Monday, November 1, 2010


Supersilent (group; formed 1997)
10 (Rune Gramoffon; 2010)
Arve Henriksen (trumpet, electronics, drums)
Helge Sten (guitars, electronics)
Ståle Storløkken (keyboards)

With the departure of Jarle Vespestad on drums many fans didn't know what to expect from the always excellent Norweigan powerhouse, Supersilent. What we get is Supersilent 10--the most realized, acoustic and personal Supersilent album to date. I have always recommend Supersilent 6 as the first album to go towards but I think I may have change that thought.

10 has the architecture of a good Throbbing Gristle date mixed with best motifs from Harold Budd and Brian Eno. The performances by Stolokken, Sten and Henriksen are absolutely brilliant. As with each Supersilent album the tracks don't have names on numbers.

Openning on the usual atmospheric note and then flowing into more dense pastures "10.2" and "10.3" both shine brightly with the electronic effects from Sten but also the acoustic work of Storlokken on piano and Heriksen's muted spaced outed trumpet are amazing. "10.5" sounds like something that could easily fit on Throbbing Gristle's D.O.A.: Third And Final Report album. Dense, chilling stuff.

With the exploratory journey of "10.6" which feels like some of the moments of Harold Budd or Michael Brook and Jon Hassell. It's is poignant track that shows how this group has grown over the last 13 years. 10 is not a silent ambient trip or a roller coaster into white noise. It is much more than that. Storlokken is pushed into the front more on this album than ever before. His performance on gentle patterns on "10.7" are a loving lullaby that highlighted even more by Henriksen's delightful lyricism that flies along side Sorlokken on grand piano.

On "10.8" Henrikensen shows a similar understanding on liner patterns and ethereal beauty that could rival Jon Hassell. "10.9" is a fiercely atmospheric heavy piece driven by electronics which feels like Budd meeting T.G. in a cafe for a lively discussion of sound.

"10.12" closes the session in the exact manner it began--an adventurous, heavy journey into soundscapes that draws you in and doesn't really let go. It's a haunting piece driven by Storlokken's pounding keys and some electronic manipulation by Sten and Henriksen that is truly beauty in its conception.

Having had the pleasure and honour of seeing them live I can honestly say 10 is for me, without a doubt, the first time Supersilent have really stretched out in their vision and scope. These are heavy yet beauty stories told in just under an hour. Why this group hasn't seen wider recognition across the globe is bewildering me. This is the stuff landmark records are made of.

(Video footage: Supersilent 7 (Live DVD))

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