That elusive sweet spot between genres styles and ideas is where you’ll find the most progressive music. In the confluence between various musical dialects and traditions, there exists a moment where platitudes and familiar tropes are superseded for a new divine musical language. Where musical ideologies succumb under weight of their own history and traditions, and concepts or ideas modulate between different factions, that’s where you’ll find the progression in music that encapsulates an artistic avant garde of a time.
Today, that progressive sweet spot lies somewhere between the sound sculptures of electronic music and the concepts and practises of the extended Jazz scene. Utilising the tools of the Jazz tradition in the modern vernacular of electronic instruments, this era has given rise to a music that breaches the institutionalised and negates the familiar, as alien sound structures are brought to life through archaic rhythms and dissonant musical voices.
Since the extended Jazz world and electronic music world has converged it has inspired healthy collaboration between its worlds, and from Mika Vainio to Efdemin one style of music can easily live within the other’s lexicon today.
Stian Balducci (+plattform) is part of a new generation that has embraced the confluence between genres both as his +plattform alias and his eponymous artistic experiments and although his label, Gråtone has mostly been pre-occupied with Techno through its first two releases, its third release The Periphery of Building sees the label moving into a more experimental, extended Jazz hemisphere.
The Periphery of a Building provides Audun Kleive and Jan Bang a platform to express the utter most opposite extreme corner of this music. Two notable figures converging at the Kristiansand conservatory and Punkt festival, Kleive and Bang are veterans in their field, sharing many accolades between them and on this record they also call in a bright new era for Jazz in Norway through Balducci’s younger generation.
The record sees the pair tap into something primal as live sampled pieces from various Punkt remix events create an introspective sonic collage when they are reconceptualised in the recorded format. Featuring live recordings from Atom TM, Clarinet Factory, Eténèsh Wassié & Mathieu Souriceau recorded over the course of a decade and Jan Bang’s annual Punkt festival, The Periphery of a Building is Duchamp’s ready-made inanimate sculptures coming to live in the sonic realm.
Beautifully serene passages juxtapose abstract rhythms to create surreal amalgamations. Like Dali’s dripping clock, time is in the abstract and pre-primordial temporal measure is engaged. Where woodwinds and strings croon in piteous reverie, that’s where Kleive’s rhythms are at their most pivotal, destroying the fragile serenity with chaotic flair. Where Matmos and Max Richter converge that’s where you’ll find this The Periphery of a Building.
Over the course of four tracks they toss and turn through the recordings, continuously goaded forward by that incessant percussive drive. Their grand opus Sister Silver is the most fully realised contortion of their musical document, but Azmari Woman and Azmari Beat possibly hold the most intriguing results of this project and is the closest the two Jazz veterans drift to entirely adopting a modern electronic aesthetic. The vocals operating across those two tracks offer some great celestial bridge where Kleive’s awkward otherworldly rhythms reside.
For an uninformed listener however Sister Silver offers the most direct, accessible way into the record, but it’s the Azmari set where you’d find the most intriguing prospect for the future avant garde of electronic and extended Jazz music. I doubt that these pieces will be making any appearances in DJ sets soon, but as electronic music turns nostalgic and Jazz swims ever further into narcissus’ pool, Kleive and Bang offer the most exciting prospect for electronic music and beyond in The Periphery of a Building.