…An inimitable soundscape that encapsulates the audience.

Bead Records CD BEAD44

Alex Bonney: trumpet, electronics; Pierre Alexandre Tremblay: bass, electronics; Emil Karlsen: drums; unnamed voice/s

[‘light.box’ is the duo of Alex Bonney (trumpet/electronics) and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (bass/electronics)]

Recorded at Huddersfield University, 16-17/Oct, 2021

Emil Karlsen comes from the extreme north of Norway, but lives now in the UK.  He is a jazz drummer who is recognised as an Improv musician on the UK scene and who is more than worthy of our attention.  More specifically, he is seen as an outstanding improv drummer and plays with such artists as Matthew Bourne, Phil Durrant, Ed Jones, Neil Metcalfe, Evan Parker and Philipp Wachsmann as well as the London Improvisers Orchestra.

Musique Concrète?  You bet.  Avant and inventive? – The Undanced Dance moves to uncertain, but inspiring rhythms, articulated in Karlsen’s hands. His drumming is all over the place, but that does not mean that it is uncontrolled, merely that it is free.

The light-box duo’s interactions become gradually more collaborative and Karlsen’s percussion more eventful, more bizarre, all together delivering an inimitable soundscape that encapsulates the audience.

The music is roomy, but its shadowy ambience proposes hidden secrets which reveal themselves as your rewards for close, attentive listening.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham