It is with great pleasure that we discover Hubro, a label that releases Norwegian artists from the jazz and improvised music scene. With lovely physical editions designed by Yokoland, a studio that has also worked with Domino Records, The New York Times Magazine and The Notwist, amongst others. Musikk!, is the third release of Skadedyr, a group formed with 12 musicians. Anja Lauvdal, Heida Mobeck, Hans Hulbekmo and Lars Ove Fossheim take on a leading role within the ensemble, particularly within the initial stages of the compositions. The orchestra consists of two players on drums, also tuba, piano and synth, vocals, accordion, violin, trumpet, double bass, trombone, guitar and steel guitar.
It’s an improvised journey that flies across an experimental jazz atmosphere, with free form explorations and a cosmic approach that reminds us of some of the best of Sun Ra, but with a different twist, perhaps a more folkish one. You can sense the special touch of two drums being performed on the opening title. There are also hints of nature and processed sound effects opening the game even more on ‘Frampek’, while the varied percussion and vibrations, the eclectic switches and the beautiful emerging melodies at the end of ‘Kallet’ make it one of our first picks. A jam session vibe can be felt on ‘Festen’, which goes to distant places at a fast pace. The percussive interlude of ‘Portrett’ announces a change of mood, as the soothing ‘Hage om kvelden’ closes the album gathering all the instruments on the last rise to say goodbye.
Different states, scents, tones and flavours gather on this recording returning jazz to its primitive and almost religious roots throughout collective improvisation. There is a Scandinavian spirit that flies around and makes us imagine a summer night celebration out in the forest.