Review Summary: The most consistent and accessible release from Norway's avant-garde kings.
'Accessible' is a relative term, but in the case of Supersilent
it's almost completely meaningless. Still, at just under an hour and six tracks long, 6
sticks out as a near-anomaly in Supersilent's catalogue as their most accessible album to date. Comprising of Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Helge Sten of Deathprod fame (noise and electronics), Ståle Storløkken (keyboards) and Jarle Vespestad (drums), Supersilent are about as mysterious a band as they come. Few official photos of them exist (most are taken from live performances) and their music is entirely improvised.
is a difficult record to describe. Part jazz, part electronic, part ambient and part rock, 6
is certainly a record that pushes boundaries. Long improvised trumpet sections, Brian Eno-esque washes of ambience, abrasive stabs of noise, jerky rhythms and simple grooves all occur regularly during 6
, often during the same song. Perhaps due to its improvisational nature, each of 6
's long pieces is markedly different from the one before it. "6.3", for example, climaxes on a beautifully melodic yet messy and harmonically adventurous crescendo that would make Sigur Ros green with envy. "6.2" is one of the album's darkest pieces, built around a laid-back groove and trumpet improvisation that wouldn't be out of place on Bitches Brew
's diversity makes it quite obvious that these four musicians are extremely comfortable with each other, even enough to take a back seat or not appear at all when the song requires it (such as in "6.5", which contains no percussion or trumpet at all).
Ultimately though, Supersilent's major talent lies in their ability to create moments of intense beauty, regardless of whether they are dense or sparse. "6.6" is perhaps the peak of the album in that regard, featuring gorgeous yet unnerving wordless falsetto vocals over the top of sparse piano tinkling. 6
is, simply put, a brilliant, dense and difficult yet consistent release from one of the most forward-thinking avant-garde groups in existence. Fans of jazz, post-rock, electronica and experimental music should listen to this album once to hear its dense, beautiful and interesting textures, and then again and again to discover its constantly unfolding richness that yields something new with each consecutive listen.