Rhythms are as liquid as Aarset's phrasing. It is an album of sound-painting which begins with guitar but goes beyond it, moving in mysterious waves. Jan Bang, who is co-composer of a number of the pieces, also contributes sounds and samples, and was the recording producer for sessions at Tjernsbraten, Punkt and Rainbow Studios, aided by frequent collaborator Erik Honoré.
In the pieces Aarset's guitar is the starting point, with guitar lines, melodies and textures slowly opened up through the discreet use of samples and programming, developing and expanding the emotional core of the material. Transition points between guitar and electronics are blurred; one is an extension of the other. And Aarset has long since learned to make musical use of his pedals and effects boxes, applying delays and feedback to create a very singing line, ricocheting in a reverberant hall of mirrors to create a sense of deep space. Associations abound: the dark drones of the album's longest piece, 'The Beauty of Decay', for instance, might suggest affinities with Indian vocal music or perhaps with the world of the Indian-inspired Jon Hassell, whom Aarset has acknowledged as an important source.
Eivind Aarset can also be heard on Mercurial Balm, the second ECM album by Food, the improvising project of drummer Thomas Strønen and saxophonist Iain Ballamy, which is released simultaneously.
Personnel: Eivind Aarset (guitars, bassguitar, electronics, percussion, samples and programming), Jan Bang (samples, dictaphone, programming)
- Close (For Comfort)
- Jukai (Sea of Trees)
- Black Silence
- Close (Variation I)
- Homage to Greene
- The Whispering Forest
- Close (Variation II)
- The Beauty of Decay