Exposé Online banner

Red Kite — Red Kite
(RareNoise RNR105, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-08-27

Red Kite Cover art

This Norwegian group brings together four names that show up on a lot of other recordings. There’s Even Helte Hermansen on guitar, and he’s also in the band Bushman’s Revenge; bassist Trond Frønes plays with Grand General and Sunswitch, two bands we haven’t covered here but are prominent in Scandinavian rock and jazz (and Hermansen is in Grand General as well); on keyboards there’s Bernt André Moen, also known for Dualistic, Green Carnation, and a bunch of session work; and Torstein Lofthus plays drums with several groups we’ve covered (Elephant9, Mumpbeak, Jaga Jazzist) as well as a multitude of others, with appearances on a hundred or so albums. Red Kite finds them in a free-flowing, improvisational setting of loosely structured tunes with plenty of room for creative expression. They straddle the boundary between jazz and rock as if it doesn’t exist (as indeed it doesn’t). Hermansen is often in tripped-out Hendrix mode, his guitar tone mangled by wah-wah and other effects — he is a player more interested in sounds and textures than in fast notes. Guitar does not dominate the proceedings, giving the others plenty of room to contribute. Frønes uses an overdriven electric piano to get a gritty sound that complements the guitar well, and even in the quieter moments has an edge to it that never lets prettiness take over. I’m a little reminded of the rough sound Chick Corea used on Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy. The rhythm section takes its cue from jamming psychedelic bands of the late 60s and early 70s, owing more to Buddy Miles and Billy Cox than more precise fusion-oriented players like Billy Cobham and Rick Laird. Red Kite manages a very appealing balance between outright jamming and arranged sections, certainly favoring the former, but using the latter as touchpoints to cap the improvisation. This album is a joy to listen to, and a testimonial to the wonderful things that can result when talented players get together and have the freedom to let their sensibilities roam.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Red Kite

More info
http://thisisredkite.bandcamp.com/album/red-kite

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ivanhoe - Polarized – Can't get enough of that Iron Maiden? Check out Polarized. There is no doubt, as musicians, Ivanhoe are first rate. The singer, Andy B. Frank is very good, if he's a German singing in English,...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues