Atomic (foto: Peter Mydske)
Atomic bestaat sinds 2000 en kenmerkt zich door een geheel eigen geluid en een enorme energie. De band is ontstaan vanuit een soort rebellie tegen de "Scandinavian Sound" van Noorse artiesten op labels als ECM. Als snel bleek echter dat Atomic een geheel nieuw uniek eigen geluid had ontwikkeld: een explosieve mix van Amerikaanse free-jazz en Europese improvisatiemuziek. Of zoals ze het zelf zeggen: "part academic lecture, part a fun night out on the town".
Ze maken geen geheim van hun bewondering voor toonaangevende Amerikaanse jazzmusici als Duke Ellington, Archie Shepp, Charles Mingus and George Russell, om maar een paar te noemen. Hun muziek laat echter evenzeer hun liefde voor Europese free jazz en geïmproviseerde muziek horen. Ze gebruiken de Amerikaanse en Europese tradities daarbij meer als een inspiratiebron dan een beperking, als een springplank voor hun eigen benadering en positie binnen de jazz.
Sinds 2000 heeft de band intensief getoerd in Europa, Japan en de USA en intussen negen CD's uitgebracht. De nieuwste daarvan, getiteld "Here comes everybody", is het uitgangspunt voor de huidige tournee. Enkele nummers van deze CD kunt u hieronder beluisteren.
Fredrik Ljungkvist - tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet
Magnus Broo - trumpet
Håvard Wiik - piano
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten - bass
Paal Nilssen-Love - drums
ATOMIC presenteert de nieuwe CD ‘Here comes everybody’ tijdens een aantal concerten in Nederland en België
Do 1 dec 20.30 – Steigerzaal de Lindenberg, Nijmegen – www.jinjazz.nl
Wo 7 dec 21:00 – Paradox, Tilburg - www.paradoxtilburg.nl
Vr 9 dec 21:00 – Bimhuis, Amsterdam – www.bimhuis.nl
Za 10 dec 20:00 – Kunstencentrum BELGIË, Hasselt www.kunstencentrumbelgie.com
The flow (or riverrun) of Atomic recordings has been a steadfast feature of the Jazzland Recordings catalogue, and Atomic have clearly expressed a will to climb to greater heights, with each new release breaking new ground. Here Comes Everybody, their latest addition, is possibly their most headstrong and challenging ever. The compositional credit for the seven tracks is split 4 to 3 between Håvard Wiik and Fredrik Ljungkvist respectively, although the heart of the collective enterprise is such that the whole sound is pure Atomic from beginning to end, with jagged arrangements, epileptic rhythms and fastswitching harmonies.
The musical complexity is not about bravado as much as it is about a mercurial dancing wit and harmonic carnivalesque energy. Echoing the James Joyce novel, Finnegans Wake, from which the title is derived, HCE (Here Comes Everybody) (Wiik) operates within a musical dream language - this is jazz surrealism, dream theory in Scandinavia. Motifs jostle back and forth, transforming into new shapes and each other, before restating themselves again.
Milano (Ljungkvist) follows suit, chattering, babbling and skipping along, suddenly moving in a gentle plod, and then springing off again into music that bristles with hardcore creative electricity. The music flirts with the deranged outskirts of free jazz, but the tightly defined structures make it seem like impossible architecture, like an Escher drawing, filled with hovering chromatic edifices.
Kreuzberg Variations (Wiik) gently move through sculpted obelisks of sound and melody, oblique, and yet has captivating and evocative qualities, a living proof of the ingenuity of the whole Atomic project. Melodies hop and cross each other, tracing hows, whys, blackbooks, and biotopes and urban topias that are like musical emanations from the eponymous Berlin borough through granular cityscapes across the world, side to side.
Morphemes (Wiik) makes multiple declarations of possible intent, adheres to all and none, and somehow becomes its own self-contained jazz style, referencing everything from rhumba to bebop to free jazz along the way, and gives Paal Nilssen-Love the opportunity to craft a remarkable percussive passage (not a drum solo in any conventional sense).
Panama (Ljungkvist) once again takes the stuttering structures of its predecessors, but this time follows a deconstructed mambo format, briefly sounding as though it might take on that familiar shape at any moment, but instead weaves a heady and exotic boogaloo theme through a North African souk before arriving in a Chicago speakeasy. Fredrik Ljungkvist's solo flows like smooth bourbon over the club like chatter between restatements of the head theme. He is closely followed by Magnus Broo's equally mellifluous tones playing into a harmonic variation and lilting paraphrase of the secondary theme.
Upflog (Ljungkvist) feels like the musical equivalent of watching moths fluttering between darkness and a streetlamp beam. Wiik's moody playing in conjunction with Håker Flaten's bowed bass, and Broo's sparkling bursts of trumpet, sometimes brief squeals, intertwined with Ljungkvist's sax make for an eccentric sonic painting akin to a Joan Miró piece.
Unity Toccata (Wiik) begins in a kind of musical desolation, as though it is emerging from the debris of a post-nuclear holocaust, contemplative of its surroundings as it searches for a way through. The way soon arrives, and Atomic move through the piece like a band of survivors, shaken but undeterred. Each "movement" feels like a discovery rather than a planned stop on a mapped route, as though they have uncovered it in the rubble and detritus. As always, the inimitable driving force of Flaten and Nilssen-Love underpins some fantastic soloing and counterpoints by Broo, Ljungkvist and Wiik.
The playful spirit that deftly weaves through every Atomic performance from Feet Music onwards has constantly evolved, and Here Comes Everybody stands as their greatest achievement to date.
Atomic was established in 2000 and already after their first two studio albums Feet Music (2002) and Boom Boom (2003), both their growing audience and music reviewers alike began to perceive them as an original flavor with an entirely individual energy that few Scandinavian jazz groups could match. Even though initially thought of as a sort of rebellion to the quaintness of the "Scandinavian Sound" which had become exemplified by Norwegian artists on labels such as ECM, Atomic found themselves becoming a new sort of unique sound on their own. An explosive blend of American free-jazz with European characteristics is how some reviewers have described them. Or better yet, "part academic lecture, part a fun night out on the town", is how the band describes themselves, and is what makes their sound truly Atomic.
While they make no secret of their admiration for leading American jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, Archie Shepp, Charles Mingus and George Russell, just to mention a few, the music of Atomic is also mixed with an equal love of European free jazz and improvised music. They regard the American and European jazz traditions as an inspiration rather than a restriction, as a springboard to set their own direction and position within jazz music.
No strangers to the touring circuit, Atomic were on the road almost as soon as they were formed, and they have since 2000 been touring extensively in Europe, Japan and USA. They have released 10 CD's including their 2010 releases "theater tilters Vol 1 & 2”, in connection with their 10 year anniversary and tours in the USA , Japan and Europe. www.atomicjazz.com
Informatie: Danielle Oosterop – firstname.lastname@example.org - +31 6 2662 0845 – http://www.oosterop.com
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