(PNL)

Such great names, both the record and the trio (Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje on voice and electronics, Lasse Marhaug on turntables and electronics, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion). In a hypothetical blindfold test, this set – recorded in 2010 at Oslo’s Cafe Mono – might lead a casual listener astray if superficially thought as the umpteenth collection of mere bedlam by dilettantes ready to be publicized as the next big thing. In reality, seductively noxious interactions occur between the renowned members, who disguise a deep knowledge of the inside secrets of instant cacophony under a mask of ironic violence and sardonic grimaces. But they’re musicians with balls to spare.

Ratkje’s beautifully wide-eyed gaze is inversely proportional to the ability of vomiting frightening utterances and humanoid Larsens. At times we fear for her vocal cords, but at the same time exult for the congenital discarding of trick-of-the-trade typicality. Through an array of deforming appliances she fights the fight with a carnivore instinct worthy of Mike Tyson’s biting of Evander Holyfield’s ear, shrieking and bellowing until she’s not recognizable anymore amidst the general convulsion. Marhaug’s splinters of manipulated vinyl constitute an important presence in the disc, nicely complementing Ratkje’s deranged piano fragments and ripping electronic cut-ups during her migration towards the upper stages of disembodied glottolalia. Nilssen-Love offers an outstanding performance, applying an intelligent meticulousness in the choice of percussive tints and features while progressively increasing the state of tension. Slowly but surely he leads the threesome along crescendos compelling to the borders of implausibility. In this sense, the 21-minute marathon “Bring ’em on” is an extensive investigation of latent hostility, increasingly released by way of a majestic roar-cum-interference that leaves the mind buzzing and the ears crying mercy.

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