Japanese Koto virtuoso Michiyo Yagi joins the longstanding duo of drummer Paal-Nilssen-Love and electronics wizard Lasse Marhaug for a session of extended improvisations, driving the traditional Japanese instruments into non-idiomatic and percussive extremes.
Catalog ID: PNL028
Squidco Product Code: 22040
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at GOK Sound, in Tokyo, Japan, on February 8, 2011 by Yoshiaki Kondo.
Lasse Marhaug-electronics, objects
Paal Nilssen-Love-drums, percussion
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1. The Lightship 16:31
2. Angular Mass 11:18
3. Spotlight Devil 7:52
4. The Rasp 8:32
5. Pungent Poetry 19:47
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"Koto virtuoso Michiyo Yagi joins the longstanding Norwegian duo of drummer Paal-Nilssen-Love and electronics wizard Lasse Marhaug for a session of extended improvisations. Galvanized by Nilssen-Love's arsenal of sounds and textures, Yagi drives the most traditional of Japanese instruments to non-idiomatic and percussive extremes while Marhaug's abstractions reach heights of surprising lyricism. A veritable atlas of strange and wonderful sonic terrain, "Angular Mass" invites the listener to an unforgettable adventure."-PNL
"Angular Mass (recorded in 2011) revolves around typical improvisational frameworks, with long excursions that move from sparse, scattered sounds to dense, loud sections and back again. The overall structure of these pieces may seem obvious, but they reserve more than a few surprises along the way, with unusual instrumental solutions and varied dynamics. Nilssen-Love alternates between his typically muscular drumming and a more restrained percussive activity, always pushing the music in different directions. Lasse Marhaug makes an excellent work on both the noisier sections and the more minimal passages with intriguing electronic textures that always retain a rich, physical quality. Throughout the album Yagi takes full advantage of the distinct sound signature of the koto, exploring its melodic and rhythmic potential or transforming its output through extended techniques, carefully avoiding the pitfalls of easy exotic characterization. The central piece of the album, Spotlight Devil, is especially interesting, and represents a peculiar change of mood, with a sombre pattern on the koto that evolves through minimal tonal variations while the beautiful textural work of percussion and electronics creates a fascinating, cinematic atmosphere, before the abstract finale returns to more familiar improvisational strategies. This record is dense with ideas and the longer tracks might be overwhelming at times, but the musicians are always aware of each other, always listening and keeping the music flowing."-Nicola Negri, FreeJazzBlog
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• Show Bio for Lasse Marhaug
"Lasse Marhaug (b. 1974) has since the early 1990s been one of the most active artists in the Norwegian noise/experimental music scene. As a performer and composer he has contributed to well over 300 CD, vinyl and cassette releases over the years, as well as extensive touring and performing live on all continents of the world. In addition to his solo work, Marhaug has collaborated with several artists in the fields of noise, experimental, improv, jazz, rock and extreme metal, as well as working with music and sound for theatre, dance, installations, film and video. In the mid-90s Marhaug started TWR Tapes (still going) and Jazzassin Records (ended 2001). In the 2000s he started the record labels Pica Disk and Prisma Records. In 2011 he started his own print publishing called Marhaug Forlag. He has also been active as an organizer, promoter and producer. Marhaug was born in the northern regions above the arctic circle of Norway, but currently lives in Oslo."-Lasse Marhaug Website (http://lassemarhaug.no/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Paal Nilssen-Love
"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.
The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.
Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.
Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.
All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
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