CATALOGUE NR: NKM012CD/LP
BARCODE: CD 7090040250223, MC 7090040250230
RELEASE DATE: 22nd September 2017
FORMAT: CD, MC, digital download, streaming
RECORDED: Øveriet, Nergaard/Tavil, June 2016
MIXED/MASTERED: Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard, March 2017/
Lasse Marhaug, July 2017
Juxtaposition is a studio work of four Oslo based improvisers recorded in the spring of 2016. Various timbres of opposite extremes – as a result of each musicians' different approach and background – coexist without hierarchical restrictions. Having that in mind, the mixing process played a crucial role to deliver a concrete body of equalitarian sonic output. Without compromise, these moments of joy and pain, screams, feedback and bird sounds are layered on top of each, creating a non-hierarchical, juxtaposed mesh of both organic, generated and pre-recorded sounds.
2. Pakistansk mango
5. 1000 poeng
6. Enkle løsninger og fugler
Agnes Hvizdalek - voice
Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard - el. bass, electronics, field rec.
Utku Tavil - snare drum, no-input mixer, sampler
Natali Abrahamsen Garner - voice, electronics
Download from subradar
Christopher Nosnibor – Aural Aggravation
I’m not entirely sure what a no-input mixer is, and I’m not sure I have the energy or motivation to find out. But it’s one of the ‘instruments’ Utku Tavil ‘plays’ on this album, in addition to snare drum and sampler.
What I do know is that Juxtaposition is a studio work of four Oslo based improvisers (and not the indie mongs who went by the same name who came round to my flat in Glasgow in 2000 to be photographed by my achingly hip flatmate) recorded in the spring of 2016. Various timbres of opposite extreme, as a result of each musicians’ different approach and background, coexist without hierarchical restrictions. Having that in mind during playing, the mixing process played a crucial role to deliver a concrete body of equalitarian sonic output. Without compromise, moments of joy and pain, screams, feedback and bird sounds are layered on top of each other.
This is not music that’s easy to listen to, let alone love. Scraping, distorted clanks and clatters echo atop growling, prowlng, near subsonic bass intrusions and an elongated howl of sustain. And that’s just the first thirty seconds. An overloading mass of shuddering, screeding extranea rapidly builds to skull-crushing intensity, as shrieks of treble erupt like solar flares from amidst the tempestuous racket.
‘Pakistansk Mango’ is a fiendish mash of manipulated vocal samples, lopped, shuddered and juddered to a babble of stuttering repetition, against a backdrop of bubbling synths, ear-shredding bursts of pink and white noise, and nail-scraping feedback reminiscent of Total Sex era Whitehouse. Pleasant it is not. In fact, as distorted metallic bangs and hammers batter through a sonic riot of indeterminate origin, I’m feeling pretty fucking tense.
A yammering percussion that sounds like a cross between a locomotive and a nailgun provides the spine behind a whirling aural assault for ‘Revolver’. Natali Abrahamsen Garner and Agnes Hvizdalek’s voices exist outside the realm of the human, and, subject to a range of studio treatments, serves to add a disturbing, unheimlich aspect to the already hellish, grating sonic torture. Screams, shrieks howls and growls are all integral to the traumatic experience. ‘1000 Poeng’ features a host of primal screams over growling synth bass and brutal, waspish feedback. On ‘Enkle I’, a deranged bleating entwines with a surging skitter of overloading electronics and a swirling vortex of nastiness, and a mess of brown noise buzz blasts in around five minutes into the final track, ‘Trost’.
Juxtaposition is a cruel and punishing work, which exploits the full sonic spectrum and every texture, from grainy abrasion to the razor-sharp to inflict maximum pain.
Eyal Hareuveni – Salt Peanuts
Sometimes the title of an album offers only a glimpse to the essence of the art form. Juxtaposition may describe the the studio work of three, sometimes four Oslo-based improvisers – vocal artist Agnes Hvizdalek, bass and electronics player Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard (known from the bands Monkey Plot and ICH BIN N!NTENDO), DIY percussionist and electronics player Utku Tavil and vocal artist Natali Abrahamsen Garner, who joins in two pieces – but hardly capture the extreme, brutal atmosphere of this recording. No doubt, this is the most radical album in the catalogue of the experimental label-musicians collective Nakama.
The seven pieces of Juxtaposition offer uncompromising, brutal juxtapositions-collisions of various timbres and sonorities, human, electronic,manipulated, mutated and processed ones, all performed in an egalitarian, non-hierarchical spirit. These collisions are comprised of cryptic chants, abrupt feedbacks, disturbing noises, tortured screams and joyful bird calls, layered in chaotic, urgent soundscapes that push constantly to demanding and even more aggressive extremes.
Each of of the four musicians brought to Juxtaposition sessions his own idiosyncratic vocabularies and approaches. Hvizdalek deconstructed the human language(s) into fast strings of otherworldly syllables and consonants. Nergaard manipulated the sound of his electric bass to a series of feedback loops and sinewaves, incorporating analog and digital electronics, and later also did the mixing. Tavil used audio routings and feedback systems for his loud electronic sounds and Garner colored the dense collisions with delicate vocals and electronics.
The listening experience to Juxtaposition is a kind of a sudden jump on a ghost train. There are certain merits to such a wild ride that guarantees to kick us out of our comfort zones, far away as possible. Nothing is obvious, stable or has – or even attempts to look for – a reason. But these chaotic, deafening soundscapes may capture a profound essence of our times, times when basic truths and beliefs are shredded by greedy politicians and corrupt international corporations. At such times we can learn again the importance of an egalitarian, social communication, and most of all of the human voice, as an essential mean of communication. And indeed, the voices of Hvizdalek and Garner, weird as they sound, are the only sounds that radiates some signs of hope in such confusing times. These voices are the only sounds that survive this excruciating journey, still humming and chirping at the end of the last piece, «Trost».