Friday, 24 May 2013

Audun Kleive • Generator X

Generator X is an excellent album and could rank as one of the key statements in Norwegian nu jazz. It's very interesting in its range of influences and how it combines these to create such a cohesive whole. The most arresting track is "Obelisk" which apart from its very modern rhythmic elements could almost have been a lost track from Miles Davis's Get Up With It sessions. Trumpeter Arve Henriksen opens with his trademark flute-like tone but soon moves to a more hard-edged timbre for some gritty soloing over the dense, misty backdrop painted by Kleive's rhythms and the shifting keyboard textures created by Christian Wallumrød and Ståle Storløkken, both of whom give more than a hint of Herbie Hancock in their use of harmony and the timbres conjoured from their very retro '70s array of keyboards (Rhodes, Prophet and Moog). One thing that is striking about the music is how it retains a sense of form throughout and yet remains extremely spontaneous and inspired.
The album is full of interesting textures. "Never Thought I Would" one of two live tracks adding Jan Bang to the lineup, opens with a thudding house-like bass drum beat over which Kleive's vocals and the keyboards create a range of textures very different from those on "Obelisk" On "Framework" the keyboards show Weather Report influences, but transplanted to an edgy modern environment characterised by Kleive's live drumming, very effectively fractured through editing, and other electronic textures. The more contemplative "Mainstay" also shows Weather Report influences, especially in the very Zawinalesque Moog and Rhodes parts.
Generator X can in many ways be seen as an extension of the timbres and sense of musical experimentation found in mid-'70s Miles Davis or early Weather Report, whilst combining this with many thoroughly modern elements to create a sound world not really found anywhere else.

Jon Opstad

1. Framework
2. Never Thought I Would / Bitt Decomposition
3. Mainstay
4. Obelisk
5. Generator X /  Decomposition

Arve Henriksen • Trumpet
Christian Wallumrød • Rhodes, Prophet VS
Ståle Storløkken • Minimoog, Prophet T8, Emulator III
Jan Bang • Live Sampling (2, 5)
Audun Kleive • Drums, Keysboards, Vocals

Produced by Audun Kleive

Label: Jazzland Records – 542 900-2
Country: Norway
Released: 2000
Genre: Electronic, Jazz
Style: Jazztronica

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