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Audio CD, November 21, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

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Streamer staples together recordings from a couple of live gigs from 2002, mostly performing material recorded and issued on another CD not long before... Frozen being something of a war-dance, Marrow emerging from synthetic groans into hefty thumping beat with background voices then a reinstatement of plaintive trumpet. On Little Indian there s more and different plaintive trumpet, with a female voice somewhere in the background. I suspect (slapaboom, slapaboom, slapaboom) there might be good reason for my preferring those portions of Little Indian which have no metronomic element, between the pseudo-strings start and the serious quiet organ chords which signal that we are now in Kakonita . The applause after that one was well deserved...

Perhaps one of the curious percussion noises registered as a click of the fingers and took me out of the hypnosis on which this music seems especially to depend for its effect. Inventive and a forerunner of later work Molvaer might be, he s also a lovely lyrical trumpeter selective as to what he plays, an artist of atmospheres. --Popmatters

Trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, surely one of the founding fathers of the Norwegian nu jazz scene, continues to mine the depths of ambient texture with Streamer , a live album recorded in Norway and London in '02. Comprised mainly of material from NP3 (EmArcy, '02), with the exception of the title track from Solid Ether (ECM, '00), Molvaer demonstrates that music can be as much about the fabric of sound as it is more lyrical concerns.

That's not to say that Molvaer isn't a lyrical player. In fact, one of the things that has differentiated him from the rest of the electronica crowd is a strong predilection for melody. Even on more pulsing breakbeat tracks like "Frozen," Molvaer plays with a thematic sense, weaving ideas in and out of the spacious fabric created by his group. "Little Indian" has the closest thing to a song form, and "Kakonita" finds Molvaer, at least at the start, alone, naked and exposed. Guitarist Eivind Aarset joins in to make it a duet, with a warm and rich sound that is no surprise to fans of his own Electronique Noire albums.

If this is representative of the flow of a typical Molvaer performance, then it is clear that Molvaer has an uncanny sense of dynamics and pacing. Starting out with the more danceable rhythms of "Frozen" and "Marrow," the set breathes in the middle with the more ambient tracks "Little Indian," "Kakonita" and "Sauna," before gradually building the pace to the throbbing finale of "Solid Ether." Like Aarset's own work, Molvaer builds sets that are like travelogues, taking the listener on unexpected journeys that somehow capture the cool of Norway, while feeling at the same time warm and supple.

But in the final analysis it's all about sound and texture, tone and timbre. Other than Molvaer's lyrical statements, which only make up a small fraction of the whole performance, the emphasis is not on any kind of soloing in the traditional sense. Drum and bass lock into deep grooves while Molvaer and Aarset work at creating atmospheres that are strange yet somehow organic, with DJ Strangefruit layering added sonic threads.

With the plethora of electronica artists emerging in the past few years, it's interesting to note that the best work that is at its most pure seems to be coming out of Norway. Projects like keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conceptions in Jazz and Eivind Aarset's aforementioned Electronique Noire seem to be forging a whole new direction in modern music that incorporates elements as diverse as Brian Eno and Bill Laswell. But at the heart of the movement is clearly Nils Petter Molvaer, who, with '97's landmark ECM release Khmer , created an entirely new aesthetic. Streamer continues to develop his conception, taking the constructs of the studio and placing them on the stages of clubs around the world. --All About Jazz

Let's pick up where we left off seven years ago by reinstating the last, deleted paragraph of something I wrote for The Observer about Nils Petter Molvaer's first album. 'The result is a relentlessly subtle texture of sound in which the trumpet barely manages to lift clear of the rhythms that are always threatening to engulf it. This is crucial to the emotional tension of the music because, historically, the improvising instrument has been engulfed. That is to say, jazz has been buried beneath the landslide advance of techno. This is why Molvaer's music is so prescient, so important and, above all, so poignant: he accepts jazz as a glimmer in the millennial twilight.' --The Observer

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B000JJ4PPS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Markus Beeyt on November 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I found this album browsing for jazz... Whoa! I like it. Sometimes a bit tedious for the impatient listener, this music is best enjoyed in darkness while sitting still, or driving alone down a country road during a storm. This is a "mood" selection of tunes, spooky and full of pathos. Nils Molvaer plays his trumpet in sustained, echoic notes, sometimes "outside" the key signature and chord progression, but in a way that pulls you IN. He calls upon his trumpet, although typically a bright and flashy instrument, to descend to the depths of a sad viola in a pedantic classical piece composed in a minor key. Drums and deep bass throb rhythmically throughout the selections with just enough variation to keep one interested and alert for the next change.

I recall Pink Floyd's "Echoes" or some of Eno's music that create a similar state for the listener. You will like this electro-jazz disc. It grows on you. Buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. JOHN R. GILLIE on March 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow!I have been listening to Nils Petter Molvaer for about 3 years now, and my admiration grows with each new disc I hear. His absorption of the Miles Davis heritage is clear, but there is also a restraint and discernment in his playing which delights and surprises.
Streamer has been on repeat in my car since it arrived, and I have not even begun to tire of it yet.As an introduction to the NPM catalogue, or an example of superb live music it is one of the best. The use of samples is seamless and adds a whole new dimension to already complex music.
This is one you shouldn't miss.
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By James Quinn on June 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This outing is like no other recording. Unique,pensive,lumbering,cathartic and celebratory in nature,after hearing while sitting in a dark room you will be re born. I love this recording,there is actually nothing Nils does that I don't like, and to think I only discovered his music 6 months ago is all the more moving.At the extremes this music erupts like the old Mahavishnu Orchestra,when it grooves it's Trip Hop ambient complete with tape loops and when it is galloping full force down the track it is very reminiscent of Miles Davis chasing the Voodoo down. I wish he would tour the states.
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