Joint Release with Fenetre Records
01. Le Havre
02. Six Of One
04. Wet Color
05. There's A Crack In Everything
07. Unfolded Rings
08. Winter Blues
09. Sticks, Eyes, Feet And Brains
11. We Took Him Out To See The Sun
Crossing borders. That is one of the images that springs to mind when listening to the the compilation Rusk , conceived by Brooklyn based record label; Loyal Label, and the Norwegian label; Fenêtre Records. One thing is that it collects music from artists from four different continents , another is that a couple of them – namely Clayton Thomas, Okkyung Lee and Eivind Opsvik – were born on a different continent than where they are now based. But even more importantly is how the music stretches across narrow genre definitions, such as “ experimental”, “post-rock”, or “ jazz”.
The music on Rusk could be said to include elements from all of the above, but like with so many of the most interesting, young instrumental based musicians today, Rusk sees artists mixing and and matching influences in order to make new, challenging music that defies traditional notions of music genres.
Some of this music here springs out of jazz, but is effectively much more than that. Take the piece by the outstanding saxophonist Jon Irabagon, whose “Six of One” uses overdubbed recordings of his playing in order to create the notion of a larger ensemble, reminiscent of the music of World Saxophone Quartet. Okkyung Lee (originally form South-Korea) is also heard in duet with herself on “Unfolded Rings”, a captivating improvisation. Then there is the Norwegian born, New York based bassist Eivind Opsvik and his “Sticks, Eyes, Feet and Brains”, where he plays arco bass over a looped, rudimentary beat that recalls minimalist post-punk band Young Marble Giant.
Nate Wooley's contribution, “Quincy-Mayger”, sees him play long trumpet notes over a backdrop of electro acoustics that rise to a frightening crescendo, and then fades out. Electro acoustics also feature on Kim Myhr & Sebastien Roux's “4”, which, together with Toby Driver's solo guitar piece “Wet Color”, has an almost liquid quality, like droplets of sound.
A translation of the Norwegian word “Rusk” is “debris”. That is not to say the music here seems broken down or discarded, rather, think of it as a collection of small pieces. There is a minimalist element here: The selections are either solo (Clayton Thomas, Jon Irabagon, Toby Driver, Okkyung Lee, Ben Gerstein, Nate Wooley, Eivind Opsvik) , duo (Kim Myhr & Sebastien Roux, Svarte Greiner & Kjetil Møster) or in two cases, trio recordings (Splashgirl, Kammerflimmer Kollektief). Moreover, the music is often quiet, contemplative or haunting, making use of relatively few building blocks to create magnificent little moments of challenging and genre defying music.
Artwork by Nicole Natri
Cover design by Allan Näslund