Boomkat Product Review:
Produced & reduced by Beatrice Dillon, Bendik Giske's new album is a celebration of rhythm that strips away the ornamentation from 2021's dramatic 'Cracks' album, leaving hypnotic key clicks, horn blasts and momentous pops of silence for a real, immersive slow-burn.
Giske strips himself bare on his self-titled new album, allowing producer Beatrice Dillon to expose his performance and magnify its most discomfiting, minuscule details. Gone is the reverberant space of his previous album ‘Cracks’, instead he here allows Dillon to magnify his physical movements and imperfections - something he describes as akin to musical full-frontal nudity.
The album was recorded in single-take sessions, without overdubs or effects, making use of his classical jazz conservatory training to push outside self imposed boundaries while still displaying eye watering technical chops. 'Start' opens with the familiar rattle of thumb keys, amplified and panned. The trembling, overblown wails gradually rise like side-chained pads, ducking between springy, leather-and-metal bursts that might as well be a woodwind player's answer to prepared piano. On 'Not Yet' the rhythm switches up, Giske's blown-out tones are curved into melted arpeggios - in some weird way it touches the wavelength of Caterina Barbieri or Lorenzo Senni's pointillistic trance, perhaps it’s the meditative pulse and velocity of circular breathing wringing anxious, fragile humanity out of patterning that's too often boxed in by technology.
If 'Cracks' greased the conveyer belt to acclaim with glossy, critic-friendly production, its sequel threatens an equal and opposite revulsion by removing it completely. It's also what makes the album so fascinating; listen after listen it keeps revealing something new, and its insistence on elemental purity ultimately rewards in dividends. Whether it's the high-octane acrylics-on-iPhone snort of 'Rush', or the lysergic tumble of 'Slipping', we urge you to spend time with it.
“People may look away when it’s not as pretty, but what’s left feels more present and potent. Confrontational, it demands greater attention, but through its physicality – you can hear and feel his body in the music – it takes you to a flow state, somewhere between ecstasy, elation, and spiritual awakening.”