|Movies : Documentary : DVD Rip : English
|Filmed at Parkteatret, Oslo in August, 2004, the performance itself is often downright stunning. As with most of Supersilent's output, this generous 109-minute set largely defies categorization as the free-flowing foursome fuses ambient passages with modal jazz and progressive rock with surges of noise and Eastern melodies. A deeply moving and physical experience from the most lethal improv combo of the present. No overdubs, just pure, raw energy.|
|Supersilent sounds better after total immersion, as extended exposure clarifies the logic of the group and pushes their subtle-yet-grand interplay closer to the surface. The fluidity with which the pieces develop makes jazz standards of strange bedfellows. The snarling, grainy tones of Helge Sten�s Deathprod project somehow complement Arve Henriksen�s romantic trumpet bursts perfectly. The glacial winds from keyboardist St�le Storl�kken bounce with drummer Jarle Vespestad�s rapid-fire rhythms like two kids on a trampoline. Supersilent�s fusions succeed so effortlessly that they seem to lead to a future where all genres melt together into a common improviser�s toolkit. But my experience with ear-grating electro-acoustic ensembles tells me otherwise. Despite their technological trappings, Supersilent gets by on old-fashioned chemistry.|
Centered around trumpeter Arve Henriksen, the only member of the band facing the audience unobscured, Supersilent radiates outward, three spokes pointing towards different traditions.
Consider the postures: Helge Sten, crouches wolf-eyed over a set of knob-boxes. His dark, textured material pays its dues to post-industrial demiurges Nurse With Wound and Coil. Sten looks poised to pounce on the rest of the group, teeth bared with black noise spewing forth from tense jaws.
Rarely blinking, Storl�kken monitors his crew, his eyes stealing light from the dim house. More often than not, his tones characterize the songs, leaving the melodic stamps by which they are remembered. Yet he is resolutely group-focused, refusing to outstrip his bandmates.
Henriksen angles downward, towards his mic and trumpet. His muse is more personal, passionate, prone to outbreaks of semi-lingual vocals, sung with impressive range. Supersilent owes much of its humanity to Henriksen�s powerful emotional presence.
|The first two tracks alone take up 40 mins, both starting with the faint gentle flow of patient melody from either Arve's trumpet or St�le's keyboard. Both these tracks then take an upward turn as Deathprod's noise grain lurches into the soundframe as the drums find their way through the increasingly abstract avenues of sound. The three instruemntalists sound like they are powered by the forces of nature while Deathprod unleashes the electric shocks that send the other members into ever more diverse areas of sound. The music alone in these first two tracks would finish off most bands, it's that intense, no wonder they all seem set to collapse as each performance finishes. 7.3 is a more searching modalesque composition built around Arve's rich harmonius vocalese with the airy keyboard patterns and haunting repetitive motifs before it ventures forth into the unknown. 7.4 centres around the eastern melodies from the solo trumpet, before the other members gradually enter the frame in a tranced out state - I'm tempted to compare this track to Miles's 'In A Silent Way' but considering this is Supersilent comparisons are futile. The rest of the concert continues in more astonishing fashion. The camera work is sublime as well, shot in the blackest of black and white by Kim Hiorthoy, think 'Eraserhead', the fire extinguished only after 1 hour and 48 minutes have passed. Incredible.|
|In a way, 7 works sort of like the ending of the Wizard Of Oz, revealing that instead of some oppressive force, the group that has long been shrouded in mystery is in fact seemingly four regular guys who just happen to create insanely mind-bending improvised music together. Although their names have never been printed on the packaging of their respective releases, we know that the quartet consists of trumpeter Arve Henriksen, drummer Jarle Vespestad, electronic knob-twiddler Helge Sten (aka Deathprod), and keyboardist St�le Storl�kken.|
Every member of the collective seems to have a hand in something like five other projects at least, yet their sixteen-limbed improvisations are likely what they're known for. Recorded at the Parkteatret theatre in Oslo, Norway, this concert film finds the group pulling six long tracks out of the ether for 109 minutes worth of material. Shot on black and white film with some minimal effects, the presentation is stark (the DVD doesn't even have menus), but effective, allowing the viewer to really focus in on the quartet as they run through their epic adventures in sound.
And epic they are, as tracks range between ten and roughly thirty minutes in length. Opener "1" builds slowly as everyone starts to weave their layers together, eventually culminating in a complete freakout of pummeling drums, sharp horn bursts, looped electronics, spastic keyboards and vocals from Henriksen that sound something like a mixture between scat, tribal chant, and punk rock shrieks. "2" follows a similar modus operandi, with Storl�kken's synth playing leading the slow burn before everyone piles on top and closing out with a sort of ballistic meltdown of prog proportions.
The album standout is also the longest track of "3," which opens with some of the most gorgeous work that the group has ever done as Storl�kken plays some melancholy mellotron as Sten layers in some subtle swirling tones before Henriksen starts singing in mournful, almost Sigur Ros-style falsetto. The track breaks off about one-third of the way through and turns into an almost alien-world of fractured beats and electronic buzzes and shards, but eventually locks into a heavy, almost dancey beat as Sten drops some crazy sci-fi effects over it all while Storl�kken rips off huge keyboard bursts and the whole thing culminates in a soaring finale that is possibly the most powerful thing the group has ever done.
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