Boomkat Product Review:
Currently a trio featuring Helge Sten, Arve Henriksen and Ståle Storløkken, Supersilent ’s album number 13 marks a turning point in the group’s two-decade career. After a dozen recordings under the umbrella of the diverse Rune Grammofon label, Supersilent have now signed to Oslo based Smalltown Supersound, where they join the likes of Lindstrøm, DJ Harvey, Prins Thomas and Andre Bratten as labelmates.
After live and studio dalliances with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones in the last few years, they return to the trio format with a real hunger and wigged-out vibe, covering more distance in the space of one record than many bands do in their whole career.
Atavistic, abstract and alien, 13 documents a tangle of ribboning, in-the-moment thought processes in oscillation between atonal, asymmetric rhythms and discord and much lusher, spacious flights of fancy, with each player alternately operating at full, noisily expressive wingspan, and also at their most hunched, grubbing.
Perhaps most shocking is prominent appearance of crushing, post-techno sludge impulses and almost darkwave-styled themes, whether infiltrating the opener with sloppy syncopation, slung low under 13.3 like Wolf Eyes at their most primal, squashed into the sprawling, psychotomimetic structure of 13.7 or clattering and fizzing under the weight of 13.9.
But that’s just one of many deeply skewed aspects that light up across 13, which also shares much in common with the surrealistic, dissonant illuminations of Rashad Becker throughout, whilst the likes of 13.4 head off on crankiest electro-acoustic vectors recalling Edgard Varese’s early electronics or the ferric tang of Gottfried Michael Koenig, whereas 13.8 recalls the gloaming spectres of Gruppo D’Improvvisazione, and the ecstatic squall of 13.9 feels like Fennesz undergoing some radical metamorphosis.
Figure it out for yourself, but for us this is one of the wildest, freeform sides of 2016 so far.