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ultralyd - Conditions For A Piece Of Music
Accompanying this week's MoHa! Release is the latest album by a group comprising both that band's members (Anders Hana and Morten J Olsen) plus Noxagt's Kjetil D. Brandsdal. Founding member and sax legend Frode Gjerstad left the band after their second album (2004's Chromosome Gun, released by Load Records) to be replaced by new boy Kjetil Moster whose contributions for this album weigh in as some of the wildest, prog rockin' horn blasts around. Akin to The Shining, Ultralyd are one of those bands whose very existence is only made sense of by the fact they're Norwegian, and more to the point, signed to Rune Grammofon. The transgressive disregard for a clear group vision and pigeon-holing makes Ultralyd stand out a mile from other instrumental groups. Opener 'Saprochord' is based around a heavy, slow grooving drum beat whilst reverberating guitar noise and wailing sax interject. Some of the most effective moments here come from the beatless more soundscape-oriented tracks where Olsen sets aside his sticks in favour of some atmospheric vibraphone intimations; the title track is an especially effective instance of this. There's something very old-fashioned sounding about some of these recordings, whether it's to do with the recording techniques themselves or the vintage effects at work, at times Ultralyd sound like a free-rock Broadcast, or even (as on 'Figurae') along similar lines to an old Basil Kirchin recording. Highly recommended.