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Bird is the Worm:
"What does appear to be of preeminent importance is giving artists from disparate sounds and origins wide latitude in expressing themselves with as much innovation as their hearts could bear. Unfettered creativity, then sent out into the world for all of us to hear? I like that. You might, too".

El Intrusio:
"Las piezas contenidas en Rusk han sido especialmente compuestas para este proyecto por cada uno de los músicos participantes; pero aun en su implícita diversidad, encuentran un común denominador en la búsqueda por desafiar las nociones tradicionales de géneros musicales y en su manifiesta orientación a recorrer territorios estéticos inexplorados o poco transitados.".

Nordische Musik:
"Ein durchweg empfehlenswerter Sampler, um neue Anregungen zu bekommen. Und schönes Artwork von Nicole Natri".

"All in all, this is a compilation full of little masterpieces, where you breathless almost 55 minutes long and each listens agreeably surprised. An overwhelming music document (translated from Dutch)".


Various Artists



Joint Release with Fenetre Records

01. Le Havre 
Clayton Thomas   

02. Six Of One
Jon Irabagon

03. 4
Kim Myhr & Sebastien Roux

04. Wet Color
Toby Driver

05. There's A Crack In Everything
Kammerflimmer Kollektief

06. Brushed Like A Dry
Svarte Greiner & Kjetil Møster    

07. Unfolded Rings
Okkyung Lee

08. Winter Blues
Ben Gerstein

09. Sticks, Eyes, Feet And Brains
Eivind Opsvik

10. Quincy-Mayger
Nate Wooley

11. We Took Him Out To See The Sun

Crossing borders. That is one of the images that springs to mind when listening to the the compilation Rusk , conceived by Brooklyn based record label; Loyal Label, and the Norwegian label; Fenêtre Records. One thing is that it collects music from artists from four different continents , another is that a couple of them – namely Clayton Thomas, Okkyung Lee and Eivind Opsvik – were born on a different continent than where they are now based. But even more importantly is how the music stretches across narrow genre definitions, such as “ experimental”, “post-rock”, or “ jazz”.

The music on Rusk could be said to include elements from all of the above, but like with so many of the most interesting, young instrumental based musicians today, Rusk sees artists mixing and and matching influences in order to make new, challenging music that defies traditional notions of music genres.

Some of this music here springs out of jazz, but is effectively much more than that. Take the piece by the outstanding saxophonist Jon Irabagon, whose “Six of One” uses overdubbed recordings of his playing in order to create the notion of a larger ensemble, reminiscent of the music of World Saxophone Quartet. Okkyung Lee (originally form South-Korea) is also heard in duet with herself on “Unfolded Rings”, a captivating improvisation. Then there is the Norwegian born, New York based bassist Eivind Opsvik and his “Sticks, Eyes, Feet and Brains”, where he plays arco bass over a looped, rudimentary beat that recalls minimalist post-punk band Young Marble Giant.

Nate Wooley's contribution, “Quincy-Mayger”, sees him play long trumpet notes over a backdrop of electro acoustics that rise to a frightening crescendo, and then fades out. Electro acoustics also feature on Kim Myhr & Sebastien Roux's “4”, which, together with Toby Driver's solo guitar piece “Wet Color”, has an almost liquid quality, like droplets of sound.

A translation of the Norwegian word “Rusk” is “debris”. That is not to say the music here seems broken down or discarded, rather, think of it as a collection of small pieces. There is a minimalist element here: The selections are either solo (Clayton Thomas, Jon Irabagon, Toby Driver, Okkyung Lee, Ben Gerstein, Nate Wooley, Eivind Opsvik) , duo (Kim Myhr & Sebastien Roux, Svarte Greiner & Kjetil Møster) or in two cases, trio recordings (Splashgirl, Kammerflimmer Kollektief). Moreover, the music is often quiet, contemplative or haunting, making use of relatively few building blocks to create magnificent little moments of challenging and genre defying music.

(Chris Monsen)

Artwork by Nicole Natri
Cover design by Allan Näslund