The Soegaard Ensemble


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Fredrik Soegaard successfully applies modern technology to sound to create new methods of interactive composing. He calls his trio the Soegaard Ensemble, an apt description as it bears Soegaard's stamp throughout and also gives the impression of a much larger group. Soegaard, a guitarist who is clearly fascinated by electronic manipulation, composed all 19 segments, which are meant to be reprogrammed by the listener according to groupings established by the composer. A 20th track contains video footage from a live concert by the Ensemble, although some may find it difficult to access on their computers. The music comes from a unique perspective, immersed in a twilight zone of warped atmospherics. Most of the tracks are short, except the almost 20-minute 19th, which is intended to encompass all the groupings played simultaneously and repeated endlessly. It is all theoretically fascinating and intellectually impressive, although -- as with all music -- the proof is in the pudding. In this case, the recording is filled with impressive bites, which, on their own, make for fascinating and compelling listening. Electrified guitar meets electronics meets hard-hitting drums meets manipulated trumpet in a synthesized blend that carefully avoids obfuscation -- well, what more could the listener ask for? Soegaard keeps it simple and surprisingly accessible. Like his earlier Chronox, also on Leo Records, this one is full of surprises.

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