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Terrie Ex/Paal Nilssen-Love – Hurgu!

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Terrie Hessels of the Dutch anarcho-punk-improv orchestra The Ex has never stopped with his raw punk attitude, but rather collaborated with numerous people over the years to get inspiration from and absorbing all elements of all music, but continuing to being raw and unpolished. In meetings with the Norwegian hard-hitting avant-garde drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love, two souls of similar attitude meet, although from very different background. Being a jazz drummer, Nilssen-Love holds his sticks well in the improvised area of music, much more than the average jazz musicians do today. Never letting any jazz-rules, however, decide who to collaborate with, has led him to perform with numerous exciting people, outside the jazz box. This makes for some exciting meetings, and exciting music. So also with this recording from 2009.

Hurgu! is hard free-style with a punk-rock attitude, but with the complexity of the most experimental sides of avant-garde jazz. Terrie Ex creates raw, untreated guitar sounds in compassion with the hectic energetic drums of Paal Nilssen-Love, and I know after the first listen to the first track that this will be a favourite of many releases from Nilssen-Love and his label. Exploring various sides of the electric guitar and so also with the drums, it is never predictable which turn the tracks will take, unless expecting to have a fun listen is the predictable a listener is after.

The way the album creates images in my mind, like sounds from the chaotic city on a rollercoaster that crashes into destruction of old times, making room for the future-ridden buildings of new complex meanings, is one thing. But this is also my kind of free jazz. It’s powerful, speedy, chaotic, but with a high degree of interplay and charm. Improvised, yes, but never out of focus. Although the two slow it down at times, they soon build up to the energies described, like a futuristic train in the desert, picking up horses in want of water. Like me, thirsty for the sound and drinks from this well – uncompromising, vibrant, hard, sonic, exploring their noisy palette of sound.

-Ronny Wærnes-

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