Block Ensemble: Hugs & Bugs

‘Hugs and Bugs’ is the product of the compositional mind of saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, whom the notes of this album indicate as its initiator, curator, editor and producer, with the help of electronics visionary Lasse Marhaug. Alberts and Marhaug aren’t among the players reunited for the Block Ensemble, but their presence is always felt. They had a musical puzzle in their hands: the contributions of 14 top improvisers from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, each one recorded in isolation during the pandemic. Both connected the pieces masterfully in one of the most ingenious creations resulting from the challenges imposed to music by the new virus affecting humanity. Curiously enough when Lasse Marhaug is involved, and when one of the performers is Maja Ratkje (here exclusively as one of the singers), this opus is entirely acoustic. Strings, percussion, blowing instruments, pipes (organ and accordion) and vocals are the instruments used, and their association is a feast of timbral and pitch combinations. Not to be missed.

Release details:

Release by Term Azul/Clean Feed 2021


Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje  vocal
Stine Janvin Joh  vocal
Britt Pernille Frøholm  hardanger fiddle
Didrik Ingvaldsen  trumpet
Mette Rasmussen alto saxophone
Lene Grenager cello
Tanja Orning cello
Jasper Stadhouders guitar, kologo and mandolin
Mats Äleklint trombone
Nils Henrik Asheim organ
Frode Haltli accordion
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten double bass
Per Zanussi double bass
Dag Erik Knedal Andersen drums

1. Hugs and Bugs
2. Bugs and Hugs
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