Eivind Aarset

All About Jazz

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The ingredients are all electric on guitarist Eivind Aarset's Dream Logic: plugged-in guitar and bass; programming; samples; dictophone; and electronics. The resulting atmospheric layering of sound with subtle dynamics and inorganic drones could be described as sterile, but what a beautiful, mysterious sterility it is.

The Norwegian guitarist has contributed to several ECM Records recordings, including trumpeter Jon Hassell's Last Night the Moon Came Came Dropping Its Clothes on the Street (2009) and trumpeter Arve Henriksen's Cartography (2008), to name just two, but Dream Logic is his first outing for the label as a leader. His music has an eerie tranquility as he employs feedback and delays, the use of pedals and distortions that paint blurred and surreal sonic soundscapes. He is joined by the set's co-producer, Jan Bang—who also contributes samples and programming to the mix in this dark and reverberant reality of a different dimension—together, crafting what could be a soundtrack to the ineffable strangeness of hallucinatory dreams.

"Jukai (Sea of Trees)" opens with a feedback whine, slipping into an electric fog that lifts to reveal a fuzzy music box tinkle accompanied by the bleating from the horn of a drugged cobra charmer. "Black Silence" features incantatory, bell-of-doom tolling with subliminal knockings and creaks, and an injection of an otherworldly wind. The closing "The Beauty of Decay" has, in the beginning, the feel of a droning Gregorian chant, punctuated by electric twitters and wavering in a distorted world, in slow motion.

The unclassifiable Dream Logic sounds like music traveling through a cold world with a denser, reality-distorting atmosphere, a heavier gravity—the planet Neptune, perhaps. Eivind Aaset has created a compelling alternate musical world with this ECM leader debut.