemusikk, Bjørn Hammershaug (N)

  4. “Det Andre Rommet” presents a rural, natural and overarching feel of deep, misty melancholia, a folksy, in parts even naively beautiful approach influenced by sad romanticisms one can only and exclusively experience in primeval forests – think of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project vibewise but subtract every electronic aspect -, and see all of that happening mainly based on a foundation of classic fiddle play that seems to depict ancient sagas with all their wisdom, sadness, beauty and drama in a perfect manner and surprisingly even takes us out to a ritual, ecstatic dance with the captivating and outstanding tune “Magma” to be found on the second half of this amazing album. Highly
    recommended stuff!
    - Nitestylez (DE)

  5. C’est à un monde transversal, fait de fulgurances et d’improvisations, que nous convie le nouvel opus des norvégiens Erlend Apneseth Trio. Avec Det Andre Rommet, les frontières perdent de leur linéarité pour se dissoudre dans un torrent de sensations confuses, où l’on apprend à se laisser porter par les flots mouvants d’une nature habillée par un manteau de douce mélancolie. Oeuvre naturaliste emprunte de folk expérimentale et de dérives improvisées, de drone magique et d’atemporalité assumée, Det Andre Rommet dessine des paysages aux forêts recouvertes de neige épaisse et habitées d’esprits éthérés, de lumière rasante et de beauté caressante. C’est autour du hardingfele (violon norvégien) d’Erlend Apneseth, que les percussions d’Øyvind Hegg-Lunde et la guitare électrique et l’électronique assurés par Stephan Meidell, virevoltent et se connectent pour former un tout aux allures souterraines et insaisissables, aux confluents inénarrables. Les jeux se multiplient et s’inter-croisent, se superposent et s’attirent mutuellement pour donner naissance à un monde capiteux traversé de brouillards tourmentés et de vents soyeux, où le temps perd sa boussole pour traverser les strates multiples de l’histoire, sans passer par la case départ, jouant à perturber les sens de par sa fragilité voyageuse et sa douce pluie aveuglante. Superbe.
    - Silence and Sound (FR)

  6. Unearthly fiddle from Norway. The Norwegian Hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth´s debut album, released in 2013, possessed a mostly traditional, acoustic inclination. This follow-up is radically different and sees the youg virtuoso joined by guitarist Stephan Meidell and percussionist Øyvind Hegg-Lunde. The Hardanger fiddle has four core strings, augmented by three or four sympathetic drone strings. Here, its folk forms glimmer through jazz, ambient and improvisational lenses, coated with faint surface coverings, tickled by electronic effects, minimal guitar and percussion gestures. It´s as if Apneseth´s colleagues are acting as the human embodiment of further sympathetic strings. Often Apneseths´s fiddle is the dominant voice, overdubbed with a few more layers, but often as not the trio sounds like a trio, even when their activities are gentle and restrained. “Under Isen” has clunks and watery throbs passing beneath an ambient shimmer; “Sapporo” is barely active, as vestigal guitar and drums shadow Apneseth´s playing, his grainy fiddle extending into the electronic ether. On the title-track, there´s an endless looped echo of distant fiddling. By contrast , “Nattkatt” is close-up, shorn of reverb, developing into a clunking, cyclic lope. The dramatic build-up of the melodic “Magma” comes closest to being a radio-friendly track. This record would work best as intimate home listeining, under ideal, controlled circumstances.
    - Songlines, Martin Longley 4/5 (UK)

  7. Det andre rommet er felespiller Erlend Apneseths andre album, der han viderefører sin karakteristiske blanding av improvisert og komponert felespill med dype røtter i hardingfeletradisjonen. Denne gangen har han imidlertid fått med seg perkusjonist Øyvind Hegg-Lunde, og gitarist Stephan Meidell, og resultatet er et åpent og fleksibelt lydlandskap der Apneseth fritt bruker fiolinen til å utforske rommene mellom det akustiske og elektroniske, det komponerte og det improviserte, det lydlige og det melodiske. Båndene til folkemusikken er sterke – særlig i den umiskjennelige klangen av hardingfele, men også i Apneseths solide teknikk. Det gjør at de mer ukjente og eksperimentelle klangene låter forunderlig gjenkjennelige, samtidig som tradisjonselementene låter nye og friske. Aller best er kanskje den preludium-aktige “Trollsuiten”, og tittelsporet, som beveger seg i støy-retningen, men med klare, skimrende lag av lyd.
    - Jazznytt, Maren Ørstavik (N)

  8. A new album from the prolific Norwegian experimental jazz label Hubro. Its creator, Erlend Apneseth, is a virtuoso on his country’s eight-stringed violin, the Hardanger fiddle, which is plucked, stroked, tweaked and bowed at the core of this exploration of its capabilities. On single vinyl in picture inner sleeve, it’s filled with filleted folk tunes reinvented as spectral oddness that seems to have splurged unexpectedly from a skittering, clanking void.
    - The Arts Desk (UK)

  9. Led by young upcoming Hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth from Norway, this trio of electric guitar, electronics and drums offer a fresh contemporary perspective on folk and improv.
    - Jazzwise, Selwyn Harris *** (UK)

  10. Norwegian folk trio explore the sonic possibilities of their national instrument. The Hardingfele or hardanger fiddle is a tubby, narrow, eight-stringed violin, historically used in Norwegian folk dances. Although a number of these dances were famously adapted by Edvard Grieg, the instruments´s bass-string scrape and keening drone was also considered the devil´s music by Norwegian Christians; from the 18th to the 20th century many hardangers were destroyed by the church. Recently, this dark folk aspect has attracted a number of younger musicians, most strikingly 26-year-old music prodigy Apneseth. With drimmer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde and Cakewalk guitarist Stephan Meidell, Apneseth takes fragments of silver-lit dance melodies and pushes them into wilder rain-sodden territories, the trio´s close, intuitive compositions groaning, roiling and clattering with a raw exploratory life, creating a wild new strain of Norwegian folk tunes that moce, appropriately, from sun-dappled utopianism to the bleakest noir netherworld.
    - MOJO, Andrew Male **** (UK)

  11. The hardanger fiddle, often a fairly doleful reservoir of resonant wood and heart wrenching pre-industrial age string sounds, projects an austere sensibility and dark palette brought to life in improvised settings by masters like Nils Økland, has more profile now than ever and not only in Norway. The Apneseth trio crouched around the fiddle matches the leader’s virtuoso playing to electric guitar and drums on ‘The Other Room’ as the title translates into English but there isn’t a huge amount of joy to be gleaned here apart from in the sheer skill of their ability and craft. They’ve been around sufficiently long enough to distil a highly traditional vision into something that has modern context by factoring in a bit of tech but where the fourth instrument lurking and remaining significant is brooding silence. Fusing the fairly ancient and fairly modern together only emphasises the deep traditions of the musical style rather than its modernity, the guitar never really on the verge of ever letting go, the fiddle a repository for intense lamentation as is the overall atmosphere. Fun, fun, fun.
    - Marlbank, Stephen Graham (UK)

  12. Norway’s flourishing jazz scene seems to know no boundaries straying into unknown territories alien to “jazz” – Rock, folk and improvisation are all mixed into a melting pot with such labels as Rune Grammofon and Hubro going where others fear to tread. Familiar names that might ring a bell include Jan Gabarek and Terje Rypdal. Emerging from that scene is Hardanger fiddle player Erlend Apnesth who while being engaged in the Norwegian folk tradition began to move into a period of exploration by forming a trio with Stephan Meidall (electric guitar and electronics) and Oyvind Hegg-Lunde on drums. Meidall and Hegge-Lunde had worked together before Apneseth invited them to join his new venture. The results of their adventures now appear on the Hubro label as ‘Det Andre Rommet’.
    This series of improvisations really capture an otherworldly atmosphere of mystery and magic and reflects the intuitive connection between the trio. As an improvising artist will make a mark here and there or make an unexpected brush stroke elsewhere and then add subtle tones and colours on the canvas, so it is on this beautiful album as the musicians intuitively respond to each other and make their own impressions. Those of us addicted to Scandinavian dramas found on our televisions will immediately connect with the minimal sparse landscapes created here as we journey deep into the folk-infused sounds. The plucking and scraping of the strings, electric atmospheres and strange echoing noises come to life. The fiddle moans and whispers often hinting at wandering ancient spirits are reflected in sounds squeezed from the eight strings as they rise and fall intertwining with the guitar and percussion. These compositions echo the sense of otherworldliness Vitali mentions in his book. Folk dance motifs seem to ebb and flow together while notes that are seemingly hewn from old stones groan and sigh. There is nothing fast here and the feeling of splendid isolation is never far away. Imagine watching a fishing boat sailing along a forgotten fiord or a snowfall covering a deep forest in a silent landscape, as this is the soundtrack. The ambience is indeed calling up the spirits of the mountains and lost valleys calling you away to another kingdom where Norway’s traditional past meets the new world. ‘Det Andre Rommet’ is strange, beguiling and mysterious.
    - Pennyblackmusic (UK)

  13. Mulitiple award-winning hardanger fiddle virtuoso Erlend Apneseth, electric guitarist Stephan Meidell and drummer Oyvind Hegg-Lunde creat new, improvised instrumental music from Norwegian folk tradiition. Always adventurous, occasionally startling and frequently hauntingly beautiful. An album which rewards total immersion.
    - fRoots (UK)

  14. Bei Det Andre Rommet vom Erlend Apneseth trio fragt man sich zu Beginn, ob das wirklich auf dem heissgeliebten norwegische Label Hubro erscheinen ist, den die Trollsuiten klingen sehr folkloristisch. Apneseth bedient seine Hardangerfiedel hier ganz puristisch, erst bei «Under Isen» schleichen sich erste elektronisch Störgeräusche ein. Sanftes Pfeifen oder Schaben, zarte E-Gitarren und grazile drums spielen zu oder mit sentimentalen FolkKlängen, es entsteht eine aufregende Hochzeit aus Tradition und Avantgarde.
    - Westzeit (DE)

  15. Stridences et dissonances commencent par peindre une nature vive et chaotique battue de déflagrations sourdes, de frimas et de vents à fendre l’âme. Puis une harmonie se dégage, des pizzicati s’ébattent, une mélodie s’élève et le violon si nordique d’Erlend Apneseth déploie une poétique qui n’est plus seulement naturelle mais humaine. Secondé de loin par la guitare et les percussions atmosphériques de Stephan Meidell et Øyvind Hegg-Lunde, le violoniste norvégien ne s’attache pourtant ni aux sentiments ni aux états d’âme et ne suit aucune trame préétablie, thèmes, solos, développements etc. Det Andre Rommet tient bien davantage de la convocation panthéiste et de la palpitation organique, ce qui le rend aussi intriguant que nécessaire.
    - Les Inrocks (FR)

  16. Once you are familiar with the sound of the Hardanger fiddle, you will recognize it immediately. Chances to have this experience frequently however are low, unless you are a fan of Norwegian fiddle folk music, as this is the natural habitat of this instrument. Apneseth is one of those musicians who want to give an instrument a new life, breaking out of the context of traditional folk music. Apneseth, a prominent player and interpreter in the Norvegian folk scene, released in 2013 his first album ‘Blikkspor’ for Grappa Musikforlag, an album produced by famous ambient-trumpeter Arve Henriksen. For his follow up Apneseth continued working with drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (Building Instrument, José González) and guitarist Stephan Meidell (Cakewalk, Krachmacher), who were also involved on his debut recording. Drums and percussion by Hegg-Lunde are easy to identify. More difficult is it to trace the contributions by guitarist Meidell, who also provides some electronics. Their contributions may be sparse, they are however very effective and creating a beautiful and full environment for the fiddle. Most prominent they are in a piece like ‘Nattkat’ were drums and guitar creates a complex rhythm-based cyclic structure. About half of the tracks originated from improvisation in the studio. Apneseth composed the others. In all tracks one hears echoes of folk music, not only of Scandinavian origin, but also Japanese influences can be traced, and a slide guitar that evokes American moods. But they expand the musical forms into varied and tasty improvisations, or drones and compositions of a more abstract nature. Above all it is fiddle playing by Apneseth that makes the difference. The fiddle has a deep and full sound, and a melancholic soul. Wonderful music.
    - Vital Weekly (NL)

  17. The almost incessant work in digging into interesting musical artifacts in the Norwegian improvisational scene by Hubro brought to the discovery of another fantastic release, signed by a trio named after the most prominent instrument player in this output, the young fiddler Erlend Apneseth, whose style of performing on Hardanger fiddler manages to mantle listeners by evoking symphonies that often seem hanging in between Norwegian and Japanese musical traditions. He involved Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drummer of Electric Eye, Building Instrument – we already talked about this awesome project – and José González) and Stephan Meidell (guitarist of Cakewalk and Krachmaker), who already joined him for the last track of the critically acclaimed album “Blikkspor”, the impressive debut by Erlend. They enhanced Erlend’s performance by unobtrusive details that embellished any moment of this album, where Erlend shields the powerful hooks of his music over a broad set of different semblances: the opening “Trollsuiten” is going to immerse listener in an enchanted set, where the lukewarm heating of a bonfire sets the stage for the discovery of forgotten Nordic legends, inspired by the vaguely oriental nuances of “Sapporo”, the flowing symphonies of “Dialog”, the charming meeting of organic and electronic entities in “under Isen”, the rising dissonant title track “Det Andre Rommet”, the folk breezes of “St.Thomas klokkene”, the flipping percussive medley of “Natkatt”, the surprising veer towards Radiohead-like declension of rock in the lovely “Magma”, the reprise of spores of all the above-mentioned influences on “Hugskot” and the blissful finale on “Draum Om Regn”. Highly recommended listening experience!
    - Chain DLK (IT)

  18. In 1651, in the Norwegian town of Hardanger, Jonsen Jaasted developed a modified version of the fiddle by adding four or five sympathetic/resonating strings to the basic four-stringed instrument. Today, the Hardanger fiddle or hardingfele is Norway´s most iconic instrument, treasured for its ringing, silvery overtone drone. Erlend Apneseth is one of Norway´s leading young fiddlers, widely recognised for his prowess in traditional music, although it´s obvious from the nimble arpeggio of “Trollsuiten” (“The Troll Suite”), the startling opener on Det Andre Rommet (“The Other Room”), that he has a background in classical music as well. This new album is a confident follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 solo debut Blikkspor, which featured the rhythmic foot-stomping percussion efffect used to encourage dancers in typical folk music contexts such as weddings. However, when he´s in the company of imaginative, subtly atmospheric percussive effects by Oyvind Hegg-Lunde, with Stephan Meidell on electric guitar and electronic effects, you´ll hear inspired improvised instrumentals full of mysterious sounds. The diversity of moods, styles, settings – and the track sequence – make for an enthralling listen.
    - BBC Music Magazine, Jon Lusk (UK) *****

  19. There’s much to recommend about Det Andre Rommet, but one thing above all others stands out: Erlend Apneseth’s Hardanger fiddle, the mere sound of which captivates whether the track in question is a formally composed piece or improvisation. Similar to Blikkspor, his debut album, the new, forty-minute collection includes both original compositions and improvs, though admittedly the differences between them are less pronounced when the material as a whole exudes a live, spontaneous spirit.

    The instrument’s natural timbre lends itself to a plaintive folk expressiveness, but while that aspect is definitely present on the recording, Apneseth also aspires to push the Hardanger fiddle into less familiar territory (in the liner notes to the release, he writes, “One of my greatest sources of inspiration has been exploring my own instrument, finding new sounds, discords, really anything that can evoke a new mood or association”). He’s abetted immeasurably in that quest by the sympathetic support of drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (Electric Eye, Building Instrument) and guitarist Stephan Meidell (Cakewalk), who first appeared alongside Apneseth on the closing track of Blikkspor. In fact, it would be more accurate to describe Hegg-Lunde as percussionist than drummer on Det Andre Rommet, given how much he and Meidell channel their energies into generating textural support for the leader’s playing. Still, however far Apneseth, who hails from Jølster, and his partners venture into experimental realms, the fiddler’s connection to the Norwegian folk music tradition remains firmly in place.

    The Hardanger fiddle’s ability to mesmerize is evident the moment the folk drone “Trollsuiten” inaugurates the recording with Apneseth’s keening tone and hypnotic bowing, Hegg-Lunde and Meidell subtly present in their near-subliminal enhancements. Rarely on this album does the former play a straight beat and the latter never solos in the conventional sense, but their contributions are nevertheless integral. The rich percussive colour Hegg-Lunde generates from bells and cymbals during “Det Andre Rommet,” for instance, does much to distinguish the piece, just as the atonal shards Meidell coaxes from the guitar make for an effective counterpart to the fiddler’s strangulated wail.
    A distinct similarity between Apneseth’s trio and Dirty Three asserts itself during the fourth track, “Sapporo,” when the distance separating the cry of Apneseth’s fiddle and Warren Ellis’s violin in the Australian trio begins to seem modest indeed. Still, if there’s a go-to track on the album, it might be “Magma” on account of a haunting theme that reaches a glorious, hellacious roar when delivered with maximum intensity by the trio. Regardless of whether he’s heard alone or in the company of others, Apneseth’s a naturally inventive and ever-searching player who commands one’s attention whether playing an entire setting using pizzicato (“Dialog”) or plumbing the greatest rustic depths possible of a given piece (“St Thomas-klokkene”).
    - Textura.org (CA)

  20. If you think Arvo Pärt’s Fratres sounds beautiful then this gem from the consistently fascinating Norwegian label Hubro should be on your must hear list. It’s stark music lead by Hardanger fiddle player Apneseth but it is also radiant with Nordic light, timbrally rich and unquestionably essential. Stephan Meidell provides accompaniment on guitar and electronica in an unobtrusive fashion and there’s not a great deal in the way of Øyvind Hegg-Lund’s drums and percussion, but what there is counts. The three have been playing together since Apneseth’s debut Blikkspor in 2013, and clearly the time has been well spent in honing the 10 pieces on this album into extraordinary atmospheres, alien atmospheres to many ears I suspect, but strangely appealing ones nonetheless. Blikkspor was largely based on folk tunes and Apneseth has high standing in that field but Det Andre Rommet (The Second Room) rises above traditional music while remaining informed by it. That is why it is at once familiar yet new, powerful but not aggressive, and rich in tone and texture. The latter is what it shares with Fratres, in other regards it’s very different, it’s not serene and although you wouldn’t call it jarring although it does skirt close to dissonance on a few occasions. Its appeal will rest on whether the sound of the Hardanger fiddle, a variation on the violin with resonator strings under those played, a bit like a 12 string guitar, appeals. It certainly does to me and at 39 minutes this album ends far too soon, but that’s usually the case with the best ones.
    - The Ear, Jason Kennedy (UK)

  21. Away from all the punk, junk ‘n’ noise piled up around here arrives this little nugget from the always interesting Hubro imprint, which remains largely dedicated to Scandinavian folk, jazz and improv artists themselves occasionally skirting other areas of music. The idea of documenting what’s going on there being the chief preoccupation, no less, yet Hubro’s radar seems finely tuned and dedicated to illuminating only those whose work resides amongst the cream. Erlend Apneseth appears to be no exception in this respect, either. Although this Hardanger fiddle player has clearly been honing his craft for a few years now, and has appeared on at least a couple of other releases, his leading of this trio with this traditional Nordic instrument certainly sets the bar for whatever’s next. Over the ten compositions here, warm melodies hewn from improvisations taking their cue from folk caress our imagination like tender flames. Tacked into place by highly-charged percussion, electronics and guitar, each piece appears restless in its creation of something new and forward-thinking whilst retaining something of the past that forged it. If music can continue to be perceived as a language that tells us much about the moments we are presently snagged in, when at least delivering on this notion, then the Erlend Apneseth Trio’s album only compounds this. This is music that firmly embraces not only the moment but also the listener all the way through. Incredible. Now to save some pennies for the vinyl version!
    - Adverse Effect Magazine (PL)

  22. Stichwort seltene Instrumente: Auf Det Andre Rommet, Der andere Raum (ebenfalls Hubro) des Erlend Apneseth Trios hören wir die von Apneseth gespielte, nach der norwegischen Region benannte Hardangerfiedel. Stephan Meidell bedient die E-Gitarre und Elektronik, Øyvind Hegg-Lunde das Schlagzeug und die Perkussion. Hier nun kriegt die partielle Wehmut Widerhaken, und zwar ziemlich scharfe. Under Isen, Unter dem Eis: nach dem perkussiven Einstieg, das Schlagzeug fungiert auf dem Album über weite Strecken eher als Melodieinstrument, webt Apneseth Klangflächen, während Meidell kurze, prägnante Signaltöne sendet. Das Titelstück: Gitarre, Beckenschlagzeug und sparsame Perkussion umspielen sich, die Fiedel interveniert, Drones schälen sich heraus, der Ton wird schriller. Oder gleich darauf Nattkatt, Leopardus geoffroyi, die südamerikanische Kleinfleckkatze. Sie ist nachtaktiv (daher der Name) und verschläft den Tag in den Bäumen. Das Apneseth-Trio widmet dem Pfotentier ein eigentümlich-nervöses Stück. Zum Schluss Draum Om Regn, Traum vom Regen: die Gitarre klingt, als würden Gläser aneinanderstoßen. Was das mit der Freiheit zu tun hat? Sie gehört nicht den Berserkern allein.
    - Abwärts, Robert Meissner (DE)