English translation of Jan Granlie's review of LAIV by Uuskula Øgrim & Berg. The text was published at salt-peanuts.eu February 19 2018
(Original text in Norwegian HERE)
Peeter Uuskyla, Tellef Øgrim and Anders Berg have earlier released the recording “Ullr”, that came out in 2017, and that we reviewed here at salt-peanuts right after it came out (read this review HERE).. The three musicians have their background from Norway and Sweden. The recording of Laiv was done at the club “BrÖtz in Gothenburg 11 October 2017.
Their first recording was very positively received a great review here at salt-peanuts.eu, and their new “long-player” should not be passed silently either. It gives us free improvised music one otherwise is accustomed to hearing from musicians in the landscape where Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love, Peter Brötzmann and that lot lives.
All the way, from start to finish, this is fiery and energy demanding. The three musicians have obviously become more familiar to one another since the last recording, it is easy to hear that it is being communicated intensely across the country border. I perhaps feel that guitarist Øgrim gets his grip on the improvisations more this time and that it is he who leads drummer Uuskyla and bassist Berg through the improvisations.
At their former recording, we got some pauses between the six tracks. At a concert, it goes on through the set in one piece, so you gasp for air in the few moments when the energy is lowered a bit, and you can make small attempts at leaning back from an almost locked position at the edge of your chair.
The music reminds somewhat of some of what we have gotten from Finnish Raoul Björkenheim when he drives on at his most energetic, like in his collaboration with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love. Specifically in certain passages of Øgrim’s guitar playing, where neither Jimi Hendrix nor Terje Rypdal nor, for that matter, Bushman's Revenge, seem far away.
I think the drums and the bass do an extraordinary job in backing up Øgrim all the way. And it is maybe especially here that the similarity to Bushman’s Revenge is strongest. Here it feels natural to mention that Uuskyla’s drumming may be inspired by the Finnish drum legend Edward Vesala, but tanking the drumming closer than we are accustomed to hearing from for instance Gard Nilssen in Bushman’s Revenge or Paal Nilssen-Love in for example The Thing.
Bassist Anders Berg may be the one who demands the least attention on this album. But without his solid and thorough playing, this could have gone completely haywire. Berg holds it all together in an extraordinary way, even if he does not manage completely to control Øgrim and Uuskyla.
«LAIV» has become a fiery record bordering jazz and rock. To hear them live must be a trial for a budding tinnitus, body and soul. But the cover, fellas, is not up to standards!
Jan Granlie salt-peanuts.eu