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Equilibrium – “Liquid Light” – [Songlines Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   9/11/2015   A Library, CD

Euro-trio of voice, guitar and clarinet. The discord they
often tap is often dissolved by the immaculate production
and the airy performing of the three artists. Let’s open
with the mouth, miss Sissel Vera Pettersen as several of
the pieces have titles that are inspired by the simple but
beautiful act of singing… “Praha” “Eupnea” “Air” and
“Respire.” The last being a still solo, a jazz light yodel
sung into a rich echo chamber. The melody she follows is
similar to the guitar spidery chords strung by Mikkel
Ploug. On pieces like “Oslo From Above” you hear him
pull apart arpeggios almost to the breaking point but
then letting them return to resolution. On “Motels Mono”
his steel acoustic takes a half-step slide towards Derek
Bailey but gets blown back to Windham Hillville. He washes
up volume pedal chord waves on “Sweep” where Joachim
Badenhorst’s clarinet asks questions of Pettersen’s wordless
vocals. Badenhorts’s bass clarinet hums harmonizing with
Sissel, almost turning her into a didgeridoo. The album
shifts between pretty weird and weirdly pretty, but its
gentle playing and production keep it heavily accessible
even in its light nature. More electronics manipulation
next time around, like on “Statolith” and the heroic “Hiro” please?
-Thurston Hunger

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