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  • Filed under: Review
  • 11/30/2010

Bjørn Torske Kokning

When Oslo's Bjørn Torske released the playful and personal Feil Knapp three years ago, the boundless space-disco scene he had helped grow and nurture was more poised than ever for a masterpiece. But instead of some big, daring statement, he focused on making music that was rustic, lived-in, and human. On Kokning, he retreats farther into that mindset, showcasing his style, his quirks, and the windswept vistas of his productions. While there are moments of stoic beauty, like the restrained strings of "Gullfjellet," other songs sound more madcap. On the 12-minute "Furu," Torske's patience and rich sonic palette result in muted horns and swampy synths that almost sound personified, resulting in a wacky mini-epic that recalls his playful 8-bit dub track "Spelunker." The stretched-out bass and sparse percussion of "Slittle Sko" sound like a happy accident, akin to discovering that a 45 played at 33 1/3 rpm achieves a suspended elegance. As time melts during the song's gradual arc, little embellishments and tight bass and guitar lines mesh like the gears of some fantastic toy. "Langt Fra Afrika" detours into tribal percussion, while the crispy guitar and billowy synths of "Nitten Nitti" achieve a mirthful strut. Torske's use of space in the studio is exemplary, yet Kokning doesn't hit the same heights as Feil Knapp, nor does it feel as breezy. But Torske remains a true personality who revels in the opportunity to indulge his sense of play.

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