En Aldeles Forferdelig Sykdom

RCD 2048CD RCD 2048CD

Spunk's third studio album marks the 10th anniversary of this playful and ever experimenting Norwegian quartet. Members Maja Ratkje (voice, Theremin, electronics), Kristin Andersen (trumpet, violin, flute), Lene Grenager (cello) and Hild Sofie Tafjord (French horn, flute, electronics) have been involved in various musical activities since their debut release in 1999, and they remain four musicians with very different backgrounds -- classical, contemporary, jazz, pop, rock, techno, even country -- that makes a musical landscape which is new for most people, even to well-trained musicians. En Aldeles Forferdelig Sykdom also boasts yet another Pippi Longstocking-related title. The title translates as "'An Absolutely Terrible Disease" and on reflection it gets clearer and clearer why the four young women in Spunk so easily identify with such a character. Coming from a formal, academic music education, it hasn't always been so easy to break almost every rule in the book, and this is exactly what they relentlessly have been doing since forming back in 1995. Free collective improvising is one of the most demanding ways of making music: the pitfalls are many -- self-absorption, incoherence, certain standardized "gestures" of free jazz, lack of dynamics, humourlessness -- but Spunk are alert to the dangers. Bold, sometimes witty, always alert, they make engaging music, and keep the sound of surprise alive. They have no fear of bringing the music to the brink of anarchy -- they are interested in extremes as well as subtleties -- but their instincts as composers-in-action also serve them well. Most of all, perhaps, Spunk convince by the force of their own convictions.