Friday, 8 December 2017
Lumen Drones - s/t (2014)
Even by ECM's eclectic standards, this album feels like an odd thing for them to release - I'm guessing Økland's previous associations with the ECM stable helped. In any case, the music is striking, driving and invigorating stuff that more than merited a release. Skeletal guitar themes give way to grinding chords that move the tracks forward along with the pounding drums, overlaid with Økland's melodies, the extra drone strings of the hardingfele suiting this style of music perfectly.
The trio's sound is arguably at its most effective when they really stretch out and get lost in the groove, and the two longest tracks, Ira Furore and Echo Plexus, are accordingly my favourites on the album. That's not to dismiss the more compact and subtle tracks in the album's second half, though (Lux, Husky and Keelwater), which show an equal talent for understatement and atmosphere. Hope they make another one sometime.