Gjerstad / Moberg / Nilssen-Love – Time Sound Shape

Posted: 17 December 2022 in Albums
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PNL Records – 16th December 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Nice… as you’d probably expect from this three-way collaboration, Time Sound Shape is a work of atmospheric instrumental experimentalism with some strong jazz leanings. That’s not smooth or mellow jazz, of course: more the weirdy, spaced-out non-musical kind of jazz. So not so much nice, as awkward, uncomfortable, challenging. This is not jazz of the cardigan and slippers variety, and you certainly wouldn’t play it at a dinner party, apart from perhaps at thee point when your remaining guests have overstayed their welcome and you want them to fuck off home.

Time Sound Shape is a single continuous piece with a running time of a full-length album, clocking in at precisely forty-nine minutes, and it’s a great example of intuitive improvisational collaborative work, and it sounds far better than the clunky text-based cover art suggests.

There are some dissonant, discordant, even outright difficult to digest crescendos, and moments of queasy chamber orchestral meanderings, as they tweet and toot together in a sort of droning solidarity. It begins gently enough, with some trilling woodwind courtesy of Frode Gjerstad who brings flute, and clarinet to the party as well as sax, but it doesn’t take long before things shift in numerous different directions.

There are moments that almost feel ‘continental’ in vibe, perhaps not least of all on account of Kalle Moberg’s accordion work. And all the while, Paal Nilssen-Love brings texture and atmosphere with his application of a wide selection of Paiste gongs, bringing doomy dolorous chimes and rolling thunder. At times, the crashing gongs are strong enough to vibrate the internal organs within the ribcage.

In many respects, Time Sound Shape delivers precisely what you would expect from these three musicians coming together, and yet at the same time, it brings more. It’s a richly textured work, that evolves as it progresses, and it never stays stull, and yet the changes are often subtle. Time drifts and bends as the sounds transition, changing shape. Let yourself be carried.

AA

PNL052_front

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