Norwegian born and raised bassist – (composer now), as one can say watching his quartet long time NY resident. His Overseas cycle started some 14 years back and this package is the latest one carrying number V. I am not familiar with all of them hence won’t comment on continuity. Judging from what I am listening to here I must say it is very eclectic on the one side , but on he other it really holds on its own and definitely represents specific style. Nine tunes last about 40 minutes and there is no gaps between them to random play so I am taking an order as it comes from the score.
Drummer Kenny Wallessen is well known to me from the numerous Knighting Factory collaborations and I heard him playing everything from Klezmer Bernstein’s formations to Bill Frissell’s country or jazzy folk alike or John Lourie’s Noir syle. Tony Malaby equally is a multi tasked figure on the NY scene with long membership in Hayden’s LMO and Motion’s EBB. Guitarist Brandon Seabrook and keyboardist Jacob Sacks seems to be related to KFW once you try to search , but both of them are new musicians to me.
Overall aesthetic sounds to me a bit New Age like. I can trace a lot of the New Order like bits. Dark side of Joy Division is audible to me as well. So are guitar cannonades reminding Brian Ferry’s Roxy Music or Talking Heads . Echoes of early Brian Eno’s electronic experience comes to me as well , a bit like No Pussy Footing or My Life in the Bush Full of Ghosts. All that music I’ve grown on hence it is not difficult for me to trace it.
But those are just ingredients, and those might sound familiar when a similar dish is cooked. It does have however its own taste. Musical inspirations of Elvind who is pretty much in the same age as my self does not surprise me.
From starting I am on this Step I like this a lot. There is a lot of the NY sound in it Not Just Knighting Factory alike, but in general. This intellectual twist which is also so present in Myra Myelford music or numerous John Zorn formations.
Hold Everything is Malaby’s show off. He rides his sax with incredible emotional intensity riding on the back of New Model Army alike rhythm section.
Extraterrestrial Tantrum is the most ghostly one. It contains wonderful lament played on double bass on a marching beat. Counterpointing piano ,alone or unison with sax are completing this cold Nordic aesthetic. This is like a mix of spacious ECM alike sonic universe walking around with New York-ish intellectual posh-ness hand by hand.
Brapps, crazy cartoon like piece of music makes me thinking about the Yello, but guitar lines here keep arguing with rich sax lines in the way which is far from the Belgian duos predictability. Again minimalist bass Arcos which are shifting gears among the lines are counter-pointing an easiness of the rhythm in some distressing way.
I am leaving a few others for your own pleasure of recognition then . Is it worth it ? For God’s sake – Yes! Very much so, it intrigued me enough to make me getting back to this music on the regular basis and inspired to dig back in time and learn more about Overseas.