No Spaghetti Edition

Sketches of a Fusion
SOFA 520

Norway’s ever-changing No Spaghetti Edition adds trans-oceanic, cross-cultural musical input on its fourth release with the small electronic instruments and turntables of Québécois Martin Tétreault.

Additionally, the pulsating, microtonal sound world generated by extended techniques from the band’s acoustic core – Norwegians percussionist Ingar Zach, bassist Tonny Kluften and Ivar Grydeland on banjo and guitar – is embellished still further by smeared, minimalist vibrations from French clarinetist and harmonica player Xavier Charles, on his second outing in the group, and another new recruit, local pianist Christian Wallumrød.

Established in the translucent, folk-inflected Scandinavian jazz and notated scenes, here Wallumrød concentrates on metronomic percussiveness, encompassing stopped and struck internal strings plus bulky pedal pressure. Coupled with the buzzing static, bell-pealing and bird-like cackles from Tétreault’s decks and Charles’ wheezing, watery reed squeaks, the core trio’s singular moves protrude sharply from within the blurry clouds of ever-spinning oscillations.

Each of the CD’s two long tracks is given its shape by Grydeland’s string scraping or claw-hammer picking, Kluften appearing to detune his bass as he strokes col legno lines and Zach’s hollow rim shots and drum-top maneuvering. As non-specific timbres that resemble a gas leak, metal objects grinding against one another, and a flapping fan belt hover over the unvarying, electronic drones, the second of two tracks, at 18 minutes – half the length of the first – appears more distinctive, since sonic inferences and, in Tétreault’s case, supplementary textures, are compressed. Free music yoking noise and improvisation, the North American and European overlap creates a notable if challenging fusion.

— Ken Waxman

— For CODA Issue 335