Music Gallery (USA)
by Bryce Gallanter, 19.03.10
BALLROGG [KLAUS ELLERHUSEN HOLM/ROGER ARNTZEN] -
Insomnia (Bolage 10; EEC) Featuring Klaus E. Holm on alto sax, clarinet
& feedback and Roger Arntzen on acoustic bass with Lars Myrvoll on
guitar & laptop. This is the second disc that we've gotten from this
unique Norwegian duo. Roger Arntzen is also the bassist for In the Country
who have three discs out on Rune Grammofon. Although Ballrogg is mainly
a duo, they know how to create dramatic landscapes with just bass and
a sax or clarinet. Beginning with "N.R.E.M." the duo create
a most haunting landscape with minimal plucked bass and hushed clarinet.
Klaus adds an occasional distant feed back drone to keeps things eerie
and a bit off balance. The acoustic bass and clarinet sound especially
good together as they both have a sort of wooden tone. On "Monkeytown"
it is to tell the difference between the feedback and the sax as they
both are twisting their notes inside out. Ballrogg actually perform a
cover of Morton Feldman's "Patterns in a Chromatic Field" which
they also twist into an odd shape. No doubt Mr. Feldman would turn over
in his grave but I found it to be somewhat charming. I often found this
disc to be better when I wasn't paying close attention, since the dig
the vibe more than execution. No doubt this will grow on me (like fungus)
as I check out a few more times.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery