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10 Review

by Phil Freeman

Norwegian improv trio Supersilent's latest CD sounds more like their middle-period work than their last album, 9, did. That disc found the three remaining members of the group (drummer Jarle Vespestad having departed) playing Hammond organs and creating Tangerine Dream-like soundscapes. This time, they've returned to other instruments: trumpet, piano, keyboards, and electronics. Some pieces sound like outtakes from trumpeter Arve Henriksen's solo work (he's recorded for Rune Grammofon and also for ECM, and the latter imprint's atmospheric approach seems to have gripped him), while others are louder and more electronic/distorted, but with no rhythm of any kind ever turning up, the music all sounds ambient and environmental. It's meant to drift past you in a vaguely pleasing blur, and it does. Occasionally, something really beautiful will happen, but this is improvised music, so it's never repeated. Existing fans of the group will probably see 10 as a welcome return to form after the unpleasant detour of 9. New listeners will find it a weird mix of extremely breathy trumpet, placid piano, and electronic hisses and crunches, never quite adding up to any kind of coherent statement, but nice while it lasts.

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