Reviews 2116

Once feted for their precise electronic minimalism, the Norwegian duo of Dag-Are Haugan and Espen Sommer Eide open up their creative process to rough sketches, found sounds and acoustic collaborations on this sprawling masterwork. Defying categorization, "Unemployed" offers electro-organic textures, desiccated jazz rhythms, drones and clonks, and heavily processed vocal fragments. Flanked by spooked analogue hymnals and twitchy metronomic grooves, the sublime centerpiece is "Last Day At The Assembly Line", an extended symphony in industrial neo-Krautrock worthy of primetime Can. Alog are humane master craftsmen, breathing vitality and mystery into this mesmerizing post-rock epic. 4/5.
Uncut (UK)

Norwegian duo Espen Sommer Eide and Dag-Are Haugan sail further out on album five, using harmonium, Fender Rhodes and ukulele alongside short wave and field recordings, to fashion a 21st century chamber minimalism, jazz, folk and electronica textures cut adrift in the vast eerie doldrums of musical composition. 4/5.
Mojo (UK)

Somewhere between experimental electronica, group improvisation and carefully considered minimal chamber music, these scant, fleeting portraits utilize field recordings, custom-built instruments, samples from junk shop 78s and who knows what else. The result is some kind of arcane mood music with elements of rich, woody drone, skittery micro-textural improvisation and densely woven, inscrutable sound recontextualised from myriads of unidentifiable sources. Where other artists achieve intensity through noise and dynamism, Alog reach the same end via intensely focused repetition and endlessly enticining detail. Sweetly strange and oddly beautiful.
Rock-a-Rolla (UK)

A tranced-out metronomy runs through the whole album, indexed to a steady, simple pulse overlaid by wood-grained, tweedy timbres that don´t shift or change so much as grow branches or roots, spreading out slowly to secure the sound in space . Working against this unrelenting repetition is a constant textural variety, with one track shaped from found vinyl, another from Jenny Hval´s filtered voice, and others from organ alone. Alog's music requires patience, a certain surrender of the listening mind, but given the attention, "Unemployed" starting a minutely explored and often wonderfully strange geography.
The Wire (UK)

I would be surprised if ALOG were unemployed. Unemployed (RCD 2116) nevertheless reminds with the almost 17-minute, repetitive motor industrial blues 'Last Day At The As-assembly Line' of monotonous but so-groovy Malochen, with the double-edged moment in the back of the head that the tapes stand still and an uncomfortable freedom for many year-round from 'January' to 'Zebra'. Espen Sommer Eide & Dag-Are Haugan are trained percussionists and guitarists, but they exploit various electronic possibilities and build some sound generators themselves. Sigbjørn Apeland joins them with Fender Rhodes, Harmonium, Percussion and Ukulele, The Sheriffs of Nothingness Fiddling. 'Arkipel' sounds like two clarinets. So house music came back to which one involuntarily ' Quality of life 'comes to mind, the word of the decade so thoroughly washed out of the brains. This also includes something scurrying nostalgic things like 'The Mountaineer' or a strange children's song like 'Baklandet'. Also strange is the chanting of Jaap Blonk at the 'Bømlo Brenn Om Natta', which is pounded by drum machines. Jenny Hval vocalizes to 'Et Besok' as if she were visiting from China. Then an ancient language learning plate rustles Spanish series of words. And the drum machine makes its second big appearance at the spotty die-cut 'January' with dreamy vocoder singing that likes to lag behind the fast-paced enthusiast. Finally, with 'Apeland' a rickety harmonium and vibesclimb sound in a wistful way. A touching conclusion
Bad Alchemy (DE)

To get stuck between all the music that you get delivered to the house in various ways, to get on top of the real or virtual stack, so to speak, to stop, be listened to again and finally be proposed to an editor, that's one of them meanwhile hard work. Without a big ear or eye catcher. Alog have prevailed. Weird, instrumental stuff starts almost badly medieval, almost. Here street music in San Francisco was combined just like northern Norwegian sounds or old 78s records. Alog collected and processed for three years. Contrary to previous perfider plans, they let the "stream of ideas" flow here. And create a strange crude world music,
De: Bug (DE)

"Unemployed" is actually a work on four vinyl albums. You only get 14 out of 25 new tracks by the Norwegian duo alog on CD. They experiment with sounds and arrange repetitively. Sometimes it's reminiscent of minimal music, sometimes Krautrock and sometimes art rock - it's always nice.
Choices (DE)

Unemployment is different. For their fifth album Espen Sommer Eide & Dag-Are Haugan indulge in the richness of accumulated sounds and the luxury of illustrious guests. The duo uses almost everything as sound sources: from old, archived 78 rpm records to recordings of the two as musicians in the streets of San Francisco, from Sigbjorn Apeland's time-honored harmonium in the St. Jakobskirche in Bergen to the fiddle improvisations of the sheriffs of Nothingness (Ole Henrik Moe & Kari Ronnekleiv), from the everyday objects of the young sound artist Signe Liden to the high-end sounds from the studio instruments manufactured by Eide / Haugan. And above that Jenny Hval and Jaap Blonk put distinctive vocalisms. As I said, unemployment is different. In Alog's statement, however, it sounds conclusive again: " On previous albums we worked slowly and with complete control over all the details of our pieces. With 'Unemployed' we wanted to explore the composition process, the experiments, rough sketches and the flow of ideas ... Our goal was to free ourselves from standardized song structures and common record formats. "This approach results in a percussively structured, floating, collage-style-oriented approach Persistence of this album irresistible pieces, so we witness the modernization of the archives with magical means - And Jaap Blonk crowns this masterpiece in the song with the pretty title "bømlo brenn om natta". Very impressive! irresistible pieces with the continuation of this album. This is how we witness the modernization of the archives using magical means. - And Jaap Blonk puts the crown on this masterpiece in the song with the pretty title "bømlo brenn om natta". Very impressive! irresistible pieces with the continuation of this album. This is how we witness the modernization of the archives using magical means. - And Jaap Blonk puts the crown on this masterpiece in the song with the pretty title "bømlo brenn om natta". Very impressive!
Freestyle (AT)

The 14 sporene på CD-utgaven, if he got the jed har fått tilsendt, he ikke engang halvparten av den voll utgivelsen, if he tilgjengelig på 4-dobbel vinyl. Det he med andre ord en svært produktiv duo som gjør sine verker tilgjengelige på "Unemployed", en tittel som i the forbindelse virker rimelig malplassert. Hver låt it i tillegg som et eget lite univers, med sine egne Klangfarger, produksjonsteknikker, gjesteartister og instrument-oppfinnelser. The for the sky for the gammel analog synth for the heder og verdighet igjen under Alogs blomstrende creative fingre.
Jazznytt (NO)    (vinyl edition review)    (german)    (swedish)    (interview)