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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Norway

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Eivind Aarset picture
Eivind Aarset biography
Eivind Aarset (born March 23, 1961) is one of Norway's highly appreciated contemporary guitarists, notable also as an electronic craftsman, an eclectic music composer and producer, He is faithfully integrated, from all sorts of various angles such as his main works, his intrinsic and conserved style, and several significant collaborations and connections, in the electronic/nu-jazz current. While ambient or a sonic-explorative art describes in general lines Aarset's input, it is still mildly the surface of something growing from a substrata of influences and genre extracts, and flourishing into an improvised or exercised musically complex test. Closest to this kind of expression stands his long-time and often reciprocal collaboration with equally-acclaimed trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer.

From a platonic love for Jimi Hendrix's unique guitar technique, Aarset systematically discovered the big & familiar names from the (hard) rock & psychedelic scene, after which followed an immersion into Miles Davis and the 70s generation of fusion giants (WEATHER REPORT, MAHAVISHNU, etc.), switched (or combined) with seminarists of the so-called (yet fully patented) ECM sound (most prominently RYPDAL or GARBAREK). One could say that a bit of all this is present in the music affair he developed so far.

AARSET started off as a musician playing in a heavy metal band, then in Ab & Zu or Bendik Hofseth's band. It was however the contact with Bugge Wesseltoft that highlighted an opening road and a major change. Since the 90s, the number of collaborations is simply remarkable - and we'll pause on mentioning just Anja & Jan Garbarek, Bill Laswell's Material, Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz, Jan Eggum, Dhafer Youssef, John Hassell or, emphasizing once more, almost every one of N.P.Molvaer's creations.

1998 marked the solo debut, signed with Jazzland Records, called Électronique Noire. It seems that, critic-wise, this album is, on one hand, significantly compared with the electric Miles established genre, while, on the other hand, a mix of aroused wailing heavy guitar blasts, electro-psychedelism and soft or inner-centered fusion is also grasped. Through this album, Aarset expresses just as much the breakthrough into groove, lounge or trance composition, drum 'n' bass rhythmicity or a solid nu-jazz/ambient casting. The 11-artist ensemble, although featuring Molvaer and Wesseltoft as guest artists, disjoints after this release. All the ...
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EIVIND AARSET discography

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EIVIND AARSET top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 16 ratings
Électronique Noire
4.00 | 9 ratings
Light Extracts (Eivind Aarset's Électronique Noire)
4.00 | 9 ratings
4.25 | 12 ratings
Sonic Codex
3.50 | 2 ratings
Dream Logic
4.50 | 2 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
Stefano Battaglia, Michele Rabbia, Eivind Aarset - In Memoriam
5.00 | 1 ratings
Tigran Hamasyan, Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang - Atmospheres
4.00 | 1 ratings
Jan Bang, Erik Honore Eivind Aarset, Samuel Rohrer - Dark Star Safari
4.00 | 1 ratings
Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset - Lost River
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eivind Aarset & Jan Bang - Snow Catches On Her Eyelashes
4.00 | 1 ratings
Last Two Inches of Sky (with Jan Bang)

EIVIND AARSET Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
Live Extracts (with The Sonic Codex Orchestra)

EIVIND AARSET Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EIVIND AARSET Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EIVIND AARSET Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
City Never Sleeps (with Jan Bang)
0.00 | 0 ratings
Legion (with Jan Bang)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Électronique Noire by AARSET, EIVIND album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.60 | 16 ratings

Électronique Noire
Eivind Aarset Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

3 stars Minimalist, or only modest?

I am a bit shocked to realize that it took a combined effort of 11 musicians - that include "only" three bass players - to create such little sound. Little surprise then that the bass tends to dominate, well, sort of.- if only because of the relative absence of the other instruments.

The end result is much closer to Bill Laswell doing his Industrial approach - in his sleep. The nature of this rather dark and gloomy offer could be described as sort of a chill-out after a heavy night, The odd muso briefly regaining consciousness and contrary to a massive hangover, still able to reach the nearest instrument - not necessarily their own...! .

There are brief burst of activity here and there, before the crew runs out of puff and falls into yet another cat nap. During these bursts - which are pretty good and slightly reminiscent of Miles Davis' rhythm section in the '70s - the listener can finally ascertain that there is indeed, a guitar player present. Come to think of it, the album is under his name after all, so he'd better join in!

But seriously, judging by the odd moment of activity, I have no doubt that the very same musicians could create masterpieces, At times a comparison with ECM releases wouldn't be out of place. The difference is that ECM produces "thinking man's", music whereas this album is closer to "sleeping men".

I am not at all convinced that over time this music would grow on me. Rather the opposite, so 3,5 at the most..

 Live Extracts (with The Sonic Codex Orchestra) by AARSET, EIVIND album cover Live, 2010
4.00 | 6 ratings

Live Extracts (with The Sonic Codex Orchestra)
Eivind Aarset Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Eivind Aarset is possibly most interesting nu jazz Norwegian guitarist. Better know by his long lasting collaboration with one of the best progressive nu jazz musician his compatriot NP Molvaer, Aarset is very interesting and capable musician ,releasing his solo albums as well.

His new (live) album is very representative work - from very first sounds you will hear that very specific Nordic ambient atmosphere,so well known by Molvaer's early albums. Clear air, liquid aerial sound,slow dynamics - you're again in that fairy tale Nordic world. Trumpeter Gunnar Halle collaborates on this album, so in few moments you can even feel like listening Molvaer's music, but happily there are very few such moments on this album.

Started as very down tempo ambient sound, music step by step becomes more and more dense, and one moment you will hear some energetic guitar explosions. If before that moment music was more similar to Nordic post-rock (of Sigur Ros for example), even if drumming all the time is very jazzy, from active guitar explosions you are sure it's jazz fusion! Almost all this ambient figures are build by just Aarset's guitar as well.But in few really hot moments his guitar sounds as attacking jazz rock instrument there.

Comparing with quite similar by their atmosphere Molvaer's early works, this album contains less folksy Nordic beauty and more nerves and tension. Even darker moments sometimes. But in all, this music stays real Nordic one - clear, with very controlled emotional level and it's own cold elegance.

This album is recorded live but only signs of that are some applauses in few places. Really very gracious work, could be highly recommended in a pair with Molvaer's debut to every fan of modern Nordic jazz and everyone seeking for most interesting new trends in progressive jazz fusion.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition.

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