tabloid coverAs a guitarist, in his solo albums, particularly "Mnemonic" (2011) and "Wilderness Exit" (2013), Knut Bjørnar Asphol tended to follow in the footsteps of Norwegian greats such as Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal or Nils Petter Molvær; today, he relies entirely on moods and atmosphere. "Tabloid Red" is an ambient album best described as reminiscent of the classic works of Brian Eno. Perhaps it should be kept in mind that Asphol completed his musical studies in Oslo with a pioneering work on sound distortion and today is a true master of dignified sound manipulation. On the nine tracks of "Tabloid Red", his guitar playing is transformed into mostly spherical soundscapes, some – as with "The Silver Thread" – featuring everyday sounds, or else with percussive elements worked into the mix by way of sampling and programming. Only two pieces, "Lunar" and "Vertical", are pure guitar-solo songs, and yet they defy classification with any particular style.

Additional accents can be found on this album that slowly flows like a dark river, its atmosphere akin to a film noir: guest musicians distributed across several tracks include Harpreet Bansal (violin), André Kassen (saxophone), Torstein Lofthus (drums) and Ole Brandsnes Vårtun (piano). Ultimately, though, the cinematic charm that condenses all of these sound sources owes to the finesse of Jan Bang, who along with Erik Honoré was responsible for nearly all the samples and the programming on the album. In recent years, Jan Bang has not only worked with a variety of jazz musicians but has also let his keen sense of sound come to the fore, particularly in the border regions between electronic music, jazz and sound experiment. Like Asphol, he, too, has composed and recorded film soundtracks; "Tabloid Red" now also benefits from this shared experience of creating images in your mind.

"Tabloid Red" is Knut Bjørnar Asphol's most experimental work to date. It is an ambient gem of solemn beauty, one that requires a great deal of time and idiosyncratically leads us to rediscover the beauty of slowness. Norwegian mood!

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