Strønen/Storløkken Humcrush Review

BBC Review

There's so much going on here...sometimes too much.

Peter Marsh 2005

Food drummer Thomas Strønen and Supersilent keyboard player Stâle Storløkken are our hosts for this latest Nordic foray into the world of electronic jazz (or jazzy electronica, if you prefer). Though on occasion it's hard not to feel a bit swamped by the constant stream of such loveliness pouring out of Scandinavia, Humcrush is one that's worth tracking down.

Recorded live in the studio, our two sonic warriors fire off a bewildering variety of textures in therse dense, knotty improvs. Swooning, proggy mellotron sounds, crunchy electronic percussion, fat blobs of analogue synth, gamelan chimesand digital noise compete for centre stage in quickfire exchanges. Fans of Supersilent will find much to entertain them here; Storløkken's palette is immediately distinctive despite its huge range. If there's a missing link between Brian Eno and Herbie Hancock, then it's him. Check the fractured moogy pyrotechnics of the title track and the distorto-funk of "Pusher" for proof; both take the proto-techno fusions of Sextant and shove them (kicking and screaming)into multidimensional space.

Strønen's hyperactive clatter is shot through with a quick, responsive wit. He's not afraid to be funny as well as subversive, whether coaxing alien rattles or chunky breakbeatsfrom his adapted kit or triggering stuttering electro-grooves from a bank of shiny boxes.

Despite the presence of a couple of slightly more restrained pieces (including the closing "Japan"), Humcrush is packed with incident. There's so much going on here...sometimes too much. But in the right frame of mind, this one'll tickle your synapses like nothing else.

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page.