Release Date: 20 April 2018
Format: LP Vinyl
|SKYDIVE TRIO SUN SPARKLE Limited Vinyl LP
SkyDive Trio's second album 'Sun Sparkle', released three years after its acclaimed predecessor, 'Sun Moee', presents the listener with an intriguing set of paradoxes.
There is no single SkyDive Trio style or sound and each of the ten, very varied original songs contain a very specific musical address to the listener, while their marked contrasts in tempo, mood and texture can also prove deceptive, with even the sun-dappled highlights of a sensitive lyrical ballad holding the odd dark shadow. As with all the best music, the devil is in the detail, and there's an often cinematic, widescreen quality to the production, with barely-heard, almost subliminal traces of overdubbed guitar or percussion sometimes hiding at the edges of the sound, as if to tease us.
The paradoxes of 'Sun Sparkle' are perhaps most evident in the twin poles of the album's contents, with the opening 'Launch' - what at first appears to be a gritty post-rock slab of busily repetitive patterning - answered by the closing 'Wish I Was Who? (Camera Off)', a beautiful minimalist ballad whose Bill Frisell-ish country twang dances to the kind of stately pulse we might expect to hear in a Bach partita. These extremes are revisited in the second half of the album, when the wonderfully light and airy 'Spruce', with Mats Eliertsen's bowed double bass taking the melody line against Dahl's simple chordal refrain, followed by the heavy electric bass and distorted guitar of 'Ascending', before they reach a transfiguring synthesis in the deeply satisfying title track, 'Sun Sparkle', where Dahl's playing approaches a peak of restrained yet sharply intense lyricism that can recall the mastery of Jimi Hendrix or Carlos Santana at their most transcendent.
SkyDive Trio's three members have had distinguished careers in a variety of ensembles, as both leaders, co-leaders and sidemen. Mats Eilertsen, who plays electric and acoustic basses on the album, and who composed four of the ten songs, including the opening and closing tracks, is an iconic player within the Norwegian and European scenes, having played in the first version of the hugely influential group Food with Iain Ballamy, Arve Henriksen and Thomas Stronen, as well as with Tord Gustavsen, Jacob Young, the Hakon Kornstad Trio and Solveig Slettahjell's Slow Motion Orchestra, among many others. Eilertsen has released four albums as a leader on Hubro. Guitarist and composer Thomas T. Dahl, the principal soloist with SkyDive Trio and the composer of the album's 'Surface Stride', was a student at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium, and he continues to work in education, presently as Associate Professor at Greig Academy in Bergen. Percussionist Olavi Louhivuori, who composed five of 'Sun Sparkle's' songs, studied drums and composition at the Sibelius Academy. He made his reputation with three influential bands: the Joona Toivanen Trio, the Ilmiliekki Quartet and the Sun Trio, before touring and recording with the great Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. Olavi has has also played with Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Susanne Abbuehl and Kenny Wheeler. He has released several albums with his own band and as a solo artist and was awarded an Emma Prize (Finnish Grammy) with the band Oddarrang in 2007.
4. Engine Rest
6. Surface Stride
9. Sun Sparkle
10. Wish I Was Who?