Dan Berglund : Tonbruket

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Tonbruket
LABELS: ACT
PERFORMER: Dan Berglund (bass), Johan Lindström (guitars, piano), Martin Hederos (keyboards), Andreas Werliin (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ACT 9023-2

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The name of the former EST bassist’s quartet, touring the UK this month, translates as ‘sound factory’, since what the group delivers is a music with a bewildering array of influences which are nonetheless expertly managed. But what’s most striking is its deployment of instrumental timbre as a compositional element that’s as significant as the actual notes.

The influences, ranging from quasi-folk to modern chamber music to thumping stadium rock (and there’s a whole soundworld to be discovered in the simple act of playing loud music on relatively quiet instruments) reflect the diverse backgrounds of the musicians, here knitted together into a commendable unity of purpose.

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The music’s rhythmic elements, even at their most insistent, are handled with just enough of that fractionally-behind-the-beat approach to attract jazz listeners. Sonically, alas, the disc loses stars for being oddly grainy in parts, almost as if it had come pre-ripped to MP3. Roger Thomas