Anders Aarum

Another Day In Suck City; If I Was A Panda; Where The Wild People Go; The Slenderman Can; The Perks Of Being A Loafer; Master Of Disaster; Tell Me It’s Raining; Una Muy Bonita (50.45)
Aarum (kyb, syn); Magne Thormodsaeter (b); Ivar Thormodsaeter (d); Julie Dahle Aagard (v). Oslo, 9 and 10 January 2017.
Ozella Music 088

An engaging enough combination of styles here: boppish jazz, dreamy beatscapes and the occasional foray into atmospheric electronics. In-demand session musician Anders Aarum seems comfortable across these different styles, and overall the music is very heavily influenced by those dreamy, tripped-out sounds of Fender Rhodes and Moog. In places there are strong influences from French synth group Air, shades of the James Taylor Quartet and some of the music Eric Legnini put out on his Trippin’ album.

Brothers Ivar and Magne Thormodsaeter are the driving duo behind much of the album’s success, with solid, inventive and sympathetic performances on bass and drums. This rock-solid but flowing foundation gives space for Aarum and friends to noodle around and lose themselves – and the listener – in a variety of pleasantly dreamy compositions. Interestingly the release notes make much of the fact that Aarum’s music is not designed to leave the listener feeling too comfortable for long. That would tend to suggest more variety and surprises than are actually on offer. As with lots of music like this, it’s pleasant, soothing and all rather the same by the end of 50 minutes.
John Adcock

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