Thursday, July 1, 2010

Food: Quiet Inlet

Food (group; formed 1998)
Quiet Inlet (ECM)
Thomas Stronen (drums, electronics)
Ian Balllamy (sax)

Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet; electronics)
Christian Fennesz (guitar, electronics)

Originally formed as a quartet including Arve Henriksen (trumpet) and Mats Eilertsen (bass), Food is now a duo with various guest musicians. Stronen and Ballamy have been consistent soundshapers on the thriving Norwegian jazz scene for over 20 years now. Food has always been a core project for them. Their recent release (6th in all), Quiet Inlet (ECM) continues the group philosophy of creating new worlds from improvising sounds.

Mostly the pieces on Quiet Inlet were recorded live at European Festivals but you would never notice as most the audience noise has been taken out. With the addition of Molvaer and Fennesz, Food have full immersed themselves in an experimental and sometimes electronic noise environment. That's not a bad thing. The essence of Food is always here. The acoustic aspect of their work may sometimes step into the background but you know its there.

The music on Quiet Inlet in melodic, improvised and ethereal while all follow a specific rhythmic pattern. Stronen's unique and technically brilliant style on drums/percussion are high points throughout Quiet Inlet, especially on the tracks "Tobiko" and "Mictyris". Heniksen's other-worldly trumpet style shines with a gentle beauty on latter pieces ""Becalmed" and "Dweller". Fennesz, who has quickly emerged as a major force in the ambience/improvising circles shows why he is one most creative noise guitarist around at the moment on the closing number "Fathoms" as well as his work on "Mictyris".

Quiet Inlet is no real departure for Food but is probably the more accessible (using the term loosely) of their albums. There are moments of improvised ambience as well gritty electronic grooves. Both of which are highly satisfying to this listener. Hope you get a chance to enjoy as well.

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