Ultralyd – “Conditions For a Piece of Music ” – [Rune Grammofon]
Not exactly a change in direction for this formidable Norwegian outfit, however this time out there is a definite drift toward a more spacious, ambient sound. We are reminded occasionally of the squealing sax, rampaging guitar, roaring bass, and power drumming that the band made its name with, but the focus here is more on atmospheric sounds that seem unrelated to instrumental prowess. Some tracks feature simple drum beats and repeating figures flavored with other elements (are those bowed strings? is that a spaced-out vibraphone?). Other tracks have little to do with music or rhythm and probably fit into the soundscape category. The whole thing is presented in a highly reverberative environment which helps tie it all together. The band’s advanced sense of abstract cohesiveness is evident throughout the record. A very rewarding listen. All Instrumental.
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