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Blix, Řystein: Conditions

Řystein Blix is a Norwegian musician specializing in the trombone. He graduated in the jazz program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium and has been honing his craft for a number of years. His latest effort titled Conditions is a ten movement piece influenced from his time spent working with musicians in Italy and the struggle these artists go through in the tough political climate of modern times. Blix is joined by Kristian Svalestad Olstad (guitar, electronics) and Aleksander Kostopolous (drums, electronics) as well as the Mimas Male Choir conducted by Ursa Lah.

The album is very moody and ethereal with the instruments almost seeming to float at times. It is also quite minimalistic although the soundscape isn't barren as the use of electronics adds an edge of experimentalism and the choir is very well balanced with the music. This isn't catchy stuff although there are melodies, mostly somber and brooding with slow tempos and drifting guitar lines. Blix is a fine player with tremendous control and a vivid imagination.

The opening track "Salvare I'italia" begins with serene trombone, very mellow with nice sustain. It's a minimal soundscape before the choir adds a depth of colour with beautiful choral vocals. Things start to heat up with quirky electronics and wild bursts of trombone showing Blix has an experimental edge to his playing. The rhythms are quite tribal sounding giving the piece an added world element. The short "Aria Fritta" is all choir with a wonderful layering of vocals and is followed by "Momentum", another mood laden piece with solemn trombone and atmospheric guitar chords with the choir filling in the gaps. On "Intrata" the electronics are successfully applied adding a robotic feel along with the mechanized drums and percussion. The guitar and trombone work fits into this otherworldly soundscape in a seamless fashion creating an adventurous listen that might take a few spins to fully absorb.

Conditions is a very interesting sound experiment but don't expect it to jump out and grab you. Although minimalistic in approach there is a depth here that will both thrill and challenge you if you give it a chance. If you are into mellower sounds and electronics with a nod towards experimental/progressive jazz you might want to check this out.

Track Listing:
1. Salvare I'italia (5:20)
2. Aria Fritta (1:25)
3. Momentum (4:14)
4. Intrata (3:40)
5. Alto Della Nomino (3:57)
6. Sticazzi (4:33)
7. Interlude 1 (2:12)
8. Interlude 2 (3:04)
9. Anche Cultura (3:25)
10. Asse Sorri (5:04) -9+

Added: October 12th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1146
Language: english

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