Music Reviews

Artist: Saw (@)
Title: No Way Black
Format: 12"
Label: Lamour (@)
Rated: *****
SAW is the work of a Norwegian duo consisting of Tomas Järmyr on percussion and Eirik Havnes on guitar, electronics and amplified circular saw-blades. Järmyr has worked with a wide array of bands, including Yodok, Sunswitch, Doffs Poi, ESP and duos with Kenneth Kapstad and Eldbjørg Raknes. Havnes has performed sound art installations, music for deaf people and 50 hour long improvised concerts. So there are the players; what happens when we bring them together? Here's how the label describes the album: 'In the northern parts of Norway, a place where the sun either never sets or never rises, time and landscapes and sound are static things, that change too slow for anyone to notice. During the endless summer sun of 2013, the drones and musical landscapes of No Way Black was recorded. A record with slowly evolving music, from almost nothing to walls of sound.' Sounds like a good time. We start off with 'No,' which comes in slowly, like listening to distant music underwater. This builds slowly with heavy drone and sparse improvisational percussion. This is nice and calm, but as 'Way' will show, this is only the calm before the storm. At this point, the music gets more aggressive, with loud grinding drones and louder percussion which rises to a beautiful cacophony. Finally, we flip the record over and are treated to 'Black,' which is one, long track of improvisation, which shifts slowly over time. Overall, this was noisy without getting too harsh and the variety in the music kept even the most grating parts from becoming boring. If you like harsh improve, this is one to check out.

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