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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Huntsville website  Huntsville - Eco, Arches & Eras [Rune Grammofon - 2008]

This Norwegian trios mainly instrumental 2nd album is a real heady, creative and memorable muilt-genre trip mixing in so many different musical colours and sonic shapes along the way in a effortless and inspired manner. The three piece is made up of Ivar Grydeland whom handles; guitars, banjo, pedal steel guitar and various instruments. Tonny Kluften on double bass and various instruments and lastly but hardly leastly Ingar Zach on percussion, tabla machine, sarangi box, shruti box and various instruments

For example of the albums mixed genre weaving take the second epic 21 minute track Eco. It starts out with a tight African rhythmic pattern, pointed bass line & tense improv elements/noise texturing here 'n there, and before long in the background a building sitar like drone is introduced. Pretty soon the rhythmic elements slow and become more hypnotic with a folky/country gitar element been joined by a looped banjo twang, that drop's into sombre and angular folky indie dark stum with brief vocal elements before building to a pained and cold indie guitar - then shifting off all manner of wonderful sonic places. Through out these two disks you feel like your magically shifting over vast continents of the earth, down musical generations and into different sonic disciplines, tunings and ways of sonic expressions and that in itself may sound like it could at times be messy and awkward but it never does become so the trio guiding and mould a often breathless and near perfect magic carpet ride of double album.

The first disk comprises on five studio based recordings and the second disk one long live track. And I know it’s often a reviewing cliché but there really are no missteps, off moments or un-satisfying moments here meaning it’s hellishly difficult to choose favourites moments - so I don’t think I’ll try - I’ll just give you a hint of the sonic wonders on display here; Track four Ogee starts off with atmospheric, turning to rich acoustic guitar wide strums that sit some were between country and folk, along with a memorable bass line that’s has a sort of stepping country meets jazz feel to it. Before introducing a tight tabla drum elements, With later it dipping into organ drone refrains, country/rock lounge mixes and all manner of surprises. The truly epic track Eras that takes up the whole of disk two is a mammoth sonic adventure in its own right; going from the strange and sinister throbbing synth drone meets tinkling ritual elements of the start, to later slow rain dance rhythmic drums meets wondering jazz bass line and Hawaiian meets country meets spacey guitar twangs, onto dulling banjos like air meets roaring and noisy guitar scaping and Radom/ cartoon like percussion and noise landscape.

Really I could write on and on about this truly wonderful album - but I think it would ruin and cheapen the experience of it for yourself. Just trust me if you enjoy musical adventure & genre mixing that’s controlled/polished yet always daring and creative you have to pick this up. One of the must own albums of this year.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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