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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
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+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Rune Grammofon

7, the latest live album from Norway's Supersilent, shows music at its most multidimensional and promiscuous. The quietly medititative crawl of a Mellotron against a brittle digital canvas gives way to chromatic tidal rolls of metallic sound, darting synths, and the agonized squeal of Arve Henrikson's trumpet.

The album is in DVD format, but the added visuals do nothing to demystify these dark, brooding compositions — the image of four sleek individuals set against a black-and-white stage simply adds to the many enchanting tangles and delicious sensual contrasts forged on the spot.

Dark and despondent, the first two pieces find Jarle Vespestad's delicately varied percussion haunted by Stale Storlokken's alien synth zaps as Henrikson falls into his characteristic breathy, slightly astringent tonalities. Gradually, this jazzy aura takes on more strident edges as Helge Sten adds huge blocks of dramatic sound. The sound spirals out of its own orbit, with nebulous overtones swelling amid pounding drums and Henrikson's manic, jarring, confrontational shrieks.

The four players sustain these frenzied, sputtering collages of iridescent sound for minutes on end. But aside from the musicians' endurance, these ecstatic heights reveal serious concentration: the splash and crash of cymbals, the swift, broken flurries of trumpet, and the outer-space keyboard lines do not simply fuse into mush, but remain sharp, articulate, and moving. (After repeated visits, however, many will quibble that the build-to-release formula, however varied, is a tad formulaic.)

On the third composition, though, Supersilent step away from this hyperactive intensity, sketching something altogether subdued and elegant. Once more, Henrikson's rich trumpet is a focus, but so too are Storlokken's tender organ chords, slightly chopped up and sprayed out into glinting ribbons of sound by Sten. As the track approaches the eight-minute mark, Henrikson's fragile, altogether angelic falsetto emerges against a nocturnal ambient atmosphere, providing a moment that is somber, contemplative, and gentle all at once.

True, Henrikson often seems an easy focal point. But it's more accurate to say that no one player is outdone by any of the others. Supersilent capably craft a colorful, engaging pastiche of sound, merging free jazz, ambient, and rock improvisation into one startlingly complex — yet wholly approachable — document.

by Max Schaefer

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