Sunday, January 29, 2012

Erland Dahlen: Rolling Bomber

Erland Dahlen (drums; electronics)
Rolling Bomber (Hubro Music; 2012)

It's a little hard to believe that Rolling Bomber is Erland Dahlen's first solo album. You can hear his work across a number of releases; most notably the recent Nils Petter Molvaer album and in Eivind Aarset Sonic Codex Orchestra. Dahlen has a rich and vivid quality to his playing and his compositions on his Rolling Bomber are just as diverse and spirited.  

"Flower Power" comes on like a scene out of Forbidden Planet. Dahlen's drum work and electronics feels someone using a theremin to buzz through your skull. It's groovy and freighting all at once. Dahlen's creative use of electronic and percussion instruments play a significant roll in the sound and structure of the album. The sounds are almost other-worldly in parts. And in others almost tribal. But let's not describe this album as a collection of avant garde noise experiments; Rolling Bomber has a lot of structure to each of its pieces. "Piratman" is an example of the combination of ethnic rhythms and spaced out thoughts. At times it was reminiscent of the solo work from Stewart Copland or even the multi-cultural work of Jon Hassell.

"Pyramid" has the experimental effects you would expect from a bustling record like this. There are ambient effects that are enhanced by Dahlen's dense rolling drum tones. It's a heavy piece filled with crunching, crackles and brushes that are beautiful and entrancing. "Germany" has an interesting opening that after my third glass of (well, that's a different story...) felt like I was listening to a track from the Cure's Pornography album (that's not a bad thing, people). This is probably the most upbeat tempo track on the album yet the perfect way to close these high-tech experiments in sound.

I've been addicted to this album for a couple of weeks now and combining a listen of Nils Petter Molvaer's Baboon Moon and Rolling Bomber, you have a deep lesson in one of the more undiscovered drummer/composer of the next generation. 

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