Reviews RCD2230

Trondheim trio I Like To Sleep add a distinctly unsomnolent new flavour to Scandinavian power jazz. While drummer Oyvind Leite and baritone guitarist Nicolas Leirtro's mix of formal rigour and primal momentum would provide robust support for Gustafsson's muscular reeds, instead they're scaffolding for the soft mallets of Amund Storlokken Ase's vibraphone. The trio's 2017 debut Bedmonster and 2020 follow-up Daymare proved this to be an inspired combination, balancing density and heft with lightness and fluidity, and Sleeping Beauty heightens the contrast further. The album's origins lie in a festival commission responding to the first movement of Messiaen's Turangalila; the symphony's stentorian trombones and tumbling pitch series are obliquely echoed without obvious imitation. Driven by increasingly tense bass note grooves, "Bedrock" builds to a wild-eyed, foam-flecked gallop of pounding snares and rippling vibes, while the precision-tooled hiccupping chords, garbled riffs and harshly truncated hi-hats of "Broken Record" would rattle Tortoise's shell. Invoking nightmares of dead end mazes and heaving swamps with a 15 handed Ase in maniacal pursuit, the time signature shifts of prop workout "Cuckoo" verge on the exhausting. But respite comes with the grainy mellotron exotica interlude of "Quarantillity" and the opening minutes of "Don't Wake The Sleeping Beauty", where sombre bowed textures, scattered drum rolls and processed cymbal rings hint at dreamworlds yet to explore.
The Wire (UK)

It's jazz, Jim, but not as we know it. Named after a Thelonious Monk quote, Norway's I Like To Sleep are signed to Rune Grammofon, a label that has an uneasy relationship with the notion of genre. Sure, it's jazz. And yeah, it's experimental. But somehow their catalogue feels adjacent to both, as if such pigeonholing mocks the unfettered ambition of its output. I Like To Sleep's novel instrumental line-up (vibraphone, baritone guitar and drums) provides plenty of room for musical manoeuvre, and their third album lives up to the potential, lurching crazily from one idea to the next. Opener Daydream explores the kind of cusp-of-collapse territory Jimi Hendrix might have had the Band Of Gypsys been able to spend more time in the studio, before settling into a woozy, late-night groove. It's followed by the breathless rush of Bedrock, which turns into something that sounds like Chris Squire jamming with Tortoise. The album continues in this vein, seeking transcendence through both improvisation and arrangement, with Broken Record racing into rhythm before disintegrating spectacularly, and the nine-and-a-half-minute Don't Wake The Sleeping Beauty slowly easing into being before doing the same.
Prog (UK)

The "unusual" thing about their instrumentation, from the start, is having vibes as the lead instrument Although not uncommon in jazz groups of the 70s, vibes are rarely heard in the new type of fusion that I Like To Sleep play, which is heavily indebted style wise to other acts on the Rune Grammofon label. And, before you ask "Is Amund Storløkken Ase a relation to Ståle Storløkken?", yes - he's his son. For an album titled SLEEPING BEAUTY, the opening track here, the all the more oddly titled Daydream is remarkably aggressive in its opening section. With extremely distorted fuzzed feedback bass and rapid fire drums, from 1:30 on it transitions to a cool groove with occasional vibes, and then to a doubling of the musical parts, with regular and processed vibes, the latter reminding me of how Robert Wood similarly added distortion and ring modulation to his vibes. The following Bedrock has a faster beat to it, stepping up 3-fold at 2:40 to really heady bass driven beat with vibes dancing all around the stereo spectrum. The next two tracks each take the music down a notch, before getting back into a frenzy with Broken Record, and then the almost morose and languishing 91/2 minute Don't Wake The Sleeping Beauty, which has a rather surprising explosive end to it. In some ways Amund Storlokken Ase and co. are continuing the exploration of Amund's father, in combining disparate elements (old and new) into new forms of music bridging both rock and jazz forms. And, what's more, they're coming up with exciting results in doing so.
Audion (UK)

This Norwegian vibes-bass/guitar-drums trio - who specialise in (so it says here) 'scrotum shrivelling music - are back after two years with their sophomore album, and ifs a vast improvement on their first, the group having become tighter and finding their feet with a mixture of jazz, fusion, prog, rock noise and ambient soundscaping. The electric bass, when it makes an appearance, is pleasingly filthy-sounding.
Jazzwise (UK)

Det har vært gode vekstvilkår for sammenblandinger av rock og jazz i Norge de siste 10-20 årene. Band som Elephant9 og Bushmans Revenge åpnet ørene til mange unge jazzhuer som var på leting etter høyere desibelnivå enn de kunne få av Petter Wettre, og den norske jazzfloraen bugner i dag av unge band som dykker dypere ned i mulighetene en rockete innstilling til jazz, evt. en jazzete innstilling til rock, gir. I Like To Sleep er en av disse, og de er med sin vibrafon/barytongitar/trommer-besetning en av de friskeste i gamet. På Sleeping Beauty får vi servert beinharde sikksakkriff spilt med enorm driv og imponerende overskudd, men bandet finner også god plass til svevende lydutflukter, og spesielt inntrykk gjør albumets avslutningsspor «Don't Wake The Sleeping Beauty, hvor det høres ut som at fiolinbuer strykes mot både vibrafon og barytongitar, mens Trondheims nye strongman bak trommesettet, Øyvind Leite, viser at han ikke bare kan spille fort og hardt, men også fort og svakt og ikke minst pent. Vibrafonist Amund Storløkken Åse er definerende for bandets lydbilde, med en vibrafonlyd som høres litt ut som den kommer fra en Marshall-forsterker, men et musikalsk vokabular som overgår de fleste som plugger gitarene sine inn i dem. Han virker utrolig fri over selv de mest heseblesende (og noen ganger nesten uforståelige) riff, der han kaster om seg med slentrende løp i ett øyeblikk, og plutselig og uventet lander i krosse, men underlig logiske, akkorder i det neste. I jungelen av eksepsjonelt gode unge norske band som lager rockete jazzmusikk klarer I Like To Sleep å utmerke seg med sin frie tilnærming til sjangeren, enormt overskuddspregete musisering og unike lydbilde.
Jazznytt (NO)