Field Day Rituals
On Field Day Rituals, the doom piano trio Splashgirl exceeds the high expectations that have been building up since the release of the group's album Pressure in 2011. That album was described as "an instant classic" by Uncut and "a triumphant artistic exercise" by Jazzwise, and won a place on a number of "year's best" lists. With their fourth album, Field Day Rituals, the group is taking yet another giant step up and forward. The album is detail-rich, dramatic, full of atmosphere and massive, despite the sometimes viscous and reserved quality of the music. The players themselves describe the music on the album as "lighter and more optimistic than on the previous album," although the soundscape remains so bass-heavy that the average kitchen radio will be under threat of extinction. Here Splashgirl refines its personal idiom, although at the same time the influences of post-rock, classical music and, not least, jazz are even more apparent this time around. The album was recorded in the course of two intense weeks at Avast Studio in Seattle, together with engineer and producer Randall Dunn (Akron/Family, Black Mountain, Sun City Girls, Boris, Kinski, Sunn O))) and Earth). This recording marks the first time the trio has given a producer the authority to take decisions on behalf of the band. "We found that Randall evoked qualities in the music that we ourselves had overlooked. He has an impressively broad musical perspective, and heard the music from angles that were often totally new for us. He got us to play some of the music as though it were classical jazz, which we haven't done for a long time. Randall inspired us to take a favorable look at jazz again." Violist Eyvind Kang (Beck, John Zorn, Marc Ribot) plays on three tracks, and Timothy Mason's subtle modular synths are a welcome surprise in several places on the album. Andreas Stensland Løwe (piano and keyboards), Jo Berger Myhre (double bass), Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød (drums and percussion), Eyvind Kang (viola), and Timothy Mason (modular synth).