Exposé Online banner

Annbjørg Lien — Aliens Alive
(NorthSide NSD6068, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Aliens Alive Cover artAnnbjørg Lien’s career has taken her from traditional Norwegian solo fiddling to 2000’s Baba Yaga, with its progressive and world music influences. On this live release, she and her band (a total of eight musicians, though all never appear on the same track) take us through that entire spectrum, and throw in a few goodies besides. She starts out the show with a lovely bit of solo fiddling called “The Rose,” putting us into a mellow and receptive mood (and reminding us of the traditions behind what she does), then proceeds to Baba Yaga’s “Loki” with keyboard man Bjørn Ole Rasch laying down a wash of synth chords for a flute melody before the familiar music starts. Next up is a fourteen minute suite called “Origins” which rearranges some of the parts of “Ája,” including the drone singing of Ailo Gaup, and adds some other parts, such as a great flute solo from Hans Fredrik Jacobsen. Rasch’s keyboards add an unexpected touch, often a cathedral organ sound (sort of like Wakeman without the continual arpeggios), but sometimes a classic Hammond touch, as in the title track, where he lays down an Emerson-style riff under some heavy percussion. Rasch also covers the low end in the absence of a bass player, and has a hand in arranging almost every track. Acoustic guitarist Roger Tallroth gets plenty of opportunities to shine, though not in a flashy up-front way; his support in arrangements and harmonies is integral to the sound of the band.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Annbjørg Lien

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Wyatt / Atzmon / Stephen - ...For the Ghosts Within – Canterbury icon Robert Wyatt steps out of his comfort zone with acclaimed sax man Gilad Atzmon in an unusual collection of light orchestral covers of standards (and a few re-arranged Wyatt classics)....  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues