Thursday, 19 March 2015

Nils Petter Molvær - Khmer, album review

Suspire With Effects

I thought I had reviewed Nils Petter Molvær's latest album Switch on this blog, but I haven't, referring instead to it as a favourite of 2014 - and it is still a favourite, Molvær's merging on that album of his always atmospheric trumpet playing with the pedal steel of Geir Sundstøl an inspired combination.

Khmer is his debut album from 1997, and here the trumpet playing is as mesmerising - often sourced through electronic and other effects - and on this album the 'Eastern' influences are a predominant part of the sampling, effects and 'ambient treatments' provided by Molvær and the rest of his band. The title track Khmer is a beautiful reflection of this approach. Elsewhere, the sound can be much more aggressive, and the guitar work [including e-bow] of Elvind Aarset adds that rock edge as on Access/Song of Sand I. This is followed by a 'conventional' and quite exquisite instrumental ballad On Stream where Molvær's trumpet is suspiringly sweet and supported by the delicate guitar of Morten Mølster.

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