Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moskus: Salmesykkel

Moskus (trio)
Salmesykkel (Hubro Music; 2012)
Hans Hulbaekmo (drums)
Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson (bass)
Anja Lauvdal (piano)


Truly an unbelievably beautiful debut. Moskus show a balance maturity and youthfulness that breathes new life into a scene that is filled with trios that now starting to branch outward. With Salmesykkel, Moskus manage to keep things contemporary yet with clear traditional lyricism.

Moskus set aside the cold, distant nature usually associated with trios from the Scandinavian region in favour of keeping things simple. The title track opens the album with vibrancy and adventure. Lavdal's notes delicate, airy and inviting. Dietrichson and Hulbaekmo add textured beats that provide a subtle groove later incorporates small closing gospel lines. A beautifully written opening that carries a clam spirit throughout the session.

"Farlig Norsk Hengebru" is jovial and well collected. Hulbaekmo's drums and percussion drive the rhythm. While Lauvdal weaves in and out with improvised lines all with the background of a tight bass line melody from Dietrichson. The piece quickly becomes engrossing with the trio improvising their way into the closing notes.

"Dagen Derpa Og Veien Tellbaksjatt" and "Creperie De Marie" are more introspective and free moving pieces that show Moskus' capability of moving from captivating rhythms to personal and thought provoking themes. Closing on the trio's on name with "Moskus" is bold. Something about the piece for me had me thinking "what if Nick Cave laid down lyrics for this?" What an amazing collaboration. It's a dark ballad but executed with such beauty and grace you could cry.

Salmesykkel is a stunning achievement of maturity from a young trio that is still finding its voice. But that may come sooner than you think. This a superb debut from Moskus and highly recommended.

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