Reviews RLP3210

Sublime retrospective from post-ambient pioneer. Norwegian trumpeter  Arve Henriksen drifted way beyond jazz or any of the other genre-flags that can sometimes help us navigate our way around an artist's output. If you had to put one on him then perhaps 'ambient' would suffice but that would be lazy. Henriksen's music has so much more life, vitality, and intense focus than the passivity implicit in such a label. Even accepting his prolific output over the years it still comes as a shock to learn that the entire contents of this exquisite four-LP set are previously unreleased material from the last decade. Henriksen's melodies feel as though they've been wind-blown down the centuries or exhumed from the permafrost of ancient memories. As his trumpet traces a gorgeous shining line that shimmers simply like a halo, it's often joined by the cool swell of luscious strings, twinkling dots of synthesiser fairy lights, or chill echo of voices. Like his work on trumpet, Henriksen's vocals occupy the higher registers. With a child-like purity, words and wordless intonations flutter into life, an impassioned Esperanto straight from the heart. The short span of individual tracks on Captured Under Mountainsides, Acousmograph, Cryosphere, and Towards Language - Live At Punkt, is sequenced in a flow that fosters a sense of journey. In just a few short minutes the humid, amorphous soundclouds can suddenly give way to Nordic idylls whose ravishing tunes sparkle and trickle like waterfalls off into deep, cavernous fjords, resounding to the resonance of wistful brass or spectral choir. With an astonishingly high hit-rate, almost every track across each of these four discs is a masterpiece in miniature, expertly tooled, forged and born in the moment, a product of intuition and elements of chance. Most importantly, Henriksen's work possesses the kind of profound emotional catharsis that seems deliberately drained from much of today's ambient scene which often elevates stasis over sensitivity. The Timeless Nowhere is haunted by heartwarming and heartbreakingly beautiful music.
Prog (UK)

This four-album box set is the equivalent of dropping a pebble of Norite into a mirror lake. Perfect undulations of electronica, sustained tones and eerie vocalisations ripple out, but the central peak is Arve Henriksen with his inherently natural trumpet style. Half brass, half breath, it is his expressive control, layered details and ear for a delicious melody that lifts this set from limp-ambient to a seductive and genuinely touching listen. Floating inches above a spacious tundra of synths, samples, drones, quivers and echoes, there is much to savour. The clang of an anvil, the toll of a bell, a shred of harmonica - so naïve and sweet; and moments such as the ending of ”Tilia Cordata” from Captured Under Mountainsides when a whisper of Henriksen's high-pitched voice is an angel lifting it all up into cumulus clouds. Acousmograph is a solo outing with the celeste, harmonium and piano showing it's not about the trumpet, more the themes harbouring in Henriksen's DNA. Cryosphere is less varied, however the inclusion of percussionists brings a textural kick, for example, ”Levitation” and it is Towards Language - Live at Punkt that adds a real zing from the adrenalin of the performance and alchemy of Henriksen's relationship with PUNKT festival founders, Erik Honore and Jan Bang. In essence, this is a box set of wordless poetry, Henriksen recording phrases and thoughts for over 10 years, and then, with trusted collaborators, re-imagining them into complete pieces. At times the narrative is epic or sacred, tensions are stretched, or stillness descends. The emotional colouring is often heart-rending, in the way of a mauve sky at dusk, with that elevating beauty of the loss of daylight. Henriksen's timing, his use of discordancy (such as unsettling organ notes), a sense of near, far, expansion, humility, and a playing of the trumpet that never pushes away, but draws you in, deeply. This is a creative soul at a point of maturity and if you didn't treat yourself at Christmas, The Timeless Nowhere is a delectable gift.
Jazzwise (UK)

Arve Henriksen’s The Timeless Nowhere is a box containing four vinyl LPs, each in its own sleeve, each recorded under different circumstances. Towards Language was recorded live at Kick Scene in Kristiansand during Punkt in 2017 with the basic quartet complete by Bang, Aarset and Honoré. Acousmograph is a series of overdubbed solo explorations for trumpet, vocal, keyboards and field recordings. The rapt tone poems of Captured Under Mountainsides make it a close cousin to Henriksen’s classic Places of Worship. And Cryosphere involves Bang in exquisite remixes of pieces from earlier projects. There are many different strategies here. Henriksen’s music can morph from stateliness to pathos, from reflection to disquiet, sometimes layering contradictory states. But it feels all of a piece: a tapestry of beautiful moments woven together by a unique controlling sensibility of superlative aesthetic instincts.
The Blue Moment (UK)

Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen's latest project is a box gathering together old and new music, as well as a concert recording that was previously only available digitally. It's not a grab-bag compilation, though; it's all been carefully assembled into four discrete LPs (which fit onto two CDs), each one possessing its own distinct character. The first album Captured Under Mountainsides is primarily a solo effort, recorded in bits and pieces between 2015-19. Once in a while guests appear: Erik Honore contributes keyboards to one track, while Hilmar Jensson and Skuli Sverrisson play guitar and bass, respectively, on another. Longtime collaborator Jan Bang adds live sampling to two tracks, and on another, Henriksen's two sons are credited with additional percussion sounds. But with the exception of "Tun — Old Remains Of Settlement", which features Jensson and Sverrisson, it's difficult to spot the guests. The focus is always on Henriksen's gentle puffs of trumpet and soft washes of synth. The second LP Cryosphere is much more of a collective effort featuring a sizable group of musicians that includes three different percussionists (Helge Norbakken, lngar Zach and Audun Kleive), Jan Bang, Walter Laureti and Kristian Isachsen on keyboards and programming, and Eivind Aarset on guitar on one track. It's strongly rhythm driven music with a surprising darkness. The deep drones and ominous rattles of "Subsurface" could soundtrack a horror movie, and tracks like "Eating Stars" and "Myosis", with their soft bursts of static and sounds skittering from one side of the room to the other, are like Nils Petter Molvær ballads remixed by Main. Towards Language: Live At Punkt doesn't sound live. There's no room sound or feeling of musicians interacting, even though there are other musicians present (Bang, Honore and Aarset). On the title piece "Towards Language" Henriksen sings prelinguistic syllables and babbling phrases in a strange, high-pitched voice. Eventually on tracks like "Groundswell" and "Turf War" a sense of group language emerges; the latter is one of the noisiest, most conventionally Euro improv-style things Henriksen has ever done, battling with Bang's samples of himself as Aarset scrapes and jangles the strings. Ultimately, it's not a concert as much as a sustained mood. The final disc, Acousmograph collects solo pieces from here and there. Henriksen plays trumpet, piano and celeste, and makes unidentifiable sounds, processing it all into a collection of evocative and sometimes discomfiting vignettes. Multifaceted yet still cohesive, this box is a must for Henriksen fans.
The Wire (UK)

Box set of otherworldly Scandinavian delights. Though he's Norwegian, there's a perceptible oriental quality to Henriksen's distinctive trumpet sound, which uncannily resembles a bamboo shakuhachi flute. For almost two decades, this 51-year-old Stranda-born musician has been seducing listeners with his quiet, melancholy soundscapes, and those partial to them will find much to savour on this new 2-CD/4-LP retrospective, which contains four complete albums of previously unreleased material. Inspired by the scenery of his homeland, the album Captured Under Mountainsides is breathtakingly beautiful. In contrast, Cryosphere, an improvised series of collaborations with producer Jan Bang, is more rhythmically dynamic. Towards Language - Live At Punkt shows that Henriksen can be just as compelling in concert, while the final studio album in the set, Acousmograph, is much more experimental in tone. Overall, this is a vivid portrait of a singular musician whose artistry defies categorisation. 4/5.
Mojo (UK)

Norwegian trumpeter/composer Arve Henriksen's recent recordings have drawn inspiration from solitary landscapes, urban wastelands and isolated holy places. Henriksen captured their moods with precise daubs of breathy trumpet, wraith-like layers of electronica and heart-wrenching falsetto vocals. The four-LP/two-CD limited-edition box-set The Timeless Nowhere combines new recordings and live performances with material drawn from a decade's worth of previously unreleased studio and field recordings, out-takes and remixes. Each LP stands alone — two are included on each CD — and the collection is both standalone release and recommended introduction to a unique jazz voice. The opening album of the first CD, Captured Under Mountainsides, alludes to Henriksen's response to the Nordic vastness that was the backdrop to his formative years. Here, trumpet delivers contemplative moods against a backdrop of layered synths and a floating pulse. "Amazed By Its Beauty" opens the set, "Abandoned Schoolhouse" is truly evocative, and "Tilia Cordata" ends the album with movement and warmth. The second album, Cryosphere, based on samples of concert performances, mostly features Henriksen's trumpet supported by three percussionists. Co-producer Jan Bang reconstructs the material into a pulsating showcase for Henriksen's broody trumpet lyricism. The second CD begins with a performance from the 2017 Punkt festival, based loosely on Towards Language, the studio album Henriksen released the same year. Henriksen's poised trumpet dovetails with moody Eivind Aarset guitar and samples from Bang and sequencer Erik Honore. A new piece, "Traces of Words", opens; the abstraction "Turf War" is added in the middle and the elegiac "Paridae" closes. Acousmograph, the final LP of this engrossing set, presents Henriksen layering his own creations. Stark lines of acoustic piano cohere into "Shadow Lines" and wisps of angular trumpet cut through electronica on "The Timeless Nowhere", the collection's title track. 4/5.
Financial Times (UK)

With The Timeless Nowhere, Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, perhaps best known for his membership of Supersilent, tracks across a decade's recorded history, collecting four previously unreleased albums as a boxset. His immediately identifiable tone - wispy, breathy reediness, the trumpet reconfigured as a flute, a Shakuhachi, a mysterious mutant - is set in a number of configurations, Henriksen hymning landscapes, working with collaborator Jan Bang or performing live. The result is a vast expanse of ambient jazz movement. It can get a little too languorous and lost in itself, at times, but there are some lovely moments here, too.
Uncut (UK)

„The Timeless Nowhere“ ist eine vier neue Werke umfassende Kiste voller Wunder, ohne Plunder – Arve Henriksen-Musik ist kein „groove monster“, sie ist ein „mood monster“, und, um es mit den Worten eines alten Kinderbuches (war es ein Kinderbuch?) von Franz Hohler zu sagen: „Glück, mein Glück, rück näher ein Stück!“ Und wie sagte es John Berger in einem posthum veröffentlichten Buch so trefflich: „Meaning and mystery are inseparable, and neither can exist without the passing of time“. Das dürfte, egal, wie paradox es erscheint, auch für das „Zeitlose Nirgendwo“ gelten. Verblüffend, man bekommt das Teil nur als „limited vinyl edition“, den vier Langspielplatten sind zwei Cds beigefügt, welche die Musik ebenfalls enthalten. Die Pressqualität, das Design, alles hervorragend, und John Potters liner notes (jawohl, der, der mal beim Hilliard Ensemble war), eine helle Freude.
Manafonistas (DE)

Er entlockt seiner Trompete manchmal Töne, die eher an eine japanische Flöte erinnern. Wenn er wortlos singt, könnte man sein Sopran für eine Frauenstimme halten. Er spielt Harmonium und Perkussion, tüftelt mit Feldaufnahmen, Synthesizer und Samples. Das Resultat kann verstörend dunkel sein oder mystisch wie die akustische Umsetzung eines tanzenden Nordlichts. Kurz: Arve Henriksen ist anders als alle anderen und deshalb veröffentlicht der Norweger nun eine Retrospektive der letzten zehn Jahre als 4-LP-Box, die ausschliesslich unveröffentlichte Stücke enthält. Einzig "Towards Language — Live at Punkt" gab es zuvor schon einmal digital. Neben Henriksen treten Gäste auf und verschwinden wieder. Eivind Aarset steht plötzlich da und spielt Gitarre, wenn man es am wenigsten erwartet. Und natürlich kommt der elektronische Soundmeister Jan Bang zum Zwiegespräch — wie viele andere auch. "Captured Under Mountainsides", "Cryosphere" und "Acousmograph" heissen die drei anderen LPs, auf denen es manchmal fast unhörbar nur knistert und es manchmal auch ganz schön laut wird. Der musikalischen Verweise hat es so viele, dass John Potter (ehem. Hilliard Ensemble) ein ausführliches Essay beigesteuert hat. Vier Alben voller magischer Klänge, für jeden Henriksen-Fan und für alle, die es werden wollen. 5/5.
Jazz´n´More (DE)

Am 8. November 2008 gastierte der norwegische Multiinstrumentalist und Klangforscher Arve Henriksen in Heidelberg, um ein Duokonzert mit dem Live-Sampling-Artisten Jan Bang zu spielen. Im Hotel hat er noch etwas Trompete gespielt und als »field recording« dokumentiert. Jetzt, ein gutes Jahrzehnt später, taucht das unter dem Titel »Chamber Calibration« als einer von 42 Tracks der Box »The Timeless Nowhere« wieder auf: zwei Minuten und 19 Sekunden Trompete, introspektiv, gerahmt von Internetmodem-Einwahl-Sounds und weiteren, nicht identifizierbaren Klängen im Hintergrund. Die Information »field recording« legt eine Spur, indiziert aber keine dokumentarische Qualität. Aber diese Spur führt ins Zentrum der Ästhetik dieses enorm produktiven, 1968 geborenen Musikers, der in den vergangenen so Jahren immerhin elf Alben unter eigenem Namen, zehn als Mitglied von Supersilent veröffentlicht, zahllose Gastauftritte auf Alben von Christian Wallumrod über Motorpsycho bis David Sylvian oder dem Trio Mediaeval absolviert hat und fast permanent in beständig wechselnden Zusammenhängen getourt ist. Henriksen und seinen diversen Mitstreiterinnen geht es um eine prozesshafte Auseinandersetzung mit Soundmaterial, die sie nie als abgeschlossen begreifen. Es gibt keine fertigen Tracks, die man »bloß« reproduziert, vielmehr bedient man sich aus einem gut gefüllten Archiv von Sounds, mit denen man dann in Echtzeit improvisiert. Aber auch diese Improvisationen werden gleich wieder live bearbeitet und gesampelt, wobei die Spuren des Sample-Archivs und die Beiträge der analog-humanen Mitwirkenden gerne verwischt werden. Die »offenen« Resultate, ob solo eingespielt oder mit Gästen, ob live oder im Studio, sind zuverlässig mysteriös bis sakral, zumal Henriksen stimmlich in der Lage ist, seinen Trompetensound zu simulieren, mit sich selbst im Chor zu singen oder auch die Trompete gegen eine Orgel, ein Harmonium oder eine Celesta einzutauschen. Bezüge zur Musik der innovativen Trompeter Jon Hassell oder Nils Petter Molvær stellen sich automatisch ein; Henriksen selbst ergänzt noch die Komponisten Krzysztof Penderecki und Helmut Lachenmann. Indes: Kaum noch glaubhaft, dass man einst naiv ins Studio oder auf die Bühne kam, um live »nur» mit Instrumenten zu musizieren!
Konkret (DE)

Mit einem Sampler bist du nie allein. Aber auch sonst kann sich der Trompeter, Gelegenheitssänger, Organist und Produzent Arve Henriksen über mangelnde Gesellschaft nicht beschweren. „The Timeless Box" — vier LPs und/oder auf randvollen zwei CDs — liefert eine Art Zwischenbericht aus unterschiedlichen Gewerken des Musikers, wobei Spuren des Samplers und der analog-humanen Mitwirkenden oftmals ordentlich verwischt sind. Henriksen selbst ist hier mal solo zu hören, manch-mal im Gespräch mit sich selbst, aber auch die üblichen Verdächtigen mit ihren elektronischen Effektgeräten schauen vorbei: Jan Bang, Erik Honore, Eivind Aarset. Später kommen noch Schlagzeuger wie Helge Norbakken oder Audun Kleive hinzu. Das „Punkt"-Festival mit seiner Vorliebe für „Live-Remixes" ist ebenso präsent wie auf die eine oder andere Weise Referenzen an Jon Hassell, Nils Petter Molvaer und, wenn Henriksen mit sich selbst im Chor singt, alte, sakrale Musik. Faszinierend und in keiner Sekunde esoterisch. 4/5.
Klenkes (DE)

Det er ikke overdrevet å slå fast at Arve Henriksen har en ganske formidabel produksjon bak seg. I tillegg til ti soloalbum siden 2001, og enda flere med bandet Supersilent, har han satt sitt særegne stempel på en lang rekke album med ulike norske musikere. Det er en bauta i moderne norsk jazz som nå kommer med ikke bare ett, men fire, album, samlet i en boks, i utgivelsen «The Timeless Nowhere». Dette er ikke et samlealbum med tidligere utgivelser. Et av dem er riktignok utgitt tidli-gere, «Towards Language – Live at Punkt». Albumet er opptak av en konsert fra 2017, samme år som Henriksen ga ut studioalbumet «Towards Language», der han hadde med seg Jan Bang (sampling), Erik Honoré (sampling og synth) og Eivind Aarset (gitar). Albumet ble utgitt i fjor, men kun digitalt. Det er et ypperlig album som i seg selv fortjener en fysisk utgivelse: I denne sammenhengen, som en del av en større utgivelse, en større musikalsk fortelling, passer det dessuten svært godt inn. Resten er nytt materiale, i den forstand at det ikke er utgitt tidligere. Noe av det er helt ferskt, noe er spilt inn for mer enn ti år siden. Felles for alt er at det i aller høyeste grad fortjener å bli utgitt. Vi snakker altså fire album. Det musikalske landskapet er kjent for alle som har fulgt Henriksen, det er ingen store overraskelser. Stryningen tar oss med inn i en verden av mektige lydbilder, det er romantisk, poetisk og vakkert. På et av albumene, «Acousmograph» møter vi musikeren alene. Væpnet ikke bare med trompeten, men også egen stemme (som han har vist fin bruk av også tidligere), piano, celeste, harmonium, synth, elektronikk og field recording, blant annet av et glasshorn, spilt inn på øvingsstudioet til Terje Isungset, og en celesta spilt inn backstage under en lydsjekk i Parma. På de andre albumene har han alliert seg med en rekke musikere. De er mange, vi skal ikke nevne alle her, i sentrum står uansett trompetisten selv. Med sin helt særegne og fine tone. Hør bare på en låt som Origin, som åpner albumet «Cryosphere», med Audun Kleive på trommer. Som så mye på denne utgivelsen er det rett og slett voldsomt vakkert. Dette er en gave av en utgivelse til alle som er glad i god musikk (og hvem er vel ikke det). Vi snakker mengder av vakker musikk som gjør høsten til et bedre sted å være.
Dagsavisen (NO)

Den Trompeter Arve Henriksen genau einzuordnen, fällt schwer. Zu vielseitig und überraschend musiziert der Norweger immer wieder in unterschiedlichen Projekten. Mit ätherischem Ton auf seinen Instrumenten und hoch emotional auch als Sänger zwischendurch, direkt ins Seelenzentrum des Zuhörers zielend. Suchend ist sein Spiel oft, aus improvisierten Passagen ergeben sich zauber-hafte Melodielinien, umgeben von Sounds und wahnsinnig atmosphärischen Klanglandschaften. All das gibt es jetzt in einem großzügigen Box-Set nachzuhören. „The Timeless Nowhere" (Rune Grammofon/Cargo) besteht aus vier Langspielplatten und zwei CDs (mit der Musik der LPs drauf) - alles unveröffentlichtes Material der letzten zehn Jahre. Für alle Arve-Fans ein Muss!
Medienhaus Bauer (DE)

The only (legal) way of owning this release seems to be dropping 60 pounds or more on a four-LP box set, containing 160 minutes of music by Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen. Partly collaborative, part live recordings, often experimental and all unreleased, it's a glorious, elegaic showcase of his compositional and textural prowess. Given the high financial stakes, though, I don't honestly expect to sway you into purchase, so readers are hereby invited to my house to listen to my promo copy. No knobheads allowed. 4/5.
Buzz (UK)

I den box som rymmer albumen Acousmograph, Captured Under Mountainsides, Cryosphere samt Towards Language — Live at Punkt hör vi Arve Henriksen i fyra olika sammanhang med olika förutsättningar. Sannolikt förstärks helhetsintrycket av det fysiska innehållet i boxen. Detta innehåll tillhandahölls dock inte recensenten, något som gör att recensionen helt handlar om musiken. Acousmograph är Arve Henriksen på egen hand. Förutom att spela trumpet sjunger han (ordlöst) och spelar en handfull instrument som ibland behandlas elektroniskt. Inga andra musiker medverkar på albumet, det här albumet handlar om hur Henriksen orkestrerar såväl instrument som inspelade ljud. Att lyssna på Acousmograph är som att lyssna på vykort från kända och okända platser. Omgivningarna förändras, stämningarna och uttrycken likaså. Även Captured Under Mountainsides är till störs-ta delen Henriksens på egen hand, men inte helt och hållet. Uttrycket är emellertid inte detsamma. Här slår musiken mig som eftertänksamt reflekterande, inåtblickande utan att vara introvert. En orgel utgör på några spår ett oväntat inslag som utan att begå våld på musiken teleporterar ljudkulisserna till en annan, bitvis nostalgiskt abstrakt, dimension. En tredje aspekt av Henriksens fatabur presenteras på Cryosphere, där klangkonstnären Jan Bang utgör sparringpartner till Henriksen. Här är elektroniska klanger på tidvis närmast filmiska vis mera frekventa. Musiken är grövre, mörkare och mer kompakt. Samtidigt tar Henriksens trumpet vid flera tillfällen rollen av en stark men samtidigt subtil solstråle som tränger igenom dis. Cryosphere är den av skivorna i boxen som av och till rymmer förnämligt slagverksspel av Ingar Zach, Helge Norbakken och Audun Kleive. Kreativt, musikaliskt och alltid i musikens tjänst. På sätt och vis kan Towards Language — Live at Punkt höras som en klingande beskrivning av en — av flera — arbetsprocesser som Arve Henriksen använder sig av, nämligen det varierade återanvändandet. Albumet är en liveversion av albumet Towards Language från 2017, här omtolkat med variationer och nya utvecklingslinjer. Det står också klart hur tydlig Arve Henriksens identitet är. Oavsett sammanhang hittar han sin roll, tillför sin musikaliska dialekt och orkestrerar inte bara sig själv, utan hela sammanhanget med sin trumpet eller — mera anmärkningsvärt — genom att inte spela något överhuvudtaget. Genomgående hör vi Henriksens särart, där en bred klangkarta ritas upp med en särpräglat för-finad dialekt.
OrkesterJournalen (SE)

Att kalla den norske trumpetarens musik för jazz är inte självklart, då den hör lika mycket - om inte mer - hemma i konstmusik och electronica. Dessutom är de ljudlandskap Henriksen oftast vandrar i så präglade av serenitet att de ibland riskerar bli sövande. Därmed inte sagt att musiken skulle vara ointressant. Vinylboxen The Timeless Nowhere innehåller fyra separata album som på ett utmärkt sätt speglar alla nyanser i Henriksens musik. Materialet består av nytt och tidigare outgivet material samt en liveinspelning (fast det inte märks) som tidigare bara funnits digitalt. Skivorna Captured Under Mountainsides och Acousmograph är Henriksen mestadels på egen hand förstärkt av elektronik och samplingar, där den förstnämnda är en stämningsfull resa genom ett natursceneri där hans dämpade och av vasshet avskalade ton närmast smyger fram medan den sistnämnda är mer experimentell. Även skivorna Cryosphere och Towards Language - Live at Punkt innehåller en hel del elektroniska inslag, samtidigt som här också finns medmusiker som kompletterar med diskreta inslag i form av bland annat keyboards och slag-verk. Med tanke på den stora variationen i musiken är det inte överdrivet mäktigt att lyssna på skivorna i en följd.
Lira (SE)