Okland/Lie/Haaland album

Lumen Drones

(ECM)

2434 XYou cannot escape your environment, you can only choose to ignore it. Or, like Norwegians Nils Okland, Per Steinar Lie and Orjand Haaland you can revel in it, and render the serenity of the frozen landscapes, the ferocious blasts of wind and even the delicacy of a snowflake in sound.

Okland plays hardanger, the innately eerie-sounding fretted Norwegian fiddle, and Lie and Haaland (from rock band The Low Frequency In Stereo) guitar and drums, respectively. The instrumentation, therefore, is essentially the same as that of Dirty Three, and the similarities extend to the sophisticated improvising skills over simple underpinnings and the tendency to work up avalanches of energy. The Dirty Three may be broader in scope, but this trio’s music is brilliant in its brooding intensity and moody evocations. They nominate such bands as the Doors and Sonic Youth as precursors, but are capable of building towards a towering majesty that is all their own. Play it softly for a chilling ambience, or turn it up and feel the cold creep deep into your bones.