The young HUBRO record label issues LPs and CDs by Norwegian artists, pursuing improvisation that touches upon indigenous folk, jazz, minimalism, electronica and avant-garde metrics. As the second album by the trio 1982 offers a striking audio perspective via its unusual instrumentation. With deep-rooted and slightly disfigured Scandinavian folk, the band casts a vista akin to a solemn winter evening sprawled across farmland-like vistas under a full moon, amid a few highly-charged spikes in the action.
They interlace jagged pastoral soundscapes with eerie voicings, and accenting rhythms to complement Nils Okland's full-toned Hardanger fiddle performances. And with Sigbjorn Apeland's use of a harmonium and Wurlitzer keyboard, a sense of antiquity graces the succinct blend of ultra-modern improvisational concepts and microtonal subtleties.
The trio's unique line of attack is treated with abstracts, endearing melodies, and free-form interactions, yet matters never get out of hand or morph into bombastic soloing jaunts. For instance on track # 4, traces of the blues and folk conjoin with drummer Oyvind Skarbo's simple backbeat and Apeland's quivering piano notes that shape a loosely architected baseline, embedded with a sense of loneliness.
On track #6, a haunting voice overlay rides above Okland's ominous lines and Apeland's undulating keys. Here, the band temporarily freezes time as we know it. In other areas, the musicians delve into stark experimentalism, gangly grooves, and polytonal noise-shaping mechanisms with swirling progressions and unorthodox song-forms.
HUBRO's roster of artists present a refreshing new outlook within a myriad of genre-hopping productions, seeded within the ingenuity, keen perceptions, and artistically minded presentations by musicians who strive to create a sampling of music magic. Hence, 1982 is a band that offers a discreet set of contrasts with a mind-bending stance on roads previously travelled, often tinted with an ECM Records type aesthetic.