I love Emil’s heavily syncopated brushwork

April Records

Emil De Waal – Drums, Electronics, Programming, Sonic Treatments, Flute, Water, Percussion;  Frederik Lundin – Bass Flute (track 1), Baritone Saxophone (track 9);  Rasmus Oppenhagen Krogh – Electric Guitar (tracks 1 & 8);  Cecilie Strange – Tenor Saxophone (tracks 3 & 7);  Henriette Groth – Prepared Piano (track 5) and Clarinet (track 6);  Susan Alcorn – Pedal Steel Guitar

Almost all of the tunes on FIRE ØJNE are duos, but Emil De Waal is calling his newest a solo album.  On all of his previous recordings artistic decisions were made collectively.  He said this time, he made them all on his own.

Emil has recorded many albums as a leader, and he has been a sideman on many as well.  He is a band member with Kalaha.  He released a great duo album last year, STOCKHOLM KOBENHAVN, with Gustaf Ljunggren.  Two of his quartet albums, VENTE and HANDMADE IN DENMARK received a lot of critical acclaim.

‘Regnveijrssang’ is a song from a 1970s Danish cartoon movie.  Frederik Lundin plays a gorgeous bass flute while Emil delicately brushes the snare and cymbals.

Title track ‘Fire Øjne’ sounds ethereal with the soothing resonance from Rasmus Oppenhagen Krogh’s guitar and Emil’s weightless stick work.  The timbre of the guitar and cymbals start to mesh until there is a low shimmering murmur.

There are computer generated dance beats, and It does sound like someone’s sand dancing to Cecilie Strange’s sensuous tenor sax lines on ‘Så.’  It’s just Emil’s delay effected mic brushing against his snare drum head.

‘Paradigme’ is an imaginary walk in an alien outback.  You hear water, there’s footsteps, are those mechanical birds?  There’s ringing and something that sounds like it’s landing.  Emil had fun with this one.  He said it was a mix of new and ancient technologies.  If you cut dry beans in half and string them together you have a bean rattle.  For some of the weirder sounds he used the computer program Logic.  Henriette Groth added the prepared piano.

I love Emil’s heavily syncopated brushwork and Frederik Lundin’s fabulous baritone sax on Ellington’s ‘Limbo Jazz.’  These two match the intensity of Ellington’s 1962 version, and Ellington had seven other musicians with him.

‘Diskurs’ was composed on a glockenspiel using violin bows.  The drums are quietly there in the background, along with some computer-generated sounds.  Henriette Groth’s melancholic clarinet fits perfectly in place.

When Emil was assembling FIRE ØJNE, alongside his friend Frederik Lundin, he wanted to collaborate with musicians he hadn’t worked with before, including female instrumentalists.  Emil said he chose the title FIRE ØJNE because all the recordings are duos; under four eyes so to speak.