08 september 2005

skrift kom

Norway may be a tiny country, but it has a vibrant and energetic music scene - its Rock- and Black Metal bands are considered to be among the best in the world and artists such as Jan Garbarek and Nils Petter Molvaer have established it as a connoisseur's haven for experimental jazz. The third big name in this category is Karl Seglem, who has escaped popular notice for most of the time, being less avantgardistic and not as dreamy as Garbarek and avoiding the electronic frontier dance of Molvaer (who has toyed around with remixes and drum machines on his albums). While Seglem is no enemy to technical progress, his strength is the return to his country's roots: A rough mysticism and a harsh pureness are cornerstones of his style and while he allows for dreamy ambiances, pieces never drift off into limbo.

With his new work "Reik" (published on exquisite German label Ozella), Seglem sets sails for a new world, allowing modern production techniques to become apparent, while continueing his journey backwards. Which puts the title of the disc into perspective, which is the Norwegian term for "moving". The result are 11 tracks, among them one traditional. Assisting him in composing and with the overall sound were studio wizard Reidar Skar, as well as Guitarist Nicolai Ivanov and Percussionist Harald Skullerud. Described by his record company as a musical expedition into Norway's landscapes and archaic heartland, "Reik" ondulates between rhythmical finesse and quiet beauty. Not only past and future are blending perfectly on this record, darkness and sunshine are also both present at the same time. Which marks a decided difference with the other two big Norwegian Jazz Masters: You don't need to wait for the Winter to listen to this.