In 2016, Gigwise featured the group Building Instrument on their list of “16 amazing artists from Norway that you need in your life” and described the music as “a wonderfully weird whirlpool of ethereal folk hidden in a haze of dizzying, warped, ambient post-rock. This is music to get lost to.” Their latest album, “Mangelen Min”, includes mystical, sometimes Japanese-sounding lyrics by singer Mari Kvien Brunvoll who also plays electronics, zither and omnichord on the album. Together with Åsmund Weltzien (synths, electronics) and Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums, percussion), the group is part of the Hubro label night celebrating 10 years in business. Celebrations will be held in London, Paris, Rotterdam, and Berlin.
Building Instrument‘s positively odd mixture of electronics, folk, and bizarre-sounding vocals and lyrics can be trippy and hipnotic as on “Ta Regnet”, but also totally wicked as on the short “Grønnere Under”. There is a lot of beauty in the music as well: “Alt Forsvinn” delivers the goods here. The group is one of three bands for the label’s live celebrations. The Erlend Apneseth Trio will also be part of the package, with “Salika, Molika” in tow, their third album. The group’s leader plays the hardanger fiddle and once again, the music uses a lot of folk elements at its core, with spoken word thrown in there as well (all archive recordings). It’s a commissioned work which also includes Stephan Meidell on baritone acoustic guitar, zither, live sampling and electronics, and Øyvind Hegg-Lunde again on drums and percussion. Guest artist is accordionist Frode Haltli. With pieces like “Cirkus”, these guys come up with a seldom-heard collage which also features avant-like and experimental passages on the edge of becoming discordant, but persuasively so. There’s always the fiddle, bringing us back down to earth, sounding a bit oriental as in “Pyramiden” and “Takle” where the spoken word parts can be irritating. But yet again, beauty prevails on “Solreven”, a Nordic hymn with defying voluptuousness.
But there is a lot more to Norwegian music and the Hubro Music label than those two groups. If you like your jazz to be on the more rockier side, then Bushman’s Revenge is the right choice. Their album “Et Hån Mot Overklassen” starts out Bill Frisell-like with “Sly Love With A Midnight Creeper” before it turns really weird, loud, and strange with songs such as “Greetings To Gisle”. I like some of the tracks’ titles like “A Bottle A Day Keeps The Wolves At Bay” or “Ladies Night At The Jazz Fusion Disco” and I’m sure the group will bring some variety to the label night’s outcome, but it’s a tough one for my ears, at times.
You can celebrate with Hubro Music in Rotterdam (LantarenVenster, October 31st), London (Spice Of Life, November 3rd), Paris (La Dynamo, November 4th), and Berlin (Auster Club, November 5th).