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supersilent - 11
The music on the vinyl-only Supersilent 11 album dates back to the same recording sessions that birthed Supersilent 8 (released in 2007), but the folks at Rune Grammofon are quick to point out that there's no B-material here: Supersilent 8 was originally planned as a triple album before Helge Sten (aka Deathprod, the album's producer) decided to split the five hours of music he'd finished across separate albums. These sessions feature the since departed drummer, Jarle Vespestad and finds the band in a very different musical zone to their current state of being. You'll still encounter quieter moments of melody and lyricism - particularly when Arve Henriksen takes the lead - but pieces such as '11.3' and the album's apoplectic bookending numbers ('11.1' and '11.6') place far more of a rhythmic (or perhaps more accurately, arrhythmic) focus on the band's performances. Harking back to the disorientating ferocity of their debut release, Supersilent 1-3, these pieces are like choreographed group convulsions that at first sound disorganised and chaotic, though closer listening reveals them as impressive feats of collective improvisation. The more sedate moments reveal some beautiful instances of individual musicianship too - '11.4' proves particularly intriguing thanks to Stale Storlokken's distinctively phosphorescent analogue synth leads and Deathprod's volatile guitar contributions, while '11.2' provides an oasis of composure and clarity thanks to Henriksen's guiding presence. This could hardly be further removed from the kind of subtle, modern-composition influenced recordings heard on Supersilent 10 (released simultaneously with this album), but it's no less essential.