Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ivar Grydeland: Bathymetric Modes

Ivar Grydeland (guitar, electronics)
Bathymetric Modes (Hubro Music; 2012)

Over the last decade, Ivar Grydeland has recorded and performed on some exciting albums. Whether it's been with Dans les arbres, Ballrogg, Huntsville and more, Grydeland's beautifully textured atmospheric folk tones have graced and enhanced an number of sessions.

On his surprisingly, first (essentially) solo album, Bathymetric Modes, Grydeland shows the same grace and spacious adventure that makes many of his sessions captivating. Joined by members whom he has worked with over the years, on a couple of tracks, Bathymetric Modes feels right at home and quick to absorb as a first time listener.

"Roll" has an intriguing mixture of Brazilian and European themes which are both cold and intoxicating. A folkish quality that projects an image of a long car ride across country. Fast paced with countryside imagery.

With "Bounce" you can sense the elements of his previous works as well as shades of Steve Riech or John Abercrombie. This is a luscious fusion of space and continuous harmonic structures. As the piece moves into its middle stages the electronics take hold and it becomes angelic and transcending.

Bathymetric Modes is a real surprise for me. I did expect to like it from the first spin. But what I didn't expect was how consistently I would come back to it. Time and time again. A late entry to one of my albums of the year. Simply fantastic.

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