Free Jazz Blog

Muddersten's aesthetics are opposite to the ones of Niels Van Heertum or Microtub, even though Taxt, with his microtonal tuba and electronics, is a key player in this trio. Joining him is fellow Norwegian guitarist Håvard Volden, who adds tape loops, and the Swedish, Copenhagen-based guitarist, Henrik Olsson, who plays here only on objects, friction and piezo. 

Mudderstan is focused on the tension between motion and friction. It visualizes its mode of operation as the hydraulic cycle in muddersten, a type of mud rock whose original constituents were clay. First, the clay is compressed with fat sand, dried out, and turn into stone. Then, delicate flowers settle through its cracks and fissures and begin to soak water. Eventually, the water will gain enough pressure from below and force the surface to break. Mudderstan attempts to replicate sonically this persistent natural cycle to create soundscapes that capture continuous motion, still, motion that creates friction. 

The trio was established in 2015 and Karpatklokke is its debut album, recorded in February 2016. The seven improvisations offer a series of scattered and colliding sounds - fragmented, low breathes, alien-sounding ones, white noises blended with electronic, processed sounds - all distorted and mutated into erratic, abstract electroacoustic storms. The chaotic and irregular sonic scenery is indeed hardened, tough and merciless. But it also suggests a hypnotic palette of weird colors and bizarre sounds, flowing in its own special way. Patiently, and with great focus and conviction, Mudderstan distills these sonic storms into fascinating, almost psychedelic soundscapes.