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Still Life with Eggplant

RCD 2143CD RCD 2143CD

In October of 2012, Motorpsycho entered Brygga Studio in Trondheim for the first time in many, many moons -- this being the studio where they recorded a few of their first albums some 20 years ago -- the vibes were good, and the music happened like it was supposed to. As this was the first time in quite a while that the band recorded stand-alone songs -- as opposed to pieces connected by a concept or a narrative -- it felt quite odd working in this way again, but it was also a refreshing approach that highlighted other aspects of their work that perhaps had been ignored over the last few years. In the end, it still very much felt like Motorpsycho music, albeit with a twist: for three days of the two-week session, the core trio was augmented by guitarist Reine Fiske. Best-known for his work in Swedish psych-combos Dungen and The Amazing, Reine is an old acquaintance of the band, and his recent exploits with Ståle Storløkken's Elephant9 made the pairing seem like a potentially interesting one for Motorpsycho as well. It's always good to have a wild card and someone from the outside to mirror your work, and the fruits of Reine's involvement, as presented on this album, speak for themselves: his finger-picking dexterity on the acoustic guitar provides both "Barleycorn" and the old Love chestnut "August" with a solid organic bed for the musical escapades of the other three, and on "The Afterglow," his tasteful guitar shadings and mellotron work adds immensely to the mood of the song. But it's on "Ratcatcher" that his talents shine the best: he slips right in there, and proceeds to glue Snah's lead guitar and Bent's "lead bass" together in a different way than heard before, adding light and shade and splashes of color to the musical repartee, but never getting in the way or hogging center stage in an unwelcome fashion. It's the work of a musician with huge ears and an uncanny musical insight.