Best New Albums Of 2017 Part 5.

Gjermund Larsen Trio-Salmeklang.

Label: Heilo.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Gjermund Larsen Trio, they return with their fourth album Salmeklang. Just like previous albums, bandleader Gjermund Larsen writes most of the music on Salmeklang. The result is an album where the music is atmospheric, melodic album and benefits from an intimacy and sensitivity. It’s as if Gjermund Larsen knows exactly what the listener wants to hear and sets out to deliver it. This he succeeds on doing so on Salmeklang, which is the highpoint of the Gjermund Larsen Trio’s career so far.

Gonimoblast-Gonimoblast Live. 

Label: Stoney Lane Records.

When London and Midlands five-piece electronica band Gonimoblast released their Gonimoblast Live in the summer of 2017, it featured two special guests Norwegian musical pioneers Arve Henriksen and Maja S.K Ratkje. They play their part in the sound and success of Gonimoblast Live, where electronica, jazz and improv are combined by seven multitalented musicians. They create Gonimoblast Live, which is captivating live album where the music is ambitious, adventurous and sometimes, mysterious, as subtleties and surprises are revealed on this truly groundbreaking album.

Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra-The Reason Why Volume 3.

Label: Headspin Recordings.

It was back in 2013 when the Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra released the first instalment in The Reason Why trilogy. Four years later came The Reason Why Volume 3 which was the most ambitious and eclectic volume in the series. It found the Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra fusing free jazz, fusion, jazz and rock with avant-garde, experimental and African music on this eclectic, genre-melting album of cover versions. Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra had kept the best until last and reached heights on The Reason Why Volume 3 which is a triumphant ending to this memorable trilogy.

Hanne Hukkelberg-Trust.

Label: Propeller Recordings.

Hanne Hukkelberg’s fifth album Trust is without doubt the most cerebral and thought-provoking album of her career. It’s also an album that is based on the Norwegian singer-songwriter’s own personal experience and observations. They played their part in the reinvention of Hanne Hukkelberg on Trust, which is a cerebral and thought-provoking album that features melodic, memorable, anthemic and hook-laden music. Trust is also a very personal album from Hanne Hukkelberg that features beautiful, poignant music from the one of Norway’s most innovative and influential singer-songwriters who constantly seeks to reinvent her music.

Hakon Stene and Kristine Tjogersen Michael Pisaro-Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones. 

Michael Pisaro’s Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones’ is a quite beautiful electro-acoustic composition which features seventeen short movements lasting just over an hour. It was reinterpreted and recreated with care and accuracy by Håkon Stene and Kristine Tjøgersen, who create what’s akin to a partially frozen sonic world where even the smallest shifts of emphasis in an otherwise glacial rate of change appear to take on the dramatic status of major events. Meanwhile, the listener reflects on how humans receive and capture sound and music, during this thought-provoking electro-acoustic piece.


Label: Glacial Movements,

When John Roger Olsson a.k.a. Havenaire, released his sophomore album Rabot, the album cover featured two photographs by Swedish geographer Fredrik Enquist from 1910. These images inspired Havenaire to record one of the finest ambient albums of 2017, which features a cinematic sound that is rich in imagery. Suddenly the listener is standing alongside Fredrik Enquist and seeing the terrain as he sees it. This is only possible because of the music on Rabot, which is Havenaire’s stunning sophomore album, and an ambient arctic opus which showcases his cinematic sound that is rich in ethereal beauty and imagery.

Inna De Yard-The Soul Of Jamaica.

Label: Chapter Two Records.

Two generations of musicians spent four days recording The Soul Of Jamaica at Kiddus I’s studio, high above Kingston. It features song that veer between beautiful, melodic and memorable to powerful, spiritual and thought-provoking as artists discuss the social problems that blight not just Jamaica, but the wider world. These morality tales come filled with a powerful and positive message. This adds to the poignancy of the music on what’s one of the finest reggae albums of recent years, The Soul Of Jamaica. It’s imbued with the Rastafarian spirit and soulfulness as eleven artists spread messages of love, harmony, positivity and togetherness.

Irabagon, Hegre and Drønen-Axis.

Label: Rune Grammofon.

It’s nearly five years since the Norwegian-American trio of Irabagon, Hegre and Drønen first collaborated in Berlin in June 2013. Since then, they’ve released their debut album Axis where they combine elements of avant-garde, experimental, free jazz, fusion, improv, noise and post rock on what’s an ambitious, challenging and innovative album. It finds the Norwegian-American trio play with freedom and inventiveness as the two lengthy tracks take countless twists and turns. However, never try to second guess Irabagon, Hegre and Drønen who are at their creative zenith on Axis.

Irene Tillung-Hildersyn.

Label: Heilo

During her career so far, accordionist Irene Tillung has worked as a musician, composer and arranger. More recently, though, she’s been studying film music scoring. Still, she found time to record a concept album Hildersyn that featured brand new music that was played by top folk, jazz and classical musicians. They combined to create a beautiful, distinctive and enchanting album of playful music.

Jan Erik Mikalsen: Saan.

Label: Aurora.

During 2017, Jan Erik Mikalsen emerged as one of the rising stars of the Norwegian contemporary music scene when he wrote the music on Saan. It features three impressive orchestral works which were interpreted by the Oslo Philharmonic and they  Norwegian Radio Orchestra. These pieces are rich in texture and imagery and unmistakably Nordic in sound. Saan is also melodic and  full of dramatic crescendos thanks to the combined talents of the Oslo Philharmonic and Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

Jonas Johansen-Charmcatcher.


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