Eivind Opsvik: Overseas V

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COMPOSERS: Eivind Opsvik
LABELS: Loyal Label
ALBUM TITLE: Eivind Opsvik
WORKS: Overseas V
PERFORMER: Eivind Opsvick (bass), Tony Malaby (sax), Brandon Seabrook (guitar) etc


Norwegian-born bassist Eivind Opsvik, resident in New York for 20 years, began his shape-shifting Overseas album series in 2003. With its tight, nervy sound, this latest chapter is a contrast to the more epic IV. Its nine short tunes are heavily rhythmic and the atmosphere changes from jangling to jaunty at the drop of a hi-hat cymbal.

Opsvik says he was channelling 1980s art rock when writing the album and the giveaways are an electronic handclap here and a twitch of Talking Heads funk there. ‘I’m Up On This Step’ sets the tone with its dissonant bursts of notes from the ensemble against a repeated guitar riff. ‘Extraterrestrial Tantrum’ has sour arco bass and retro beats underpinning a simply stated piano melody that grinds to a halt in what might be an engine marshalling yard. Such studio trickery matched with fine musicianship make for an engrossing and sometimes disconcerting programme.


Garry Booth.