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Huntsville: Pond

 
 
HUBROCD2549/HUBROLP3549
Norwegian release: 13.03.2015
International release: 13.03.2015
 
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Since Huntsville was established in 2006, the trio has cut its own distinctive musical diamond with impressive integrity. Each new release from the trio is an event. Now, after over a hundred concerts and with a substantial number of releases behind them, they are more distinctive than ever.
 
 
Huntsville’s music is the result of collective improvisation, and lies at the musical interface between rock, electronic music, free improvisation and a long list of other genres. Reviewers have described the music as “Morricone-esque dreamscapes” and “Americosmische”, and as an “amalgam of Miles Davis, Steve Reich and early Tortoise.”

Huntsville has previously collaborated on concerts and projects with Hanne Hukkelberg, Sidsel Endresen, Wilco’s Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche, and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.
 
 
The trio’s previous release, “Past increasing, future receding”, was recorded in Tomba Emanuelle, a room with exceptional acoustics and a long-lasting echo. The dramatic setting led the band into a darker and more heart-stopping musical landscape than on previous albums. There are still traces of this darker landscape on their fifth album, “Pond”, although this album also showcases new sides of the band.
 
 
“Pond” is the result of a successful session in the Oslo studio AmperTone with sound engineer Johnny Skalleberg. The album was recorded and mixed in the course of a week, and the band describes the process as very inspiring. Ivar Grydeland plays electric guitar, pedal steel and electronics this time. Ingar Zach has expanded his percussion set-up with timpani, and Tonny Kluften’s distinctive bass playing is given more freedom to stretch out than on the band’s previous albums.

 
 
Perhaps most striking this time is how clearly the musical personalities of the three different musicians are able to emerge. “Pond” has become a new career highlight from Huntsville. Through four long tracks we encounter a band that is true to its own sound and idiom, but never stands still.
 
 
Confirmed concerts:
10 March – MIR, Oslo
18 March – Barcelona
24 March – Warsaw
25 March – Bee Flat, Berne
28 March – Trafó, Budapest
 
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Reviews:

  1. Personlig er det nok førstesporet «(ER)» og tredjesporet «(AGE)» som utmerker seg mest. Her synes jeg bandet slipper seg mer løs enn på de to andre sporene, og helheten er i begge tilfeller filmatisk og fin. Man skaper sine helt egne historier i hodet ved å høre på disse. I tillegg synes jeg «(AGE)» gir stort spillerom for alle tre musikerne. De blir ikke bundet av en form, men kan slippe seg løs, noe jeg liker. En ny, personlig og fin innspilling fra en ytterst interessant, norsk trio.
    - Salt Peanuts.no

  2. Huntsville er sikkert både det ene og det andre – blant annet minst to byer i USA. For oss musikkinteresserte derimot har det siden 2006 vært kun én ting – nemlig en uroriginal trio som har laga ditto musikk. Ivar Grydeland på gitarer og tilliggende herligheter, Tonny Kluften på bass og Ingar Zach på allehånde perkusjonsinstrumenter, har fra starten utgjort denne helt spesielle organismen. Uansett hvilket stoppested du hopper på når det gjelder Huntsville, så har du blitt konfrontert med musikk du aldri har hatt gleden av å ha blitt utfordra av før. Slik er det definitivt med “Pond” også.
    - Tor Hammerø (NO)

  3. ‘Pond’ is already the sixth album by Huntsville, a trio of Ivar Grydeland (electric guitar, pedal steel and electronics), Ingar Zach (percussion, timpani) and Tonny Kluften (bass). We only reviewed two of the previous releases (Vital Weekly 892 and 781), but I enjoyed both of them a lot. They have been going since 2006 and played over 100 concerts and worked with other people. I quite enjoyed those previous releases and this one as well. It was recorded and mixed in the space of one week, which is… short? Long? I don’t know. It’s improvised music for sure, so what there’s to mix, you could say, other than creating a balance between the instruments. But then, Huntsville is not necessarily your standard improvisation group, with a bit of jazz elements thrown in somewhere all along. What they do goes above and beyond the idiom of improvised music. Just as easily one could say the approach drone music (drone rock) even from their vantage point, or put an improvisational edge towards krautrock. Here we have four lengthy pieces, from ten to fifteen minutes, which all explore in their own calm way these interests and even more. The pedal steel in ‘(ING)’ for instance make it spacious Americana, but the bass is on a jazzy streak, whereas the percussion is on a slowly expanding roll. Huntsville – the name sounds like Americana I was thinking – still has a somewhat darker undercurrent, like the soundtrack for a film noir. The electronics used expand this soundtrack element even a bit further, stretching things out further down the line. Third excellent release by this great trio and counting.
    - Vital Weekly – Frans de Ward (NL)

  4. De kosmische minimal music van Huntsville heeft wel wat weg van een vijvertje. Het wachten vindt plaats tussen de aanhoudende drone en het slepende ritme dat lekker voortgolft op een verandering in de Steve Reich-achtige patronen. Totdat je je erop betrapt dat variatie eigenlijk nergens voor nodig is en het prima lummelen is in gezelschap van dit niet op veel actie gerichte trio. Het drietal houdt het tempo lekker binnen de motorik-perken en het heeft wel wat weg vaneen lome versie van Elektro Guzzi.
    Vergis je niet, deze drie heren lijken wel druk bezig op z’n Tangerine Dreams synthtapijten in elkaar te knopen,
    maar ze spelen gitaar, banjo, pedalsteel, contrabas, basgitaar, tabla, drums, sruti-box en wat dies meer zij aan
    akoestisch instrumentarium. En ondertussen laten ze de improvisatie ook nog eens de vrije loop. Dat zorgt voor
    een acute sensatie die talmen tot het te laat is rechts passeert en links gas geeft om de knetterende
    spanningsbogen strak te houden die de trijpen trance schragen.
    Met een beetje goede wil zou je Morricone-achtige americanasferen kunnen vinden. Maar ook Oosterse drone,
    en dat naast postrockaspiratie zoals gekoesterd door Tortoise. Plus abstract conceptualisme.
    - Kindamuzik (NL)

  5. “Boredom is the awareness of time passing” said Heidegger, so the fact that the 50 plus minutes in the company of this Norwegian trio races by signifies that this as an assuredly interesting release. The band’s fifth album was recorded and mixed in the course of a week but has a richness that suggests that it was preceded by long hours of reflection. Music as multi-layered as this doesn’t simply happen. The musicians are Ivar Grydeland (electric guitar, pedalsteel, electronics), Ingar Zach (percussion) and Tonny Kluften (bass). There are just four instrumental tracks, with bracketed initials serving as enigmatic titles : (ER), (ING), (AGE) and (OK). Each piece evolved out of collective improvisation, the result of a successful session in the Oslo studio AmperTone with sound engineer Johnny Skalleberg. Even the fractured electronics on the final track contribute to a sense of flow and movement. Overall the pieces are abstract in form yet evoke the organic pulse of life with a measured, non-frenetic energy. I’ll call it existential ambience for want of a better label. These are sublime sounds you want to absorb rather than analyse.
    - Whisperin and Hollerin – Martin Raybould (UK)

  6. Is this DarkJazz or JazzKraut or even sth. in between? Sporting four tracks only, all exceeding the 10 minutes mark, “Pond”, the new album by Norwegian trio Huntsville will be released via Hubro Music on March 13th and surely is about to please all listeners appreciating a combination of free floating, ever evolving organic structures and repetitive grooves accompanied by decent electronics and effects.
    - Nitestylez (DE)

  7. Mit außergewöhnlicher Klarheit erweckt Pond den Eindruck von drei autonom agierenden Musikern, die trotz des deutlichen Nachweises des jeweils eigenen Verständnisses zueinander, zu sich selbst und zu einem harmonischen Ganzen finden, ohne sich durch falsch verstandene Rücksichtnahme gegenseitig zu unterfordern. Es werden Fragen in den Raum gestellt, die im Kollektiv stets eine schnelle und vor allem eine originelle Antwort finden. Erfahrung schützt vor Erkenntnis nicht, der Hörer wird dies dankend zur Kenntnis nehmen.
    - Amusio.com – Stephan Wolf (DE)

  8. Quattro tracce a lettere cubitali: (ER), (ING), (AGE), (OK). Acronimi che raggruppano minuti di progressione compositiva. Sono movimenti uniscono molti sound e, il power trio in questione, mostra attitudine ambient, indigenza strumentistica, suono folk e mescolanze rumoristiche. Se con (ER) il disco si apre a passo d’oca jazzistico – spazzole dall’abbozzo di Paul Motian – (ricorda un paesaggio alla Jackie ‘O Motherfucker) per poi approdare verso ritmi accelerati con sbuffi di chitarra in stile Jim ‘O Rourke, con (ING) le atmosfere si fanno dub nel loro astrattismo concreto in perfetta assonanza con dei possibili Luminance Ratio. Personalmente il picco viene toccato con (AGE) che vede aperture d’archi simil Harold Budd, calde, avvolgenti, barbagli di luce. I suoni si sormontano, lasciano posto ad altri suoni: le chitarre saltellano tra Left e Right, arpeggiate, graffiate; il basso viene percosso, a volte è drone, a volte è groove; le percussioni a volte ritmiche, a volte puri accenti di colore che appaiono improvvisamente per poi scomparire. Irriducibile a parole, Pond è una lenta costruzione tra tenebra e penombra: la luce filtra sempre delicatamente e lascia nascosta sempre una parte dell’oggetto ritratto. Una vera e propria fenomenologia strumentale, con tutti i sui problemi e le sue soluzione. Gli Huntsville oltrepassano ulteriormente i risultati raggiunti dall’esperimento precedente Past increasing, future receding arrivando ad un suono definito, raffinato, il cui scheletro è costruito tra polvere e acciaccature. Dai sotterranei all’empireo, andata e ritorno.
    - Carnagenews (IT)

  9. As abstract as Huntsville’s music might sound on paper, it’s earmarked by specific signatures, the countrified twang of Grydeland’s pedal steel foremost among them, that help make the trio’s material more accessible than it might be otherwise. The trio less approaches the four pieces as conventionally structured compositions with formal beginnings, middles, and endings and more as sound paintings. Theirs is very much an interactive process grounded in spontaneity, as while each player contributes material to the whole, his contributions are influenced by what the others are doing in that same moment; it’s an approach perfectly illustrated by “(ING)” where each member expresses himself individually whilst attending responsively to the sounds arising around him. Pond thus inhabits a zone where elements of rock, improvisation, jazz, and electronic music liberally intersect and intertwine.
    - Textura.org (CA)

  10. The trio that make up Huntsville have been forging ahead with their distinctive sound now since 2006. Their latest release Pond was recorded and mixed in only a week in an Oslo recording studio and comprises of just four long tracks. The previous album Past Increasing, Future Receding, made use of a room with exceptional acoustics and a long-lasting echo. This led the band into darker territories than before and whilst that is still here to some extent this album shows how the band are still developing. You could see this music as cinematic, it certainly comes across as being apt for setting the scene in a film or accentuating the situation. Huntsville use improvisation to create their music and it’s difficult to come up with something to instantly compare it to but the first band that came to mind whilst listening to track one was Cul de Sac. You could perhaps throw in Tortoise as a name too but ultimately the tracks embrace such different genres you can’t have a one size fits all approach to this. It flits from Cul de Sac style piece to a more laid back Jazz piece through another more guitar based track to the last piece which is probably the most experimental sounding with its scrapings and clangings and sparse-ness. In some elements of this we almost head into Neubauten territory. Through it all though you can hear it’s the same people performing and the tracks whilst covering such a wide range of styles still sit together well.
    - Progress Report (UK)

  11. untsville har sitt idiom, vi kan kalla det ett imperativt sökande, men deras skivor ska ses som olika kompletterande aspekter av detta sökande. Därför är ”Pond” precis lika angelägen som någonting de har gjort tidigare, förra skivan inkluderad. ”Pond” bekräftar att Huntsville är ett band som med musiken rör sig bort från musikens område. De gör mental musik, psykisk musik. Att innebörden av detta är större än själva musiken är förstås förbluffande när musiken i sig är så formidabel. Huntsville är inte ensamma i sin kategori med återhållen improvisationsmusik, men de är relativt ensamma i sin klass.
    - Tidningen Kulturen, Peter Sjöblom (SE)

  12. At Huntsville valgte Emanuel Vigelands mausoleum på Slemdal som innspillingssted for sin forrige plate, var ikke overraskende. Det mørke lokalet med den enorme romklangen virket perfekt for trioens dunkle, dvelende lydtepper. Likevel viste resultatet at den unike romakustikken til tider kom litt i veien for den musikalske framdriften. Kanskje var det jakten på den perfekte stemningen som la en aldri så liten demper på musikernes kreativitet? Også bandets nyeste plate er preget av den samme tilliten til å gi musikken sakte, men sikkert tid til å utfolde seg – langsomt og tålmodig, med stort fokus på det musikalske «her og nå». Men denne gang er rastløsheten mer fremtredende. Noe som gir større rom, også for lekenheten, og gjør musikken mindre forutsigbar. Det høres i perkusjonist Ingar Zach sine små, men effektive utskeielser, og i Tonny Kluftens nyanserte basspill. Og i sentrum: Ivar Grydelands gitar og pedal stell som skaper den tiltrengte emosjonelle nerven.
    - Trønderavisa, Per Chr. Rolin (N)

  13. Continua la collaborazione tra gli Huntsville e la Hubro, l’etichetta che sta fotografando con dovizia di particolari la fertile scena jazz/impro norvegese. Le quattro tracce di Pond sono state registrate negli Amper studios di Oslo lo scorso mese di giugno. L’atmosfera solare e dilatata delle lunghe giornate estive norvegesi si riflette nelle quattro improvvisazioni in cui una strisciante e sottile scia elettrica – le chitarre di Ivar Grydeland – illumina densi pattern ritmici costruiti da Ingar Zach (batteria) e Tonny Kluften (basso). Lungh intro e altrettanto dilatate outro fanno da cornice ad armonie jazz scomposte in elementi che prendono vita come pianeti in un sistema solare.Seducente ambient jazz.
    - Rockerilla, Roberto Mandolini (IT)

  14. «Pond» låter i kompromissløs Huntsville-stil som et radiosøk langs den kosmiske mellombølgen. Men søket foregår med vel overveid ro, og tar seg god tid på stasjoner der umiddelbart stemningsskapende pedal steel countryfraser, sfæriske «er-det-liv-på-Mars-og-prøver-de-å-si-oss-noe?»-klanger, jordnære industrilyder og mektige paukeslag er bare noen av inntrykkene. Fritt og abstrakt? Jovisst, men med en orden og kommunisering i musiseringen som gjør resultatet til alt annet enn dilettanteri eller «art by accident». Og nettopp dette, at den kollektivimprovisatoriske utfoldelsen virker så «riktig» og formbevisst, gjør Huntsville til et svært interessant band og «Pond» til en ditto appellerende plate. Eksempelvis inneholder de fire «låtene», eller «strekkene», ingen melodier, men likevel er «Pond» et uhyre melodiøst album som fortsetter å synge i sinnet lenge etter at dets 51 minutter og 29 sekunder med musikk er avspilt. Kanskje er den ikke plystrevennlig, men like fullt er denne musikken, der en gitar bare sjelden låter som en gitar, fengende på en måte som gjør det til en lystbetont nødvendighet å foreta reisen gjennom Huntsvilles klanglandskaper om og om igjen. Månedskort tilrådes.
    - Jazzinorge.no, Terje Mosnes (N)

  15. Norwegen – ein scheinbar unerschöpfliches Reservoire an gut ausgebildeten Musiker(-inne)n, wozu auch die Herren IVAR GRYDELAND, TONNY KLUFTEN & INGAR ZACH hinter HUNTSVILLE zählen, die auf ihrem fünften Album “Pond” eine kontemporäre Mischung aus Rock, Jazz, Drone, Ambient usw. bescheren, welche irgendwie den Anschein erweckt, als würden die Osloer aus Amerika stammen bzw. über eine starke Affinität dorthin verfügen. “Pond” (CD | DLP) veröffentlichen HUNTSVILLE über den heimischen Verlag HUBRO, der sich auf das Verlegen von norwegischen Jazz- & Improvisationsalben konzentriert. Heißt, das Trio passt perfekt zum restlichen HUBRO Backkatalog! Den tieferen Sinn von “Pond” finden die Konsument(-inn)en im Endeffekt nur über die Tonkunst, wo HUNTSVILLE extrem auf fließende Atmosphäre mit Anspruch setzen, wodurch Hörer(-innen) flux Entspannung gleich eines Spazierganges in Mutter Natur erfahren. Soundtechnisch liefern HUNTSVILLE auf “Pond” gelebten Minimalismus ab, der in der Regel sehr verquast ausfällt, weshalb die Norweger bestimmt nicht die Allgemeinheit ansprechen, sondern eher die tontechnisch begeisterten Nerds, die das BESONDERE Hörerlebnis fordern. Wer die Avantgarde genauso schätzt wie die atmosphärisch dichten Droneschleifen, bekommt in den 4 überlangen, frei improvisierten, Tondokumenten auf “Pond” ein Schmankerl der Superlative geboten, das fordert und zugleich berauscht – Wahnsinn! Gefallen mag, dass HUNTSVILLE einen perfekten Spagat zwischen Organik & Synthetik schaffen, wodurch die “Kompositionen” an Intensität wie Komplexität gewinnen. Insgesamt ein kompaktes wie abwechslungsreiches Werk ohne direkten Anspieltipp, dessen Strukturen entweder bewegen (wie mich) oder kalt lassen. Individuen, die die anspruchsvolle Avantgarde lieben, müssen HUNTSVILLE’s “Pond” unbedingt antesten, das aufgrund seiner vielen Details & mitnehmenden Atmosphären absolut packt, wenn sie/ er sich auf die musikalische Reise des Trios einlässt – meine absolute (KAUF-)EMPFEHLUNG!
    - Kulturterrorismus.de

  16. Something truly reconnects on Pond. Starting from Kluften’s aseptic and metallically echoing bass lines in the first track, sounding as a consciously pinned and undeployed Joy Division’s theme, the stage is set for the persistent drum undergrowth from Zach and the mounting punctuation of Grydeland, at first clattering, then gradually more melodic and enveloping. The trio finds the right formula as they shift between registers, with the bass voice setting the mood and opening up channels for the two other elements to fill. The development of the entire work is really fluid and it creates the sensation of an electronic-conceived album played instrumentally. Nevertheless I felt, while listening to some passages, that I was being thrown into a Western movie scenario, and was relieved when later I noticed the definition of “Morricone-esque dreamscapes” in the label release notes (am I so intuitive or so ordinary?).
    - Freejazzblog – Paolo Casertano

  17. Vilken fröjd det är att höra en väl samspelt grupp med ett gemensamt förflutet. Huntsville, bestående av Ivar Grydeland, Tonny Kluften och Ingar Zach, har snart tio år och sex album på nacken och det hörs ju så tydligt att de känner varandra. Vilken njutning det är att få sugas inn i deras elektroakustiska värld där allt är möjligt och inget är omöjligt. Pressreleasen till Pond upplyser mig och att jag hör elgitarr, pedal steel, elektronik, slagverk, timpani och bas. Jag hör allt detta och inget av detta. Det spelar ingen roll. Allt flyter samman till en välformad kropp som jag suktar efter att vidröra. Det är en tillståndens musik utan att vare sig fastna i slapp ambient eller repetativa drones. Snarare än att vara block av ljud byggs lager upp där fogarna slipas bort men ändå lämnas kvar. Dessa olika lager byts ut och nya element fogas in. Det händer saker hela tiden men det händer nästan omärkbart. Det är otroligt finkänsligt gjort och musiken känns otroligt levande.
    Ivar Grydelands gitarrer skapar suddiga bilder samtidigt som hans pedal steel är kristallklar utan att bli obehagligt country-twangig. Tonny Kluftens bas omfamnar hela ljudbilden och Zach är den som kryddar lite extra. Hans trumspel sträcker sig från envete vispspel till tablas och pulserande basfrekvenser. Alla bidrar och alla skapar. Pond är en enastående bra skiva med elektroakustisk musik av yppersta kvalité. Ingar Zach visar med besked vilken underbar slagverkare han är.
    - Soundofmusic.nu (SE)

  18. In actuality, Pond is as unlike past Huntsville albums as expected. While the members are improvisers, the music is not improv per se, being rather more beyond categorisation (a good thing, in my view…) The album consists of four extended studio-recorded tracks, all in the range from ten to sixteen minutes. The opener, “(ER)” (the track titles are all similarly impervious to interpretation), prominently features a new addition to the trio’s instrumentation, Grydeland’s use of pedal steel guitar, ringing out alongside a shuffle rhythm from Zach’s brushes underpinned by Kluften’s solid bass. The guitarist deftly avoids the clichés of pedal steel, exploiting its ability to bend notes to enliven a soundscape that could have been too static otherwise; when the track settles into an extended drone for its last few minutes, it works effectively but prior to that it needed that pedal steel.

    Next up, in comparison to “(EG),” “(ING)” begins ear-strainingly quietly and takes over two minutes to achieve a volume at which it becomes listenable. After that, it is well worth the wait as all three players produce music full of variety and interest, the kind that sounds better the more one listens. Grydeland plays electric guitar, producing sustained notes and chords that are allowed to linger as they fade away; the percussion and bass do not act as accompaniment, but contain sufficient variety and detail to attract attention in their own right. On “(AGE),” Huntsville combine repetition and development in a way which makes comparisons with The Necks understandable; with guitar to the fore, the piece has a beauty that owes nothing to anyone but Huntsville themselves. This music certainly is not classical, rock, jazz or improv but something else, something more varied and richer. Why label it when the only accurate description that fits is “Huntsville”? Yes, that is recommendation enough.
    - Allaboutjazz.com – John Eyles

  19. Norwegian minimalists darken their palette. Over eight years, Huntsville’s mixing of electro-acoustic improv, post rock, kosmische and electronics has always sounded so deeply intuitive, it’s hard to figure what their first love might be. Rather than proving genre loyalty, previous collaborations (with Nels Cline, Glenn Kotche and Thurston Moore) make the case for enthusiastic adventurism, and this four-tracker underlines that drive. In places, Pond is a further freeing of alt.country/Americana from its boundaries, but it also describes a landscape that’s more alien and darkly mechanised than before. “OK” is a brilliantly minimal example, combining brief blurts of distorted guitar and electronics, radioactive drone and the brittlest percussion to genuinely disturbing effect.
    - Uncut, Sharron O´Connell 7/10 (UK)

  20. Just like on previous albums, Huntsville have combined a disparate combination of musical genres and influences on Pond. They add to their musical melting pot, elements of ambient, avant-garde, electronica, experimental, free jazz, industrial, post rock, psychedelia and rock. Huntsville also draw inspiration from some of their musical heroes, including Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Ennio Morricone and early Tortoise. Other influences include Brian Eno, Can, Harold Budd, John Martyn, Mind Over Midi, Neu and Pink Floyd. That’s an eclectic mix. However, all these influences can be heard on Pond, a truly captivating and innovative album from musical alchemists Huntsville.
    - Derek´s Music Blog (UK)

  21. Pond by Huntsville is an exceptionally good album. I really love the (AGE) track. One of the things that make this track really stand out is the emulated harps around 4:51 and onwards. However, from the beginning of the track we are presented with detuned arrangement for (church) bells. I love it. From around the 3 minute mark a simple, but effective melody is driving the track forward. Unfortunately – the melody dies too fast. I wish it would last a bit longer. On the other hand – the melody is followed by a sound scape set into a damp, dark forest ca in September. It’s so intimately scary. I love it. And now we are on to the emulated harps. If we where in a dark, damp forest, being chased by zombies prior to this part of the track – we are now out of the forest. Overlooking the Delicate Arch in Utah’s Arches National Park. Early morning. Sunrise. If any inner eye imageries sums this track up for the next 6 minutes it would in fact be like walking around the Arches National Park. Everyone should put this national park on their bucket list. It beats Grand Canyon any day ;-) The final 4 minutes of the (AGE) track is not taking place in any national parks – anywhere. This part of the track is airy. Very airy. 1200 to 1800 meters up in the air. Sousing around in a small 1 engine bi-plane. Yeah! This could not be a better finale for one of the top 4 tracks on this album. The (OK) tracks starts with a hunt – giving homage to the ensemble’s name. We are taking on a hunt with distorted bleeps searching for a melody that is slowly rising to the surface just before the 3 minute marker. I really enjoy the distorted bleeps, but I love the guitar and it’s melodic interpretation of a lazy summer day in the meadows. The first five minutes of (OK) is clearly owned by Ivar Grydeland. The rest of the track may be a bit post apocalyptic a-la Tarkovsky’s Сталкер (Stalker). Wow! I love it! Easily my favorite track on the album – especially the ending. And of course – we should not forget the Dhums-Dhums that lies like a strong foundation throughout the whole track, easing in and out when you least expect them. A super executed album. Kudos!
    - Dave´s Place Music (UK)

  22. Huntsville formed nine years ago and the trio have had a number of releases out and played over a hundred shows; and with that background should by now have the skill required to produce an album of great integrity. As analogue as the instrumentation is, there is an overall electronic feel to the release and ‘Pond’ opens up with ‘(ER)’; which for the most part, utilises a dub foundation that is sporadically accompanied with sliding guitars and pads. The overtly experimental ‘(ING)’ is pleasant and warm enough not to meander into selfgratification, whilst the ambient led ‘(AGE)’ sparkles and generates a peculiar, yet engaging array of folding guitar work. Closer ‘(OK)’ builds ever so slowly, with a subtle fusion of tympani, guitar feedback and harmonics floating over a low-key heartbeat; closing the curtain on four lengthy, yet effective tracks that require a modicum of patience to thoroughly appreciate what’s on offer.
    - Black Audio 7.8/10 (UK)

  23. Ein typisch untypischer Fall von: »Ja, was ist denn das!?« Das seit 2006 existierende norwegische Trio besteht aus Ivar Grydeland (electric guitar & electronics), Ingar Zach (percussion & more) sowie Tonny Kluften (bass) und ist von seiner ursprünglichen Bestimmung her eher ein Trio für improvisierte Musik. Aber um Genrezugehörigkeiten oder –notwendigkeiten kümmert man sich hier herzlich wenig. So beginnt der erste, viertelstündige Track »(ER)« mit einem handgeschnitzten Minimal-Techno-Intro, in den dann Grydelands Steel-Gitarre mit hawaiianischem Flair hineinschrammt, dass es eine eher ironische als experimentelle Freude ist. Dann wandert der Bass in Richtung Dub, der handgeschnitzte Techno kehrt dümpelnd zurück und löst sich in ein sphärisches Pfeifen auf. Auf Track 2 lässt sich die Gitarre minutenlang Zeit für einen helikopterähnlichen Reibeanflug, dann streuen die Percussions zickig Glassplitter in den Weg, während der Bass hübsch dagegen groovt. Ist das Impro? Wohl nur als Teil einer musikalischen Ideenfindung. Im Studio wurde die Sache Johnny Skalleberg und Helge Sten (Deathprod) mit Blick auf das große Ganze entsprechend zusammengesetzt, leider nicht immer so überraschend wie auf Track 1. Dennoch: wenn auf den Linernotes die Namen Steve Reich und die frühen Tortoise fallen, ist das durchaus zutreffend. Eine Kollaboration mit Thurston Moore darf man auch ruhig erwähnen, um die Aufmerksamkeitsschleusen zu öffnen. Schrill, sperrig, einzigartig. Hineinhören
    - Skug, Curt Cuisine (AT)

  24. Ima nešto posebno lijepo u tome kada bend nakon deset godina djelovanja i niza nategnutih, prosječnih ostvarenja uspije snimiti jednu od najboljih ploča u karijeri. Takav povratak u formu dogodio se i norveškom improvizatorskom triju Huntsvilleu s albumom “Pond”. Ivar Grydeland na gitarama i elektroničkim efektima, Ingar Zach na udaraljkama i Tonny Kluften na basu sviraju slobodno improviziranu glazbu koja titra u prostoru između elektroakustičnosti, elektronike, rocka i jazza s naglašenom minimalističnom stranom. Pjesme zrače fino nijansiranom inspiracijom i energijom koju od Huntsvillea nismo čuli još od, u usporedbi s ostalim izdanjima, neobično izravnog debija “For Flowers, Cars and Merry Wars”. Inzistiranje na suradnjama s “razvikanim” muzičarima poput Nelsa Clinea kao da im je više štetilo nego koristilo pa su im albumi, unatoč povremenim kvalitativnim skokovima, ostavljali dojam sputanosti i nedorečenosti. Zato je “Pond” zaokružen album; u potpunosti improviziran, no uključiv i za pop-senzibilitete skrivene u obmanjujuće apstraktnim i naoko teško dokučivim instrumentalnim izletima. “Pond” je i dovoljno različit od prethodnih izdanja da bi ga iz perspektive muzičkog karaktera bilo prilično besmisleno uspoređivati s njima. A i usporedbe s drugim glazbenicima i sastavima teško je povući. Sličnosti u pristupu i ponavljanjima asocijacije odvlače u smjeru The Necksa ili ranog Tortoisea (pritom implicirajući žanr improviziranog post-rocka), elementi minimalizma potežu u smjeru Terrya Rileyja, drone u smjeru Sunn O)))… S kolegama s norveške i skandinavske scene, pak, povezuje ih određeni je ne sais quoi, odlike atmosfere koje izviru iz istovremeno ledene i tople duše njihove glazbe. Iako je zapravo točan odgovor “ništa od navedenog”. Uobičajene ritmičko-melodijske uloge instrumenata izostaju, dekonstruirane su, pa svaki od trojice članova benda kao da stoji sam za sebe u tamnome i gustome praznom prostoru. Iz slušanja se u slušanje, ovisno o razini koncentracije i raspoloženju slušatelja, otkrivaju neki novi načini promatranja muzičkih konstrukata i razumijevanja poprečnog presjeka interakcija instrumenata. Sve pjesme kao da kreću “uštimavanjima” među glazbenicima, međusobnim sinkroniziranjem i ritmičkim traženjima. Kao da lutaju u mraku dozivajući jedni druge. Kada se konačno pronađu, kada sve klikne na svoje mjesto, prijeđeni put postane jednako bitan kao i tek nadolazeće skladne fraze i ponavljanja. Huntsville, dakle, sviraju slobodno improviziranu glazbu, po definiciji raznoliku i iznenađujuću, a opet toliko klasično lijepu i estetski lako objašnjivu, gotovo filmsku (kako kažu sami za sebe, “Morricone-esque dreamscapes”). Za uživanje u “Pondu” nije potrebno poznavanje teorijske pozadine niti snalaženje u kompozitorsko-filozofskim paradigmama. Dovoljno je samo pozorno slušati.
    - Potlista.com

  25. Huntsville is the main vehicle for Zach’s longstanding association with guitarist Ivar Grydeland, with whom he also runs the Sofa label and, in collaboration with Xavier Charles and Christian Wallumrød, records brittle folk-informed improv for ECM under the name Dans Les Arbres.

    In Huntsville, with Tonny Kluften on electric bass, they play immersive collective improvisations. Refining a methodology first explored in the larger ensemble No Spaghetti Edition (2001-2006), Huntsville embrace electronic, post-jazz and post-rock influences. Pond, their fifth album, shows they’ve come a long way from the metrically hypnotic music of Eco, Arches & Eras (Rune Grammofon, 2008).

    Last year’s Past Increasing Future Receding exploited the echoic properties of the Oslo’s Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum to capture performances that contained aspects of both Earth’s drone Americana and The Necks’ slow-yield jazz. Everything about it seemed deliberate and expansive. Pond, by contrast, was recorded and mixed in a studio in less than a week. Although still slow-yield, the music’s stygian aspect has been replaced by an edgier, more mercurial spirit. The Necks are still in the equation, but Earth’s influence has yielded to something more like Supersilent.
    - Dalston Sound (UK)

  26. This Norwegian guitar, bass and drums trio’s last album was a dark, (almost) underground affair. This is lighter and airier, but no less inventive.

    Ivar Grydeland‘s use of pedal steel guitar and Ingar Zach‘s busy brushwork add some brighter splashes in amongst the deep, heartbeat of Tonny Kluften‘s bass and Zach’s electronic pulse monotones on the opening (ER), and eventually it all distills into a golden-toned high drone. It’s the longest track at over 15 minutes and one of four on the album.

    (ING) – these titles could all be suffixes if it weren’t for the last which is (OK) – has even more space in it, with minimal percussion improvisations over a free-ish bass line and a slightly nagging industrial oscilation noise. Slowly all three players bring fresh sounds, accents and smears into play.
    (AGE) and (OK) explore similar sonic landscapes from different angles, the former reminding me very much of a soundscape of a shipyard (or maybe my memories of the ElbJazz Festival in Hamburg are too strong). There is a sense of loneliness and emptiness in a lot of the music – or is it like a blissful and serene meditation? It all depends very much on the listener’s mood.
    Another move forward and refining of their vision from Huntsville – a musical place unlike any other.
    - The Jazz Breakfast (UK)

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