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 few of the people who find themselves additionally answerable for the ever-reliable Darkish Essence Discs And Karisma Information. Because the identify of this comparatively new firm suggests, Is It Jazz? Information is one thing utterly completely different and splendidly unpredictable. Jazz seems in many various types and sometimes in musically adventurous and intriguing combos with different genres corresponding to 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 considered one of its founders, specifically Martin Kvamappeared like the plain factor to do.

Greetings Martin, I hope all is effectively in your finish. Is it jazz? Information has confirmed to be a most fascinating and noteworthy addition to the music scene. All 4 (5 for those who rely the following ones Flora Eallin by Leagus) of your releases are utterly completely different from one another, however the one factor they’ve in frequent 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 challenge for the label? The place do you see it in ten years?

Martin: Hello Jens, every part goes very effectively right here. Thanks for the sort phrases concerning the standard 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 an excellent house for bands and artists who belong to the slightly 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 frequent thread and all ought to have a reasonably distinctive sound of their very own. So in ten years, I hope individuals will take with no 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 so much 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 distinctive. 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 similar time it could actually shock you with sudden adjustments in temper and harshness. Items like Cristalldansthe optimist Daybreakthe tablecloth grasp of keys and the gentle Wool assortment are very completely different however nice examples of Datadyr’s sound. Odd Erlend Mikkelsen has an excellent sound in his guitar taking part in, and so does Amund Nordstrms drumming rhythm and ystein Hynes bass taking part in. They’re an excellent stay band, as you possibly can inform, and I actually hope to see them do extra exhibits over time.

I’ve performed Comfortable Ffog with fairly a number of mates who often take heed to arduous rock and heavy metallic, they usually adore it. It is fairly punchy and intense stuff in some ways, virtually 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? Report catalog, do not you agree?

Martin: Completely. We really talked about doing this on Karisma Information, our house for progressive rock, however with the fellows’ 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.
Comfortable 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 joyful to announce that Krokofant simply signed with us final week, and we’re actually trying 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. Speak about 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 speedy response whenever you first immersed your self in Florin Eallin?

Martin: Properly, they don’t seem to be straightforward to categorize in any respect, however you possibly can name it very Nordic, trendy, digital jazz. Shortly after we introduced the launch of the label, I obtained an electronic mail from considered one of my former colleagues. I used to work for a music group referred to as Brak that works for everybody from artists to venues and tries to reply all of their questions in regards to the music business. And Brak solely covers the west coast of Norway, mainly 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 might slot in with the brand new label, and sure, it undoubtedly 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 challenge. It has so many layers, and what the North Norwegian Jazz Ensemble brings to the sound is wonderful as effectively. I discovered the primary two Leagus albums on-line quickly after (the place they work as a duo), and people two data are wonderful too. It is usually our first likelihood to work on a challenge associated to the Sami heritage, which I discover very fascinating and nice.

Do you bear in mind the primary jazz file or the primary jazz live performance that made a deep impression on you? I primarily grew to become fascinated by sure elements of jazz due to the Canterbury scene and Comfortable Machine specifically. GOOD, On the Court docket 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 toddler 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 Pageant was held each summer time. It is considered one of Norway’s largest jazz festivals and the environment was actually nice. I often simply noticed free outside exhibits and had no concept who was taking part in, till 1991 after I noticed John Zorns Bare Metropolis on the pageant, with Invoice Frisell on guitar, Fred Frith on bass, and many others., 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 carrying a Carcass t-shirt since Bare Metropolis had simply launched an EP on Earache Information.

In 1996, I used to be capable of see Jan Garbarek with the Hilliard ensemble within the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, and I’ve by no means skilled something so enormous musically. In the course of the massive church flooring stood Garbarek together with his saxophone, taking part in 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.

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

You’ve 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 potential to listen to the good 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 to be to you?

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

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

Martin: Properly, our first album this 12 months got here out in February, it was the free jazz octet Aksel Reds Different Points and the album Do you dream in coloration?. I can not wait to be at 28e of April once we publish the Flora Eallin album by Leagus and the North Norwegian Jazz Ensemble. They’re doing the discharge gig on the Jazzahead Pageant in Bremen, Germany, and I can not wait to see it stay. We signed the band final 12 months referred to as Solstein, which is the jazz fusion challenge of Jacob Holm-Lupo who’s finest recognized 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 12 months 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 can not 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 we have now extra thrilling information coming within the subsequent few days concerning one other band and one other album, so it appears like it is going to be an eventful 12 months!



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