Moskus: Ulv Ulv
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Norwegian release date: 01.04.2016
International release: 03.06.2016
The piano trio Moskus were nominated for two Spellemannspriser (Norwegian Grammies) for their debut album, “Salmesykkel”, and garnered rave reviews for their follow-up record, “Mestertyven”. The members of the band also play in other constellations such as Broen, Skadedyr, Skrap and Palaver, and it is not difficult to hear that the three musicians draw on a broad range of idioms in their condensed trio format. Now, finally, their eagerly awaited third album has arrived, and Moskus are still impressing us.
The members of Moskus form a restless trio, and their form of expression is both immediately recognisable and constantly galloping freely in new and unexpected directions. As a result of the trio’s restlessness all of their recording sessions have taken place in different cities and venues – and for pianist Anja Lauvdal on widely different instruments. “Salmesykkel” was recorded at the legendary Atlantis Studio in Stockholm on a Steinway grand piano, while for the follow-up album, “Mestertyven”, an ordinary upright piano was played in Risør Church. After a successful concert at Haugesund Billedgalleri the trio decided to recorded their third album there. The gallery, which was designed by the anthroposophically oriented architect David Sandved, boasts several rooms with outstanding and inspiring acoustics in addition to an older Steinway.
The trio have expanded both their soundscape and their collection of instruments on this album. This is a recording full of stark contrasts, from unassuming acoustic chamber music to small, surprising and simple electronic pieces. They have also invited the musical trailblazer Nils Økland to join them, and he plays Hardanger fiddle on two exceptionally inspired tracks.
Shortly before this album was recorded the trio played a club tour in Japan, where they enjoyed a valuable opportunity to exercise their improvisational muscles and try out new musical ideas for an attentive audience. This is easy to hear. The trio have never displayed such a smooth interplay or worked more boldly, spontaneously and intuitively than they do here. “Ulv Ulv” is without a doubt the most original and kaleidoscopic album the trio have released so far. “Ulv Ulv” was recorded, mixed and mastered by Audun Strype, who also collaborated with the trio on their previous album.