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Tusmørke
Riset Bak Speilet

Tusmørke ‎— Riset Bak Speilet (16 May, 2014)

         Tusmørke ‎— Riset Bak Speilet (16 May, 2014)  ≡   Norwegian group Tusmörke (”Twilight”) is a strange beast. With roots streching deep into the Scandinavian neo–progressive rock underground of the early nineties. ≡   The identical Momrak twins recorded a Tusmörke demo in 1997 but soon put the band on hiatus for several years. Tusmorke returned in 2009 with a full electric lineup and the debut album ”Underjordisk Tusmorke” appeared three years later.
≡   May 2014 sees the dark minstrels return with a sophomore album ”Riset Bak Speilet” (”The Birch Behind The Looking Glass”). A 50–minute transmission from the heart of the darkest northern forests, the album skillfully channels the spirit of classic British acid folk rock and soaks it in a black witches cauldron. The spellbinding concoction is at times reminiscent of classic acts like Jethro Tull and Incredible String band, and also not entirely far off from modern forest magicians such as Hexvessel and Wolf People.
≡   ”Time is an illusion when the music of Tusmörke is played: it ceases to exist. The listener loses her grip, our knowledge no longer stems from social media or printed newspapers: everything the modern world has made us believe, evaporates. Our ears grow into cones, blood turns thin.”                    Location: Oslo, Norway
Genre: Progressive Rock / Folk Rock / Psychedelic Rock
Album release: 16 May, 2014
Record Label: Svart Records
N°: SVR270CD
Duration:     70:55
Tracks:
1. Offerpresten      8:04
2. Gamle Aker Kirke      8:03
3. Black Swift      8:40
4. All Is Lost      7:26
5. Riset bak Speilet      14:12
6. Mener Vi Alvor Nå?      4:03
7. Kairo      9:40
8. En Verden Av I Går      10:47
Personnel:
≡   Marxo Solinas — organ
≡   Benedikt Momrak (Benediktator) — bass and vocals
≡   Krizla — flute and vocals
≡   HlewagastiR — drums
REVIEW
Paul Robertson, 20th May 2014
≡   If I were to tell you that Norwegian unusualists Tusmørke spun out from a psychedelic space–rock outfit called Captain Cumulonumbus And His Wondrous Cloudship and claim to be mainly influenced by the Bronze Age, that ought to give you an approximate idea of what one should expect from Riset Bak Speilet, and I don’t think I really need to tell you, based upon this information and the fact that the members of Tusmørke are often pictured wearing cloaks, that we’re dealing with Progressive Rock here do I?
≡   Yes, Prog of a decidedly Canterburyesque stripe is very much the thing for this Oslo–based quartet. To my ears, the ghosts of The Soft Machine and Caravan flit through Tusmørke‘s sound, with Ratledgey organ action from organ/Mellotronist Deadly Nightshade, warm, supple bass from Benediktator and nimble drummage from HlewagastiR, joined by the expressive flute of Krizla, adding that ‘Tull feel to proceedings too. Occasional stabs of brass join the fray too, most notably on flighty, fruity opener Offerpresten.
≡   The pastoral edge of their sound is very much in fitting with that whimsical Canterbury thang, but there is a baroque, medieval side to Tusmørke too that brings The Incredible String Band, and occasionally Gentle Giant, to mind — which, as far as I’m concerned — is sure as hell no bad thing. Admirers of Svart stablemates Hexvessel and where–are–they–now British oddballs Circulus will find much to dig into herein for sure.
≡   You’ll find no Crimson calisthenics or bruising instrumental workouts on Riset Bak Speilet — which translates into ‘The Birch Behind The Looking Glass’, referring to the birch rod as opposed to the tree — instead a quirky mix of nimble quasi–prog–pop — oft–times shot through with a haunting air of melancholia — offset by the astringent nature of that baroque edge. There are also definite tonal similarities to the music of British polymath Matt Berry, a man more known for his outstanding comedic TV performances than his incredibly finely–wrought pastoral prog psychedelia, unfortunately.
≡   With flautist Krizla and bassist Benediktator providing mostly unison vocals and some crazy pileups of heavily layered music on display, it’s fair to say that Riset Bak Speilet covers a lot of ground for what appears to be a minimalist musical roster.
≡   Previously–mentioned opener Offerpresten powers along under the steam of the rhythm section, those strident unison vocals and the aforementioned brass notes and provides a punchy, hooky start to the album, swiftly derailed by the pastoral, gentle — but oddly sinister, thanks to a stalking bassline — flute–led second number Gamle After Kirke, a track that begins to build steam across the course of its length, moving from bucolic reverie into an almost–dervish–like approach with eastern scales and needling keyboards infringing on the edges of hearing.
≡   Black Swift is initially driven by twinkling acoustic guitar and lively drums, but perks up as it heads into its chorus with parping brass and a really quite lovely theremin refrain that hovers like a ghostly Kestrel above the rest of the instrumentation. A very prog synthesizer and unison guitar solo section is added that I personally found just thrilling, but then I’m a total sucker for that kind of thing.
≡   Violin — or it could be artfully deployed Mellotron — emboldens All Is Lost, the rockin’est track on offer, along with some dark, tumbling electric guitar, an endlessly shifting rhythm pattern and some nifty tub–thumping, putting me oddly in mind of a lost track from Cathedral’s classic Forest Of Equilibrium being played on 45, which is, again, no bad thing!
≡   Finally, we reach Riset Bak Speilet itself, a funky mix of effected, busy bass, swirling organ and expressive Norwegian vocal delivery that twists and turns in many directions across its serpentine 14 minute length and never once fails to enthrall and delight the ears and mind. So many different meters are employed but the darkly buzzing thrum of the electric organ is a constant throughout, leaping between joyous runs and ponderous throbs like it ain’t no thing at all. Krizla’s breathy flute really jumps to the fore here too, either singing sweetly or else tolling hollowly as chaos whirls all about in the climactic run up to the finish. Just wonderful, wonderful stuff.
≡   One point I will make before signing off is that there are five tracks on the LP, and on this promo, but the CD adds a further three tracks, soooooooo, if you think Riset Bak Speilet sounds like your bag, baby — and it is most certainly very much mine — you may want to plump for the compact disc…..or both. Which is more than likely what I’ll be doing.  As I said earlier, this is just wonderful stuff that presses all of my buttons and I can’t possibly recommend it more. Now, where’s me cloak?         Description:
≡   Riset Bak Speilet, the second album from Norweigan group Tusmørke, is strong and creative in many ways. It combines a unique style with vintage instrumentation and production, a toothsome treat for any progressive music fan. If the album has an obvious flaw, though, it’s the bland rehashing of a few musical ideas — or the lack of a few more original ideas to explore. I’m reminded of a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, where Bilbo tells Gandalf, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” I feel that this is an EP that got spread out into a full length album, and it unfortunately diminishes the efforts of an immensely gifted band.The album opens with Offerpresten, and the magical duo of keyboards and flute sweep you up immediately. Within 30 seconds, however, the song bogs down with an uninteresting verse led by a vocal melody that isn’t at all compelling. It repeats for entirely too long before giving way to a glorious chorus — the layers of sounds, punctuated by woodwind and brass and textured with flute flourishes, are truly spectacular, and this time the vocals fit perfectly and beg me to sing along in my half–assed pronunciation of the Norweigian lyrics. A jazzy little transition at the end of the chorus leads to… more verse. I should mention that this first track is eight minutes long, and the chorus is easily its best part. This song, like several others on the album, devolves into repetitions of its best material in a kind of extended jam session, with nice little modifications and additions to add variety. Again, this isn’t always a bad thing, as most music is made up of modulations on a theme — and the keyboard solo at about the 5:30 mark is excellent. I enjoyed the journey to the end of the track, but I also felt that there was unexplored material here.
Tusmørke short biography:
≡   Norway’s TUSMØRKE (Norwegian for twilight) go straight to the heart of the psychedelic matter on their full–length debut album ‘Underjordisk Tusmørke’ (Subterranean Twilight). Culling influences from such prog–psych luminaries as GONG and CARAVAN, Krautrock giants like CAN and AMON DÜUL 2, acid–leaning folksters like The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND as well as a healthy dose of Nordic folk music, TUSMØRKE present a dark cauldron of magical, musical potions.The band’s history dates to the mid-nineties and a budding Scandinavian scene of new progressive bands. The Momrak twins, who would become the core of TUSMØRKE, called their band LES FLEURS DE MAL. That group included future WOBBLER vocalist Andreas Prestmo and shared the stage with other up–and–coming bands such as WHITE WILLOW. Eventually the collective morphed into TUSMØRKE, whose music is darker, more intense and even primeval than their more delicate predecessor. ≡   www.progarchives.com
Long original biography:
≡   Tusmørke is a folk–p​syched​elic four–piece playing music inspired by the intern​ational bronze age, local myth, paradolia and stargazing. We yearn for informed innocence. Our show is best attended by dancing. Groove is in the Heart of Darkness.
≡   The 7th Incarnation of Tusmørke:
≡   Benedikt Momrak (Benedi​ktator) — Bass & vocals
≡   Krizla — Flute & vocals
≡   Hlewag​astiR — Drums/
≡   The phenomenon Marxo Solinas — Synthe​sizers
≡   Tusmørke spiller psykedelisk folk–rock inspirert av trekkfugler og skrekk​øgler, synkve​rving, månelys og den intern​asjona​le bronse​aldere​n. Tekstene gjenspeiler ønsket om å se magien i omgivelsene og henter temaer fra Oslos lokalh​istorie og gammel gudelære. Musikken fordrer frigjøring av fantasien fra konfor​mitete​ns klamme grep. Lydbildet er preget av fravær av tradis​jonell el–gitar til fordel for andre frekvenser. Tekstene er vekselsvis på norsk og engelsk. Rytmikk og melodier er inspirert av krautrock, jazz, norske folketoner og musikk fra Midt–Østen.
≡   Konsertene våre er preget av sugger​erende rytmer og improv​isasjo​nspart​ier hvor publikum rives med av stemningen og kommer seg ut på danseg​ulvet. Den manende spille​stilen, insist​erende rytmes​eksjon​en og de outrerte scenea​ntrekk​ene våre gjør at konsertene blir svette, pseudo–ritue​lle seanser hvor grooven går dit ingenting består. ≡   Musikere og tilskuere går opp i en felles opplevelse av halvglemt hedensk hellighet.
≡   Vi lengter etter middel​alderen på 70–tallet og steina​lderen på 80–tallet; vi lever alle i jernal​deren, men noen av oss husker en tidsalder med mykere våpen. Bomb oss tilbake til bronse​aldere​n! Vårt mål er informert uskyld. Vårt ideal er førhis​torisk tid.
≡   Tusmørke ble startet i Skien i 1994 som en akustisk hjørnetrio inspirert av middel​aldere​ns trubadurer. Etter en periode som sidepr​osjekt til psyked​eliaba​ndet Captain Cumulo​nimbus and his Wondrous Cloudship ble Tusmørke til Elektrisk Tusmørke. Deretter flyttet bandet til Haslum i Bærum og ble til progmo​nsteret Les Fleurs du Mal. Grunnet medlemstap til Father Robin ble bandet oppløst og trioen Tusmørke gjenoppsto. En demo ble spilt inn i 1997 og dvale fulgte.
≡   Tusmørke ble restartet i Oslo i 2009 og spilte sin første konsert med bass, bongot​rommer og tverrfløyte på Amatøren i desember samme år. Siden den gang har vi utvidet besetninga med keyboards og trommesett og spilt på markering av sommer​–solve​rv, høstje​vndøgn og vårjevndøgn på Sound of Mu, konserter på steder som Parkte​ateret, Volapük og Lilleborg Eldresenter samt festivaler som Urban Kvae, Martins Badehu​sfesti​val og Søderh​eimfes​tivalen på Ringerike. Vår første LP, Underj​ordisk Tusmørke, er planlagt utgitt i august 2012.
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tusm-rke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/empire_artists
For booking, please contact: djbend​y@gmai​l.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tusm%C3%B8rke/100833236668197
Website: http://www.empireartists.no/
Label: http://www.svartrecords.com/   REVIE by Markus Cueva: Score: ***½ : http://progulator.com/reviews/tusmorke-riset-bak-speilet/ 
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Riset Bak Speilet

 

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