guitar | Norway
Eivind Aarset is a guitarist with a unique musical vision that absorbs and reflects all manner of music while retaining an enviable individualism and high quality craftsmanship that can span from quiet intimacy to searing intensity. His debut as a bandleader on Jazzland Recordings was described by the New York Times as "One of the best post-Miles electric jazz albums," setting a high benchmark that Aarset has consistently met and exceeded, both in the studio and in live performance.
Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang, two of Norway's most innovative musicians with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of creativity, have established a workflow that could easily be described a magical symbiosis. While this is in part due to their long musical relationship, collaborating together on each other's projects and the work of other musicians such as Jon Hassell, Dhafer Youssef, Nils Petter Molvaer, Ketil Bjornstad, and Arve Henriksen, it is also due to each of them being blessed with an ability to find the right sounds for the right spaces in the music they are playing. Their unfaltering tastefulness and invention, particularly in the area of improvisation, is a major part of their appeal, whether in their own projects or in the work of others, but their ability to take surprising turns and pick up unusual sonic elements is an equally important factor in their musical equation. Aarset's manipulation of the guitar through both playing technique and electronic trickery can conjure melodies and textures that seem very distant from the sound of strings of any kind, let alone guitar. Meanwhile, the entire world of music - or rather, any sound available - can be reshaped by Jan Bang to become anything from an ambient soundscape to an infectious earworm. This is a duo that understands "limits" as transitory notions rather than something set in stone.
Improvisation will be the lynchpin of this performance, although the duo will also use material from their individual canons as starting points for their explorations.
Eivind Aarset (guitar), Jan Bang (electronics, livesampling)
All the nuances, textures, gestures and signs that appeared on the aforementioned "Dream Logic" remain intact here, but now nestle amid beds of the "traditional" Aarset band sound. This fusion creates a completely new set of surprises, not only in terms of their juxtaposition, but also in terms of their sheer audacity. The result is an album that features a greater variety of sonics than any Aarset has so far released and a greater will to explore his self-creating world even further than before. Aarset's guitar remains the dominant force throughout, but never overpowers the music as a whole. His endless skill in finding the right notes to play, whether in a sparse ambient environment or a chaotic crescendo of polyphonic revelry, is a marvel to behold. I.E. marks yet another move upward in Aarset's ascent towards the summit of his powers: long may he climb!
Eivind Aarset (guitar), Erland Dahlen (drums), Audun Erlien (electric bass), Wetle Holte (drums)