Dreaming in coloration An interview with Martin Kvam from Is It Jazz? Discs – RAMzine

Dreaming in color An interview with Martin Kvam from Is It Jazz?  Discs - RAMzine

An extremely thrilling and musically eclectic Norwegian label named Is it jazz? Folders was launched in 2022 by a number of the people who find themselves additionally accountable for the ever-reliable Darkish Essence Discs And Karisma Information. Because the title of this comparatively new firm suggests, Is It Jazz? Information is one thing utterly completely different and splendidly unpredictable. Jazz seems in many alternative kinds and infrequently in musically adventurous and intriguing combos with different genres reminiscent of progressive rock, Americana, electro, black metallic and psychedelic rock. From explosive and face-melting to introspective and hauntingly lovely, the label roster shows utterly completely different views on the style, and whether or not you are into arduous rock or prog, there are issues that it is best to examine right here. A dialog with one in every of its founders, particularly Martin Kvamappeared like the apparent factor to do.

Greetings Martin, I hope all is nicely in your finish. Is it jazz? Information has confirmed to be a most fascinating and memorable addition to the music scene. All 4 (5 in the event you depend the following ones Flora Eallin by Leagus) of your releases are utterly completely different from one another, however the one factor they’ve in widespread is an appreciation of jazz and that they relate to stated style in a number of methods. What’s your imaginative and prescient and your long-term undertaking for the label? The place do you see it in ten years?

Martin: Hello Jens, every thing goes very nicely right here. Thanks for the type phrases concerning the common-or-garden beginnings of Is It Jazz? Information and our first releases. Sure, its 4 very completely different variations, and we had been very pleased with every of them. The label’s imaginative and prescient and plan is to be dwelling for bands and artists who belong to the somewhat broad areas of the jazz style. Possibly a few of them linger on the periphery of what we often consider as jazz, however all have improvisation as their widespread thread and all ought to have a reasonably distinctive sound of their very own. So in ten years, I hope folks will take without any consideration {that a} launch on Is It Jazz? Information is synonymous with top quality jazz music that challenges and excites the listener.

Wool assortment by Datadyr is comparatively straightforward on the ear, however there’s quite a bit happening by way of textures and layers. This additionally applies for the grasp of keys EP, launched a number of weeks in the past. What are your favourite tracks from these guys and what attracts you? I attended their present at Apollon Platebar a number of weeks in the past, and it was excellent. Mixing explosive rock, Americana and melancholy jazz as they do is a stroke of genius.

Martin: I actually benefit from the band’s free-floating really feel and the playfulness of their sound. It is each melodic and fairly groovy, and on the identical time it will probably shock you with sudden adjustments in temper and harshness. Items like Cristalldansthe optimist Daybreakthe tablecloth grasp of keys and the mushy Wool assortment are very completely different however nice examples of Datadyr’s sound. Odd Erlend Mikkelsen has an important sound in his guitar enjoying, and so does Amund Nordstrms drumming rhythm and ystein Hynes bass enjoying. They’re an important dwell band, as you may inform, and I actually hope to see them do extra reveals over time.

I’ve performed Mushy Ffog with fairly a number of buddies who often take heed to arduous rock and heavy metallic, they usually find it irresistible. It is fairly punchy and intense stuff in some ways, nearly like a mixture of jazz rock, progressive rock and psychedelic arduous rock, and the album cowl has a splendidly surreal vibe to it. This one might be closest to progressive rock in Is It Jazz? Document catalog, do not you agree?

Martin: Completely. We really talked about doing this on Karisma Information, our dwelling for progressive rock, however with the blokes’ jazz expertise and the label launching, we went with Is it Jazz? Recordsdata right here. Because the band says themselves, they’re 4 jazz guys who attempt to play traditional rock and prog, however fail miserably due to their jazz background.
Mushy Ffog founder Tom Hasslan, together with drummer Axel Skalstad, additionally performs within the jazz rock band Krokofant, which has already launched 5 albums. So we’re very glad to announce that Krokofant simply signed with us final week, and we’re actually wanting ahead to listening to their new album when it is prepared.

One is certainly shocked listening to Leagus and their distinctive model of deeply atmospheric music. Discuss evoking soundscapes that tug on the heartstrings. Fairly darkish and melancholic tunes. How can we even outline or categorize them? How did you meet the duo and what was your rapid response while you first immersed your self in Florin Eallin?

Martin: Effectively, they are not straightforward to categorize in any respect, however you might name it very Nordic, fashionable, digital jazz. Shortly after we introduced the launch of the label, I acquired an e-mail from one in every of my former colleagues. I used to work for a music group known as Brak that works for everybody from artists to venues and tries to reply all of their questions concerning the music trade. And Brak solely covers the west coast of Norway, principally the county of Vestland. Fredrik Forssman has this sort of work for northern Norway and works from Troms. So he despatched me information and hyperlinks, and he requested me if Leagus may slot in with the brand new label, and sure, it positively does. Me and the remainder of the workplace instantly fell into the music and the entire idea round it, and fell in love with the entire undertaking. It has so many layers, and what the North Norwegian Jazz Ensemble brings to the sound is superb as nicely. I discovered the primary two Leagus albums on-line quickly after (the place they work as a duo), and people two data are superb too. Additionally it is our first probability to work on a undertaking associated to the Sami heritage, which I discover very fascinating and nice.

Do you keep in mind the primary jazz file or the primary jazz live performance that made a deep impression on you? I primarily turned curious about sure points of jazz because of the Canterbury scene and Mushy Machine particularly. GOOD, On the Courtroom of the Crimson King by King Crimson additionally had some jazzy segments that stored me enthralled, in order that LP should even be included.

Martin: As a baby I lived within the metropolis of Molde for a number of years and was all the time fascinated by how the town modified when the Molde Jazz Competition was held each summer season. It is one in every of Norway’s largest jazz festivals and the ambiance was actually nice. I often simply noticed a number of free outside reveals and had no thought who was enjoying, till 1991 once I noticed John Zorns Bare Metropolis on the pageant, with Invoice Frisell on guitar, Fred Frith on bass, and so on., and as a shock vocalist there was Mike Patton of Religion No Extra. In 1991. It was loopy! I met the band afterwards, and John Zorn thought it was nice that I used to be sporting a Carcass t-shirt since Bare Metropolis had simply launched an EP on Earache Information.

In 1996, I used to be in a position to see Jan Garbarek with the Hilliard Ensemble within the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, and I’ve by no means skilled something so big musically. In the midst of the large church flooring stood Garbarek together with his saxophone, enjoying fantastically and atmospherically, and within the varied corridors and aisles across the nave these chants and chants of Gregorian monks got here from the Hilliard Ensemble.

Have been these encounters jazz? I want to assume so, however in all probability not within the purest and most common sense of what you name jazz. However as you say, quite a lot of progressive bands, particularly within the classical Canterbury scene or the RIO bands, had been and nonetheless are extra sometimes jazz than quite a lot of the stuff that is put within the jazz style. And do not forget Frank Zappa 😊

You will have been concerned in label administration for a few years now. What holds you again and what motivates you?

Martin: It is the love of music, the need to get as many individuals as doable to listen to the nice music I am uncovered to and to assist bands get their music on the market. And I do not know if I am match to work with the rest now. I am caught ha-ha.

What does a typical day on the workplace appear like to you?

Martin: It often begins with a espresso, finding out approaching deadlines and getting a fast overview of gross sales. After which there are emails for many leftovers from the day. I am often the one ensuring the press is aware of what’s popping out, so I spend quite a lot of time sending out promos, answering questions on releases, finding out interviews, getting evaluations and all that. Then I do a justifiable share of funding requests and reporting on them. I additionally deal with a number of the contract discussions, and for the artists/bands I am assigned to, I’ve to ensure now we have all the data we have to get it proper. So it varies on a regular basis, which I recognize. And it is generally fairly hectic, which I additionally recognize.

What does the remainder of 2023 maintain for Is It Jazz? Information?

Martin: Effectively, our first album this yr got here out in February, it was the free jazz octet Aksel Reds Different Facets and the album Do you dream in coloration?. I am unable to wait to be at 28e of April after we publish the Flora Eallin album by Leagus and the North Norwegian Jazz Ensemble. They’re doing the discharge gig on the Jazzahead Competition in Bremen, Germany, and I am unable to wait to see it dwell. We signed the band final yr known as Solstein, which is the jazz fusion undertaking of Jacob Holm-Lupo who’s greatest identified for his work within the prog style and his band White Willow. Keith Carlock of Steely Dan and Toto performs drums on the album, and the sound is so fusional it makes me blush. We additionally signed final yr with native band Shakai, and they are going to be recording their 2n/a album this spring. Kenneth Kapstad (Spidergawd, ex-Motorpsycho) simply joined them on drums, and I am unable to wait to listen to this album. We additionally just lately signed drummer extraordinaire Erland Dahlen for his 5e solo album. As I discussed earlier, Krokofant simply signed with us for his or her 6e album, and now we have extra thrilling information coming within the subsequent few days concerning one other band and one other album, so it seems like it’ll be an eventful yr!



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