Review | Songlines


Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details


Erlend Apneseth Trio with Maja S K Ratkje




The list of musical genres that Norwegian band Erlend Apneseth Trio tap into for their new album, Collage, could be as long as this review. Is this musique concrète, contemporary classical, avant-folk, noise, field recordist chic? Don’t check the press release, that won’t help, it just talks vaguely of dream states, ancient voices and moonlit nights. In fact, don’t try to learn anything about this band, because you don’t need to know. All you need to do is let these ambient soundscapes wash over you. Moving beyond genre, Apneseth’s trio unite with experimental Norwegian vocalist/composer Maja S K Ratkje to build something beautifully strange together. It’s like a rain-drenched forest floor, enveloping and foreboding at the same time. Apneseth’s fluid Hardanger fiddle roams between the trees, ferally hunting for melodies, and Ratkje’s disjointed vocals lurk in the background, moving in and out of sight. Filtered, scrambled, overlapping, the vocals are disorienting and disturbing at times, but Apneseth’s fiddle provides an anchor to keep the music steady. Pulling field recordings from nature (water, wind, sheep bells), the trio mash that together with electronic squalling and loops. This kind of audio ‘collage’ lives on the razor’s edge of listenability, but Apneseth’s talent lies in keeping it cohesive and intriguing throughout.

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