Reviews

 

MOJO Magazine:

 

Hardanger fiddle master Nils Økland joins guitarist Per Steinar Lie and drummer Ørjan Haaland for cracking collection of languid instrumental drone trio workouts.

4 out of 5 stars. - Mojo Magazine, AM

 

 

End of the Year Lists:

www.sloucher.org:

Lumen Drones comes hurtling in from left field. From the moment the first few bars of ‘Dark Sea’ emerged from the speakers I knew I was going to love this album. A collaboration between three Norwegian players, Nils Okland (fiddles), Per Steinar Lie (guitars), and Orjan Haaland (drums), this self titled recording is simply awesome. I hate doing this but if you took a slice of the instrumental sections of Low and mixed in a little Silver Mt. Zion you might just be somewhere near this tour-de-force of Norwegian Noir. Born out of free improvisations, these tracks echo the Scandanavian hinterland, textured and atmospheric. Truly magnificent engineering (as with any E.C.M. recording). Lumen Drones has the sense of total improvisation which is music to these old ears. - Keith How.

 

http://manafonistas.de/2014/10/20/lumen-drones-ecm-2434/

CD of the Month!

 

Lumen Drones (ECM 2434)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Abgelegt unter: Blog | TB | Keine Kommentare

 

 

The engineer said, “I don’t have to listen to this. I’ll put it in Record, and then I’m leaving. When you’re done, come get me.

This is what Lou Reed remembered about the long improvisation of “Sister Ray”. A kind of music where a lot of people rather quickly seemed to look for an “escape route”. Nowadays it is regarded as a classic in the field of “psycedelic drone music”, a tradition that the three Norwegians of “Lumen Drones” pick up on their first official release on ECM (to be released next Monday). Nils Okland plays fiddles (acoustic, pure, electrified, distorted). Per Steinar Lie plays guitars, and Orjan Haaland drums. Their pieces grow out of free improvisations, and some conceptual approach to analysing rhythms. Part of the work must have been to distill the treasures, to find a structure for tracks that reveal a strong affinity to the middle of nowhere – a clearly defined geography is not a reliable companion here. These fields of energy are sequenced in the most effective way so that every listener with a knack for richly textured sounds and airy soundscapes probably likes to follow the paths they create. It’s pure joy to hear the Hardanger fiddle in such vibrant and rough surroundings Echoes ring a distant bell from time to time: the ritual drumming of “Faust”, John Cale’s viola and guitar improvisations with Terry Riley, ancient Nordic folk, hinterland wilderness. The territory of huskies (look at the cover!). A truely fresh-sounding power trio that knows how to let all power fall – and thereby guarantees an immersive experience of the deeper kind! And the engineer, Kjetil Ulland, surely didn’t miss a second!

 

 

http://www.marlbank.net/reviews/2195-hug-a-husky

 

Lumen Drones

Nils Økland / Per Steinar Lie / Ørjan Haaland Lumen Drones ECM ****

 

The plangent atmosphere of Neil Young’s theme for the 1990s film Philadelphia springs to mind instantly but a little distractingly on ‘Dark Sea’, the opening track of this unusual Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground-inspired Hardanger fiddle, guitar, and drums trio. The band met on a session for The Low Frequency in Stereo, a post-punk and Krautrock outfit Økland’s trio-mates here, guitarist Per Steinar Lie and drummer Ørjan Haaland, are in.

 

A real tonic, if a largely pensive earful, crank this one up particularly early on, the droney unearthly wail of the band pretty compelling throughout, the slacker looseness to guitar and drums appealing. Økland cast adrift from his usually pristine deeply serious chamber and folk settings sounds as if he’s enjoying the new freedom breaking clear to marvellous effect on ‘Echo Plexus’, folky and bright with that wonderful tone and attack of his, the insistent tribal drumming from Haaland contributing to a powerful spell cast from the trio’s inventive imagination. An album haunting in its simplicity wigging out only at the end on the tongue-twisting Led Zep-recalling ‘Svartaskjær

 

http://lapplandblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/lumen-drones/

Lumen Drones

 

Hvis Apocalypse Now en dag skal genindspilles på et norsk fjeld, er Lumen Drones det perfekte soundtrack. Bandet består af tre vejrbidte nordmænd, der forener guitar, trommer og violin til dronede, filmiske vandreture med overnaturlige undertoner. De har lagt et fremragende 13 minutters epos op til fri aflytning – det kan anbefales på det varmeste.

 

Bag Lumen Drones finder vi erfarne støjsnedkere fra Vestnorges kyst. I Haugesund uden for Bergen har Per Steinar Lie kastet anker og skibet støjrockprojekter og eksperimenterende rock af sted med jævne mellemrum. The Low Frequency In Stereo er nok det mest kendte, men særligt jazzpostrock projektet Action & Tension & Space har ramt mig et blødt sted. Per Steinar Lie står for strengene mens Ørjan Haaland spiller trommer. Også han har en fortid i The Low Frequency in Stereo og Action & Tension & Space samt i støjrockgruppen Gin & Tonic Youth. Sidste mand i Lumen Drones er folk- og jazzviolinisten Nils Økland, hvis bagkatalog ligeledes er i den tunge ende.

 

Som i landskabet omkring Stavanger og Haugesund er der store vidder og truende klippefremspring i Lumen Drones. På første udspil, singlen Juggernaut, tiltager form og tempo når nummeret presses op af fjeldet for at tabe pusten i tågen, inden storm og slud sætter ind. Når violinen får en over nakken, og trommerne primitivt hamrer af sted – høj på fluesvampe, sættes jeg tilbage til middelalderen med en smag af mos, mystisk og havgus i skuffen. Det føles rigtig godt.

 

Indtil videre må jeg, og vi alle, nøjes med det ene studienummer og de to live-optagelser, der er langt op på Lumen Drones’ Bandpage. Jeg har lagt noget af det op herunder også. God fornøjelse.

 

 

http://dalstonsound.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/lumen-drones-st/

DALSTON SOUND

 

Økland / Lie / Haaland – Lumen Drones

 

Lumen Drones

 

Lumen Drones is a new collaboration between Hardanger fiddle master Nils Økland and guitarist Per Stainar Lie and drummer Ørjan Haaland of Norwegian ‘post-rock’ group The Low Frequency In Stereo. The trio classify themselves as a “psychedelic drone band”, and cite as influences the Doors, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Durutti Column. But those American influences don’t tally, or only tell part of the story. To my ears, Lumen Drones marries the distinct tonalities of Økland’s Hardanger fiddle—its drone-based harmonics rooted in Nordic folk music—to psych- and post-rock. But the other music it mostly closely resembles is that of Australia’s Dirty Three.

 

Like the Lumen Drones trio, Dirty Three play open-ended music that stretches perceived time with languidly unspooled and emotion-charged melodies. But where Dirty Three’s instrumental electric rock evokes the ocean as sun-scorched outback mirage, and Warren Ellis imbues his reveries with the feel of rough-hewn backwoods balladry, Lumen Drones’ music is more trancelike and coolly haunting, cold seas music.

 

Nils Økland should be familiar to anyone who reads this blog from his playing in pared-back acoustic trio 1982. It’s great to hear him stretch out in this context. Press notes describe the evolution of this music from “‘improvisational demos’ (recorded) over a long period of time, jamming on a melody line, riff or rhythmic pattern. … The themes can be fixed but are played always with variations, like folk tunes, and much of the music is drone-based, harmonically.”

 

The “Dark Sea” is a reverie, with Lie’s elegantly simple chords gently lapping against the listeners conscious as Økland bows tremulously, his lines invested with tremulous suspense of suppressed passion, as if with bated breath. The tension is dissipated immediately by the prickling guitar and rumbling percussion of the introduction to “Ira Furore”, through which Økland’s fiddle breaks like sunlight. That initial ominous swell subsides on an easy rhythm, and Lie strums reverb-rich atmospherics, adding touches of wah and distortion as Haarland’s beat firms up, accreting a psych-rock haze of sound to bolster an ultimately muscular, propulsive forward momentum. Throughout, Økland’s fiddle, though sometimes submerged, carries the melodic charge of the music.

 

At 12:15, “Ira Furore” is the albums turbulent epic. “Anemone” brings renewed calm, with Lie plectrum-picking a bucolic melody bathed in the warmth of the fiddle until Haarland introduces a pulse. Lie’s guitar is multi-tracked, his unshowy serpentine soloing and picked vibrations layered over grainy, perma-whorling feedback. The effect is similar to the airbag drone and chanter-piping of bagpipe music, and perhaps that’s why it marries so effectively with Økland’s fiddle playing.

 

“Echo Plexus” could be named for Lie’s introductory picking, to which Haarland introduces a pulsing, martial rhythm that builds inexorably in intensity as Økland plays in emotion-stirring rounds, grinding out raw soundings only on the breakdown.

 

Most tracks here offer some form of contrast to their neighbours, but the next pairing serve to set the overall tone of the recording. “Lux” sets the trio’s individual elements in crisp, clean counterpoint, with Økland elaborating on Lie’s open picking and Haarland marking time mostly on cymbals. “Husky”, at 1:32 the briefest piece here, is likewise elegant in its unforced economy.

 

After the pulse-steadying brace of preceding tracks, “Keelwater” finds the mood becalmed. Økland’s fiddle frosts the music’s limpid surface, its flatness troubled only by intermittent bass drum pulses, time marked only by Lie’s strumming. From this near-stasis “Svartaskjær” fades in abruptly, the trio already locking into a more urgent dynamic. Haarland’s drum track is more emphatic, and Lie is plugged back in to his effects array, soloing on one track while bolstering Lie’s work with a looped bass-line pulse on another. Økland’s fiddle also sounds amplified, whipping up a sonic scurf before soloing fervently over another guitar track, a looping riff that plays the album out.

 

This is a superb album. It flows on serpentine dynamics but, thanks to its drone harmonics, exerts a mesmerising influence.

 

 

 

http://nordische-musik.de/monatscd.php

Nils Økland / Per Steinar Lie / Ørjan Haaland: Lumen Drones

(2014, ECM/UniversalECM 2434 | 4700688)

 

Manche/r Leser/in denkt womöglich, wir hätten einen besonderen Deal mit ECM abgeschlossen, da wir deren Alben fast ausnahmslos loben. Gleichwohl zeigt ein Blick über unsere Monats-CDs der letzten paar Jahre, dass wir stets atypische Platten aus dem Katalog des norwegophilen Münchner Labels hervorheben; zuletzt vor zwei bis drei Jahren Dans les arbres, Anders Jormin und -oha- Nils Øklands grandioses »Lysøen«-Duo mit Sigbjørn Apeland. Økland begeistert uns, ist auch kein Geheimnis, doch hier, nach vier CDs im wandelbaren Trio 1982 (ebenfalls mit Apeland), überrascht er mit einer gänzlich neuen, diesmal gar nicht besinnlichen Musik als Teil des Trios Lumen Drones.

 

Für Gitarrist Per Steinar Lie und Schlagzeuger Ørjan Haaland ist es bereits die (mindestens) fünfte Band, in der sie zusammen spielen. Die bekannteste dürfte ihre Post-Rock-Combo The Low Frequency In Stereo sein, auf deren Album »Futuro« Økland 2008 gastierte. So entstand einige Zeit später Lumen Drones — immerhin lebten alle im wenig aufregenden Städtchen Haugesund an Norwegens Westküste. Aufregend, oft fulminant ist ihr Debüt ohne Frage geworden, und wie das aus der Reihe fallende Cover ankündigt, darf man ein auch im ECM-Katalog überraschendes Album erwarten.

 

Während »Dark Sea« noch relativ nah am (amerikanischen) Post-Rock eröffnet, überschreitet schon das zwölfminütige »Ira Furore« jede Genregrenze: Weder Jazz noch Folk noch Rock, bauen Lumen Drones Elemente jener Genres zu einer Art psychedelischem Noise-Jam auf. Lie und Haaland knüpfen streckenweise fast nahtlos an Velvet Underground und Sonic Youth an, während Økland auf seiner Hardangergeige den John Cale gibt. Hat man so etwas schon gehört? Und diese Gitarren! Per Steinar Lie hat offenkundig von den Besten des Fachs gelernt und kreiert Sounds und Feedbacks mit allerlei Effektgeräten, dass die Herzen jedes Freundes genannter Bands höher schlagen. Trotz der Energien, die »LUMEN DRONES« vermittelt und auslöst, seine besondere Durchschlagkraft entwickelt dieses berauschende Album erst dadurch, dass die drei hervorragenden Musiker zu jedem Zeitpunkt gleichzeitig die Kontrolle behalten und fantasievoll loszulassen vermögen. (Ingo J. Biermann)

 

http://torhammero.blogg.no/1415019050_fra_det_store_intet.html

 

Lumen Drones er et spennende kollektiv med Ørjan Haaland, Per Steinar Lie og Nils Økland.

 

Etter å ha fulgt ECM mer eller mindre siden starten, så må jeg nesten innrømme at denne utgivelsen med det norske bandet Lumen Drones kanskje er noe av det mest overraskende jeg har opplevd. Trommeslageren Ørjan Haaland og gitaristen Per Steinar Lie kjenner de mest ihuga fra post-rock gruppa The Low Frequency In Stereo med base i Haugesund. Det ville nok gitt relativt høye odds om noen hadde ymta frampå om at de skulle havne i samme stall som Jan Garbarek og Keith Jarrett. Fiolinisten Nils Økland, også han bosatt i Haugesund, derimot har vært med i det gode ECM-selskap i mange år allerede og var sjølsagt en viktig fødselshjelper for Lumen Drones inn mot ECM.

 

Røttene til trioen strekker seg tilbake til 2008 da Økland blei invitert med som gjest på The Low Frequency In Stereos cd "Futuro". De tre fant hverandre og har møtt hverandre seinere også og i 2010 foreslo Lie at de skulle lage band av det hele og i 2014 blir de altså lansert over hele verden på et av de mest prestisjetunge selskapene som finnes.

 

 

 

Fra innspillinga av debutalbumet til Lumen Drones.

 

Økland er jo kjent som en fiolinist som har røtter i tradisjonsmusikken, men som samtidig har et åpent sinn og uttrykker seg sterkt på tvers av sjangergrenser. Med sine forskjellige bakgrunner har de tre skapt musikk ulikt alt annet de har gjort tidligere. Her har de miksa post-rock, impro, elementer fra psychedelia og satt det sammen med soundet av Hardangerfela s- slikt blir det unik musikk av. Mye av musikken er dronebasert og groover på et originalt vis - her gir de tre seg den tida de trenger og lar musikken få flyte saaaakte fremover. Musikken er ofte nøye planlagt, men lar likevel improvisasjonene få ta styringa.

 

Lumen Drones er helt annerledes enn alt annet du har fått fra ECM - og fra andre selskap også for den saks skyld. Det er inderlig, sterk, mørk/lys og søkende musikk - Lumen Drones har enkelt og greit gitt oss en stor og spennende overraskelse.

 

http://ukvibe.org/sans_frontier/lumen-drones-lumen-drones-ecm-45/

Norwegian folk trio Lumen Dreams have been regulars on the Norwegian folk scene, but are virtually unknown outside their native land, in the UK at least, and so ECM’s decision to take them on board is a very welcome one and the music successfully combines a folk-influenced repertoire with more contemporary musical influences. The latter encompasses post-rock, psychedelia (Sonic Youth, the Velvet Underground and wait for it the Dave Pike Jazz Set count among their strongest musical influences) and what the group themselves describe as a ‘anarchist approach’ which might in British terms equate to the do it yourself approach of the post-punk indie-rock era of the 1980s. On the opener ‘Dark Sea’ there is something of an independent soundtrack film quality and the guitar of Par Steiner Lie is accompanied by some echoey fiddle from Nils Økland. This writer especially likes the reposing if solemn sounding ‘Keel Water’ with guitar and fiddle in unison and the gentle ballad ‘Lux’ on which the guitar lays down some lyrical notes and the fiddle accompanies sensitively. Country-folk permeates the lyrical and mournful ‘Anemone’ with the guitar sound of Bill Frisell seemingly influential here and the repetitive guitar and drum riff working a treat. The trio actually came together after separately performing at a local festival in Norway and then were persuaded by their now producer to perform together in aid of a benefit concert for the victims of Haiti’s earthquake. They have played together ever since and regularly gig at small venues throughout Norway. Thankfully the secret is no more and Lumen Dreams deserve to be regular features on the progressive folk scene in the UK from now onwards.

Tim Stenhouse UK.Vibe 4/5

 

http://salt-peanuts.eu/record/oklandliehaaland/

ØKLAND / LIE / HAALAND

«Lumen Drones»

ECM 2434

 

Lumen Drones

Den norske felespilleren Nils Økland har helt siden han dukket opp i det anarkistiske bandet Løver og Tigre, vært en fremstående fiolinist i det utvidede, norske folkemusikkmiljøet. Eller egentlig ikke. Økland har vært en viktig nyskaper av den norske folkemusikken gjennom de årene han har holdt på, og han har hele veien gjort det på folkemusikkens premisser.

 

Han gjorde seg kanskje først bemerket som en original utøver på innspillingen «Blå harding» (Morild, 1996), og derfra og fram til i dag har han satt den norske folkemusikken i et ytterst godt og skarpt lys, noe for eksempel ECM-innspillingen «Lysøen – Hommage a Ole Bull» (2011) var et lysende bevis på. Han har turnert over hele verden, og spilt med bl.a. Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, trioen BNB (Berit Opheim og Bjørn Kjellemyr), Benedicte Maurseth/Knut Hamre, Sigbjørn Apeland, Kari Bremnes, Alf Cranner med flere. I tillegg til å være utøvende spelemann, har han også vært leder for Ole Bull-akademiet i flere år.

 

På «Lumen Drones» går han enda et steg ut til venstre i utvidelsen av den norske folkemusikken. Her samarbeider han med gitaristen Per Steinar Lie og trommeslageren Ørjan Haaland, i åtte mer eller mindre fritt improviserte strekk.

 

Under det hele lurer den norske folkemusikktradisjonen, men med å involvere trommer og elgitar, får man umiddelbart et helt annet inntrykk enn det man er vant til fra den tradisjonelle folkemusikken. Men det er folkemusikk! Det er bare det at de tre tar med seg hardingfela inn i et slags dronelandskap, hvor Økland får breie seg kraftig i selskap med de to mer kollegene.

 

Og hele veien er dette vakkert og originalt. Nå kjenner jeg ikke så godt til bakgrunnen til Øklands to medmusikanter, men det virker som de tre har fått en idé om å gjøre noe helt nytt, basert på sine egne bakgrunner til å lage helt ny musikk.

 

Jeg er vel ikke helt sikker på om det tradisjonelle, litt bakstreverske, norske folkemusikkmiljøet vil ha sans for dette, i alle fall ikke de som er mest tro mot tradisjonene, men for å få nytt publikum inn i folkemusikken, må dette være minst like bra som Valkyrien All Stars, svenske Norman, Hedningarna og Dungen. Det er rett og slett blitt en strålende plate, hvor Nils Økland leker med den norske folkemusikken i godt selskap med Per Steinar Lie og Ørjan Haaland.

 

Jan Granlie

 

http://gapplegateguitar.blogspot.no/2014/11/lumen-drones-nils-kland-per-steinar-lie.html

 

 

The only thing constant is constancy. Modern music-makers, if they are sincere about their art, find a personal aural space to dwell in and make something of. The creators may change their style over time, but each slice of time-music has a something that expresses the time we live in as it expresses something of the music-makers themselves as artists.

That was brought home to me once again with a release I recently received in the mail, Lumen Drones (ECM B0022099-02). It is a threesome playing music they dub "psychedelic drone." Well, that it is, just not anything generic in that mode.

 

The threesome consists of Nils Økland on the Hardanger fiddle, Per Steinar Lie on guitars, and Ørjan Haaland on drums. The latter two have been part of a post-rock outfit, The Lower Frequency in Stereo. Nils is known for his fiddle mastery. He appeared as guest on Lower Frequency's album Futuro in 2008. One thing led to another and in 2010 the three played together as a unit as part of a concert to benefit Haitian earthquake victims in 2010.

 

The result was that the three began getting together on a regular basis, jamming. The results were singular, with a drone psychedelic ambiance that mixed with the folk qualities of earlier folk drone music.

 

Lumen Drones, the self-titled album that is their first together, is the initial offering. It is what it is advertised to be, but with such an ambience and rootedness that it ends up becoming a genre of one at this point. All three contribute importantly as individual musicians, yet the totality is very much a combinatorial mix.

 

And that mix is a delight. I would hardly call it psychedelic light, unless by that is meant luminosity, for there is light in this music, filtered by the haze of being, dappled by the play of leaves in the wind, shifting yet constant. Yet it is not precisely "heavy," so "light" exists here also in the sense of capable of being airborne, floating above the density of our humdrum everyday existence.

 

Drones and the wash of ambient play is taken to heart by the three and embodied in their personal statement of what they do right now. And it is good. Very good.

 

 

 

Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards

 

http://wyattandstuff.blogspot.no/2014/11/lumen-drones.html

 

Nils Økland plays fiddles, Per Steinar Lie guitars and Ørjan Haaland drums, and they make the most beautiful psychedelic drone folk on their new "Lumen Drones" album (ECM 2014)!

As usual I won´t say much else than - listen to this!, but you should read the fine review on Dalston Sound at least.

 

On the ECM site they claim to be influenced by the Doors, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Durutti Column and “the jazz of the Dave Pike set” (Lie and Haaland both play in the Norwegian band Low Frequency In Stereo), and Dalston Sound can hear some Dirty Three in there. And Nils Økland is weaving folk through and around the rock.

 

Listening to the slowest pieces (like "Dark Sea") I started to think of Earth with fiddles added, not that these guys are copying anybody.

 

Just get this one!

 

http://instrumentali.com/2014/11/17/the-fantastic-realm-of-lumen-drones/

Posted on November 17, 2014 by rivertownman

Here’s a new thing for you. Listen to music without any helpful labels or prior knowledge and tell me what you hear. The pioneering jazz marque ECM just did that to me with Lumen Drones, an album of sonic experiences that challenge, engage, subvert and sublimate.

 

Of course the kind souls at ECM always provide a pretty detailed press release for everything they send out, but in this instance I elected to fly blindfold as it were. The artwork alone, featuring the confrontational gaze of a handsome husky, suggests something uncompromising lurking within.

 

So there I was, listening in the dark, and what I heard was certainly not the sleek, ultra-cool European jazz for which ECM is rightly famous. The first thing coming through the ether was the faint echo of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks soundtrack on the opening tune Dark Sea. It sounded awfully lonely out there on the shadowy waves, but the listener is not entirely lost in some northern ocean for there is a musical compass.

 

The band, comprising Nils Økland on fiddles, Per Steinar Lie on guitars and Ørjan Haaland on drums is collaboration between the Hardanger fiddle master and veterans of Norwegian ‘post-rock’ group The Low Frequency In Stereo. That don’t sound like no jazz band to me. Furthermore, they are the ones who first mentioned the word psychedelic; so don’t blame me if Lumen Drones don’t do what it normally says on the ECM tin.

 

The group cites specific influences such as Sonic Youth, Durutti Column and the Dave Pike set”, but the suggestion of The Doors’ The End as a point of departure is quite strong on Echo Plexus. If you ever wondered what dreamwoven rock music played by high calibre musicians travelling on a strange kind of interstellar jazz rocket ship might sound like, then Lumen Drones might have the answer. Ira Furore reverberates like the wrath of the gods and is fair warning that listeners will experience turbulence on this epic journey.

 

The instrumentation also appears as strange and mysterious as the cosmos, but the range of sounds are remarkable. Who among us could have imagined a power trio of guitar, drums and fiddle? Yet here they are, battering through conventions like a comet through the asteroid belt. However, the potent fuel that powers everything along is well understood in jazz circles and the realization that improvisation is at the core of the Lumen Drones concept makes its appearance on ECM less surprising.

 

The peculiarly Norwegian Hardanger fiddle is an eight, sometimes nine-stringed instrument and it is given a haunting, sometimes thrilling voice by Økland. The settings also appear less incongruous as you begin to comprehend the sympathetic qualities of this interesting violin variant. You rather think that this is the sound that Daryl Way was looking for in Curved Air, but sought it in Perspex rather than prescience.

 

I won’t lie to you, Lumen Drones is a bit of an acquired taste, and only a fully paid up subscriber to Prog Chronicles or lifelong aficionados of the avant garde will get what’s going on right from the very first play. It’s unconventional, but it’s by no means unapproachable for it fits more comfortably with each listen, and slowly but surely persuades you to enter the strange, fascinating and fantastical realm of Lumen Drones.

 

Michael S. Clark

 

FOLKROCK

Dette er en av platehøstens mer psykedeliske opplevelser: Nils Økland, framstående fornyer av hardingfeletradisjonen med en rekke gode soloalbum bak seg, går sammen med gitarist og trommis fra Low Frequency In Stereo, krautrockinspirert band fra Øklands fødeby Haugesund. Resultatet er langt fra kuriøst, eller forsert, tvert imot framstår hardingfele her som et helt naturlig frontinstrument for et rockband.

 

De to kom sammen første gang da Økland spilte på Low Frequency...s tredje album «Futuro» i 2009. Siden har de spilt sammen ved flere anledninger, og gitt ut album basert på studioinnspillinger fra 2011. Det er en plate som er variert i sitt uttrykk og i sitt spenn av musikalske påvirkningskilder - iblant låter det som introen på en ukjent Velvet Undergroundlåt, iblant som Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa, andre ganger som Motorpsycho. Det låter både nytt, og evig gammelt, skittent og puritansk. Best er det når musikerne får rom til å spille hverandre opp, på en langstrakt låt som «Ira Furore», der overtonene fra gitar- og felestrengene svinger sammen til fascinerende effekt.

 

Tidligere i år ga ECM ut «Over Tones» med vokalduoen Åsne Valland Nordli og Benedicte Maurseth, også det et interessant eksempel på hvordan ECM fanger opp spennende og nyskapende konstellasjoner i norsk folkemusikk, og presenterer dem for et bredere publikum, uten å presse dem inn i noen ECM-mal, eller ta fra dem sitt særpreg.

 

Dagsavisen 5/6.

 

http://www.audiofreaks.nl/index.php?page=articledetail&articleid=362

Lumen Drones wordt qua genre door de leden zelf als “psychedelische Drone” gekwalificeerd. Wellicht een curieuze omschrijving, maar wanneer je deze muziek beluisterd valt het kwartje meteen met de vervremende klanken van meesterviolist Nils Okland op de Hardanger viool. (dit is een noorse viool die naast de melodiesnaren vier of meer resonantiesnaren heeft die extra galm meegeven en een vlakkere kam heeft)

 

Okland dus, die samen met Gitarist Per Stainar.en drummer Orjan Haaland verantwoordelijk is voor dit neo-psychelisch avontuur. Die laatste twee mannen zijn overigens afkomstig van de Noorse post-rock band 'The Low Frequency'.

 

Geinspireerd door The Doors, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth en Durutti Column maken de mannen geweldige muziek. De tonen van de Hardanger, de op Noorse folk gebaseerde harmonien vermengd met psychedelische rock golven door de ruimte, de muziek vraagt, nee schreeuwt om extra volume en krijgt dat ook.. Cool!

Deze muziek heeft een bijna hypnotiserend karakter, duister, melancholiek en meeslepend. Geweldig mooi!

Wie in is voor de inspiratiebronnen van Lume Drones kan dit geweldige, op het befaamde ECM label uitgebrachte album niet voorbij laten gaan. Dit album komt beslist in mijn persoonlijke top5 van 2014 te staan.

 

Opname en master waardeer ik met een dikke 8, de muziek een vette 9.

 

Mar

 

 

http://www.kulturzeitschrift.at/kritiken/cd-tipp/lumen-drones

 

 

Peter Füssl

 

Lumen Drones

 

 

Schon der Einstieg in das Debutalbum des norwegischen Trios Lumen Drones klingt wie der Soundtrack zu einem der verstörenden, bedrohlichen, irgendwie mystisch angehauchten David Lynch-Filme. „Dark Sea“ heißt das Stück, das einen sogleich in den Bann zieht und wie die anderen sieben atmosphärisch ähnlich gelagerten Stücke aus unzähligen Improvisationen heraus entwickelt wurde.

 

Gitarrist Per Steinar Lie und Drummer Ørjan Haaland sind Mitglieder der renommierten Post-Rock-Band „The Low Frequency In Stereo“, Hardanger-Fiedler Nils Økland spielt zwar ein traditionelles Instrument, ist musikalisch aber breit gefächert irgendwo zwischen Neo-Folk, experimenteller und jazziger Improvisationsmusik zuhause. Sie verstehen sich als eine „psychedelische Drone-Band“ und verweisen auf The Doors, Velvet Underground und vor allem auf Sonic Youth, aber auch aktuellere Einflüsse wie Ambient, Minimal oder Noise haben ihre Spuren hinterlassen. Die fünfzig Minuten gibt man sich am besten mit dem Lautstärkeregler am Anschlag, genießt die treibenden Beats und brodelnden Soundgewitter, lässt sich von den hypnotisierend wirkenden rhythmischen und harmonischen Pattern gefangen nehmen und von archaischen Melodien und Melodiefragmenten zum Träumen verleiten. Das fließt unglaublich kraftvoll und vital dahin und wirkt gleichzeitig irgendwie entrückt und versponnen. Hochenergetisches, wie es eigentlich nur aus Norwegen kommen kann! (ECM/www.lotusrecords.at)

 

 

Eclipse Magazine: 9/10 stars

 

SMH - Australia:

Psychedelic Drone Rock

 

Okland/Lie/Haaland

 

LUMEN DRONES

 

(ECM)

 

 

You cannot escape your environment, you can only choose to ignore it. Or, like Norwegians Nils Okland, Per Steinar Lie and Orjand Haaland, you can revel in it and render the serenity of the frozen landscapes, the ferocious blasts of wind and even the delicacy of a snowflake in sound. Okland plays hardanger, the eerie-sounding fretted Norwegian fiddle, and Lie and Haaland (from rock band The Low Frequency In Stereo) are on guitar and drums, respectively. The instrumentation, therefore, is essentially the same as that of Dirty Three, and the similarities extend to the sophisticated improvising skills over simple underpinnings and the tendency to work up avalanches of energy. The Dirty Three may be broader in scope, but this trio's music is brilliant in its brooding intensity and moody evocations. They nominate such bands as The Doors and Sonic Youth as precursors, but are capable of building towards a towering majesty that is all their own. Play it softly for a chilling ambience, or turn it up and feel the cold creep deep into your bones.

 

John Shand

 

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/cd-reviews-daniel-johns-pinchgut-opera-okland-lie-and-haaland-20150310-140759.html#ixzz3UXYNlfTS

 

France: Citizen Jazz:

Chronique

Lumen Drones

Lumen Drones

 

Nils Okland (violon Hardagen), Per Stainer Lie (g) & Orjan Haaland (dr)

 

Label / Distribution : ECM

 

Ce sont de grands paysages. De grandes étendues diaphanes, où les lignes ne sont pas trop marquées, où les sons tenus et les mélodies discrètes s’évaporent au fil des pistes parcourues (huit). On pourrait penser tout cela bien froid et brumeux, peut être insulaire, sans doute mélancolique, mais en réalité la musique de Lumen Drones recèle une chaleur masquée, une sorte de source thermale où le blanc monotone côtoie la chaleur et les gris bouillonnants.

 

Subtil. Et contemplatif. Nils Okland (violon Hardanger - violon norvégien à quatre ou cinq cordes sympathiques), Per Stainer Lie (guitares) et Orjan Haaland (batterie) mêlent avec finesse et délicatesse les sons post-noise, quelques saturations lointaines et des matières électriques et fébriles à une rythmique élégamment répétitive dans de (pas si) longues et lentes pastilles à laisser fondre.

 

« Drone music » comme pourrait le suggérer le titre ? Peut être pas. Pas au sens d’Eliane Radigue ou des aventures sonores de Sunn O))), mais certainement au sens de vastes horizons acoustiques qui s’étalent, se métamorphosent, se combinent, se figent et se déplacent doucement. Une atmosphère aux drôles d’airs fantomatiques. Si le lumen est l’unité de mesure du flux lumineux, ici, cette mesure prend la caractéristique d’un état en équilibre, d’une ivresse agréable et vaporeuse. De ces moments grisants, « Keelwater » en est une belle expression… beauté translucide et transparences fragiles. Il n’y a d’ailleurs rien de brutal dans ces déambulations sans cesse en mouvement. Plutôt une transformation patiente des architectures musicales et des imbrications instrumentales. On serait plus proche des albums du label Constellation, ou, en plus jazz, des Australiens The Necks et de leurs vastes et hypnotiques balades sonores improvisées.

 

Finalement, Lumen Drones est une musique paradoxale. Une tectonique tranquille. Avec ses forces (saturation et larsens de guitares, batterie appuyée parfois, effets discrets) et sa légèreté à la saveur d’un road trip acoustique légèrement givré. Ces sons sont à porter à l’oreille en se laissant aller. Il faut de la disponibilité d’esprit et de corps pour en savourer le raffinement et le tranchant feutré. On s’imagine alors au cœur de la nouvelle de Buzzati « Douce nuit » dans laquelle, sous l’aspect lointain calme et délaissé, presque romantique, sourdent en fait de vrais tumultes et de sombres sensations. C’est aussi le travail de mixage qui a renforcé cet état d’esprit, en éloignant les plans frénétiques et tapageurs pour y préserver un doux oxymore acoustique.

 

Il est constamment curieux et agréable d’entendre des sons et des manières de faire qui transportent ainsi les caractéristiques fantasmées ou réelles d’un pays et d’une culture. Une respiration différente, une inventivité d’ailleurs, des codes et références inconnues. Ainsi, même sans savoir que tout cela vient de Norvège, on en retient une étrangeté énigmatique au bel effet et à l’envoûtement simple. Au soft power répond donc ici en écho la soft music.

 

Lumen Drones est un album à écouter au crépuscule, peut-être, en restant ouvert à la rêverie et à l’abandon physique ; une musique-image, boréale, une musique pour chat chartreux qui regarde tranquillement, au chaud et par la fenêtre, le blizzard glacé siffler au-dehors.