Exposé Online banner

Sorten Muld — III
(NorthSide NSD6055, 2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01

III Cover art

Back in 1999 I fell in love with Sorten Muld’s first NorthSide release, Mark II (reviewed in #19), which easily made my year-end list. Now I’m happy to report that III is even better, presenting a stunning blend of electronics and folk music. Overall, 2001 finds the band more energetic, with fewer quiet moments and more uptempo drive. Ulla Bendixen’s voice provides the main focus; Henrik Munch and Martin Ottosen (this time credited simply with “electronics”) sculpt sound like Henry Moore sculpts stone, all sensuous unexpected curves. The six-piece Sorten Muld Orchestra adds a wide variety of important coloration, from distorted electric guitar to bagpipes to hurdy-gurdy, including a wide selection of percussion. In spite of the heavily programmed nature of the basic tracks, the music comes off as very organic, managing to combine beats that would be at home in a dance club with imaginative and unexpected sounds that warrant repeated listening at home. The whole disc exhibits incredible attention to detail, as if Munch and Ottosen went over ever second of it, touching up each instant with something tasty, be it effects, distant fiddles, or (for all I know) the sighing of dance-weary tree sprites. All in all, this is one of the most successful fusions of electronics and traditional elements I’ve yet heard, and a sure bet to return to my CD changer frequently.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Sorten Muld

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John McLaughlin - Thieves and Poets – The solo acoustic works of guitar icon John McLaughlin have been in a world class category for the past thirty-five years. Thus finding a suitable compatriot in former student Yan Mareze with a...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues