Scorch Trio - Brolt
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Scorch Trio

If you've heard Scorch Trio before, you know that the threesome of Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) and Raoul Björkenheim (guitar) tear it up like few trios playing today. Brolt! is their third album to date (although all three of them also play in other groups) and it finds them continuing down the path of incendiary face-melting improvisation. Each member by themselves is a powerhouse, and when they all come together in the same room, the results are often blinding.

"Olstra" opens the release in familiar territory, with some painterly, but raw guitar work Björkenheim playing off some insanely frenetic drum work from Nilssen-Love for several minutes. Eventually, Flaten enters the mix with some massively filtered bass, and the three form a unique dance where they seem to dive into the fire together for moments before spiraling off in separate directions again. The drumming is particularly ferocious, only falling below machine-gun levels in a few breath-catching moments. Fortunately, an aural breath arrives in "Basjen," as Björkenheim turns in some droning playing on an electric viola da gimbri as Nilssen-Love keeps things sparse and Flaten adds some deep bass hits and deep washes.

From there, the group lets the listener have very little downtime, with only the beginning of the sparse and haunting "Gaba" providing a bit of downtime before it slowly weaves into a furious second half. Shorter tracks like "Hys" and "Graps" pack about as many notes and percussive hits as possible into their running lengths, leaving only a vacuum of air in their wake. While the group has again recorded the release in a single room with analogue microphones, they do use effects and electronics, and those latter elements make for what is easily one of the best pieces on the album in the closer of "Bluring." As the title somewhat suggests, they make much more use of some weird delays and other lag effects to create a sort of smearing of sound that takes their work and pushes it into an even more psychedelic space that's absolutely stunning. Hopefully it's a sign of even more future fuckery to come, as it takes their sound (which they've refined in great ways over three albums) and pushes it into yet the next level.

rating: 7.7510
Aaron Coleman 2008-06-19 21:12:15