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Electronique Noire

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Electronique Noire
Electronique Noire


Eivind Aarset classic 1998 album 'Électronique Noir' available on vinyl for the first time, as part of Jazzland's "Classics on Vinyl" series. Released in 1998, guitarist Eivind Aarset's Électronique Noir was the third album to appear on Bugge Wesseltoft's new Jazzland label. It immediately established Aarset as an important voice in European jazz. His powerful, moody electronic grooves announced the arrival of an original voice who had reconceptualised the role of the guitar in an entirely personal and distinctive way. At the time, he was garnering critical acclaim as a member of Nils-Petter Molvær's Khmer band, which was making a big impression on the European festival circuit with an impressive post-Miles Davis mixture of electronica, grooves and samples. Central Molvær's music was a rich, electronic backdrop created by Aarset through the innovative use of computers, processors (like the Eventide H 3500 Harmoniser, an Alesis Quardraverb, a GCX Midcontroller, a Roland DD 5) plus a whole lot more. It was from these experiences Électronique Noir was born. "Électronique Noir was very important to me in several ways," Aarset later reflected. "The control freak inside me loved to do it because it was so nice to be in charge after so many years as a sideman. The composer inside me was really fresh and the guitarist inside me was loving exploring the new sounds and possibilities I discovered with Nils-Petter and Khmer when a lot of things came naturally together. Here I could use all the sound experimentation I wanted, I could use my roots as a rock player playing harder and noisier than I did in my days of heavy metal, I could use my experience with improvised music and I could turn to my more lyrical side. All of this at the same time, without jumping from style to style more like maybe a new voice. Then basically, everything I have done since has been to further and further explore the possibilities in the way of playing I discovered both live and in the studio with Khmer." With the passage of time, Électronique Noir has become regarded as a classic, not just by members of the guitar playing community fascinated by the amazing sounds Aarset was able to conjure out the guitar and yes, some of them are truly magical but in the broader context of European jazz where it stands as a landmark, along with Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz and Nils-Petter Molvær's Khmer, as heralding a new era in Nordic jazz. It had its origins in a festival commission from Maijazz '97, Stavanger's oldest festival that takes place every May. "I first started to work on this album in the fall of 1996, when Bugge Wesseltoft asked me to record for his Jazzland label. He thought what I was doing could fit into the label and for me I thought it would be nice to be on a label where people are open to, and interested in, what I was doing, a chance to get feedback and to know we have the same goal. At the same time I was also asked to compose a piece for Maijazz '97. I used the fall and winter to do the Maijazz music, and the summer and fall of '97 to re-arrange and record the music I did for Maijazz that became Électronique Noir." Reflecting on his compositional approach to the album, Aarset, responds thoughtfully, "There is music around us, all the time and everywhere," he begins. "I prefer to take in impressions and intuitively use different elements without analysing what genre and style it is. That's why I let myself be inspired by the experimental side of Trip Hop, Ambient, Drum n' Bass without trying to copy, but rather set these styles against my own roots of pop, rock and contemporary jazz. In addition to the guitar, the computer has been the main 'instrument' on this album. Most of the compositions have come from loads of improvised material put into the computer and later re-organised making choices in which way the music should go but at the same time not loosing the energy of the music. I worked a lot with ideas and titles, and the titles can give nice musical ideas I can translate into music. The title of the album, Électronique Noir, tells a lot about the music. It gives me associations of cinematic music, mediative music, dark moods, electronic sounds all these tell you something about the vibe of the album."


  1. Name
  2. Dark Moisture
  3. Entrance/U-Bahn
  4. Lost And Found
  5. Superstrings
  6. Electronique Noire
  7. Wake-Up Call
  8. Namib
  9. Spooky Danish Waltz
  10. Porcupine Night Walk
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