This is one of the finest releases to come out of Norway in the past few months. Aarset has been working with Dhafer Youssef (you might have caught him at the London Jazz Festival) and the influence has rubbed off. Previously I would have described Aarset's Electronique as a suppressed underwater murky type of ecstatic vocabulary! His language has finally burst to the surface and through some surprising landscape painting (with his guitar!) he has deepened his articulation of a guitar aesthetic to rival Fripp, Frisell and Hendrix. Listen for yourself.
Aarset is one of the most interesting players around today. He is a guitar player and has certainly mastered the instrument (if one ever reaches that lofty goal in the never ending pursuit of knowledge, mastery and excellence)
One of Aarset's attractions is that he not only plays the guitar well but also uses it in other imaginative ways which also sound un guitar like. I am not really into comparing players as it can often be unfair to do so - but there are obvious influences in his approach comparable to Terje Rypdal foremost and some leanings toward David Torn and Bill Frisell (around the era of his first ECM albums like 'Rambler and 'In line')
Aarset does mould these seperate soundworlds to his own vision and each release offers new insights and aspects to his playing and compositional skills.
If you enjoy those players at all you should enjoy Eivind Aarset's musical vision.
Also recommended are his first solo album 'Electronique Noire' and his latest 'Live Extracts' which is culled from live performances and shows a more gritty, exciting and nervous(?) approach to music making sans the production tweaks of his studio albums.
Just got this album and listening to it on headphones being blown away. Unlike most guitarists, Aarset is capable of making a record that doesn't sound like a 'guitar' record. Unlike most nu-jazz, it's original and authentic, managing to combine the excitement of electronic music with the musical sensibility of a jazz record. Really pleased to finally find something like this!
A surprising CD in many ways, the guy moves the ideas behind jazz into a few new areas. Mostly this is a terrific 60 minutes or so. This is for the people who appreciate Wessletoft. A valuable addition to the collection.