Thing of the Day
Splashgirl's new album
August 5th 2011
Today’s Thing is the sublime experimental avant jazz genre defiance of Norway’s SPLASHGIRL and their third rather fine album Pressure...
SPLASHGIRL – Pressure (Hubro) - Now it could be that this arrived during a sticky London heat wave on a day when the air isn’t moving and paint is boiling as it hits the canvas, but today this album is sounding just about perfect.
Splashgirl are from Norway; the three of them are easing out some cleverly refined, very mellow, slow paced instrumental music that has all the time in the world to get where it wants to go. Instrumental avant jazz, this is so beautifully cleverly laid back it almost falls over. Some might call Splashgirl gloomy, the sound of hot tar melting, prophecies of doom, no, this is vibrant, this is alive - sure, they’re very very slow, but each note breathes, each musical step so considered, so positive, so bright and vibrantly alive, so good to just flow with, to sit in the sun with (though we do suspect it would sound just as good in a cold dark dank December cellar). The band’s foundation on this album is a radiant acoustic piano, a double bass and some flowing percussion, drums that whisper secrets rather than jump right in and shout. Concerning This Square has a healthy Koyaanisqatsi feel to the way it moves, a Philip Glass flow, but most of the time Splashgirl really aren’t that easy to pin down – nothing difficult, nothing hardboiled, everything moving in a very creative, very clever, never obvious, very easy way. Jazz based, post-rock toned, experimental, but really this is a genre-defying album, and Splashgirl are something that everyone should hear and something everyone would surely enjoy.
So much less is more here in this uncluttered music. Alpha State Of Mind is a surprisingly powerful piece.
Fine details from several guests: unobtrusive guitars, field
recordings, tuba… The closing nine minute title track is the band at
their most experimentally minimum, and by the time we reach Pressure,
Splashgirl have us completely on their side, if they ever needed to.
There aren’t any sides here, no confrontation, no taking the listener
on, no musical challenge, just a very intelligent, enjoyable,
experimental album that really, without ever trying to be, is out there
by itself. The build up of Pressure just demands the repeat button is pushed. Highly recommended.
Pressure is released in the UK on August 29th as a CD and download.
Photos by Iver Gjendem and Birgitte Heneide