label: Bug Incision
release date: Spring 2012
Tony Dryer: contrabass
Jacob Felix Heule: percussion
Guro Skumsnes Moe: contrabass
Håvard Skaset: acoustic guitar
Sult is a Norwegian/American quartet playing sound-oriented improvised music: Acoustic noise drawing inspiration from contemporary music, electro-acoustic improv, and drone. Their music reflects great patience, deep listening, and complete trust in one another. Their individual sounds alternately cohere into unified group textures, and run precariously aside one another as independent streams.
The quartet has been working together since January 2008, and has played throughout Europe and America. They are dedicated to developing their group through touring, in order to explore their music as deeply as possible. In the spring of 2012, they toured the US and Scandinavia, and released their first album, Bark, on Bug Incision.
Members of the quartet have performed extensively with their own projects Ettrick, Basshaters, Bluefaced People, and MOE; and have collaborated with musicians such as Fred Frith, Bill Orcutt, Maja S. K. Ratkje, the Flying Luttenbachers, Okkyung Lee, Ikue Mori, Barn Owl, Michel Doneda, Jack Wright, and Gino Robair.
"It's kind of interesting how, for the most part, the melodic and harmonic activity in the pieces come from the basses (always a good instrument in plural, proven here), while the guitar seems to content to exist as a sounding unit for all manner of physical manglings. The six-stringed playing on this record is in fact quite winning, coming across as a mixture of Christian Munthe's guitar anti-heroics and what Roger Smith might've sounded like if he'd forsaken his beloved nylon-string for a steel counterpart. But back to the basses: while a lot of 'free-improvising' double bassists automatically reach for upper end of their instrument's register, these two both share a fairly uncommon inclination towards the lower region of things. The reason that this is remarkable in a group context is that it means that our guitar and percussion overseers are exercising a wondrous amount of control, sensitivity, and a finely honed dynamic understanding in order to make this work, not only in terms of a listener being able to hear everything, but also in their own abilities to communicate and react in the moment. Jacob's effectiveness as a purveyor of avant-leaning percussive stylings is often evidenced in the frequent moments when it is a) not clear that there is a percussionist present at all, and b) very often it becomes very difficult indeed to make out who's doing what." -- Chris Dadge
Release/catalogue number: bim-54
Release date: May 20, 2012