Best of 2016 #18: Skadedyr – “Culturen” (Hubro Music)


The 12-piece band Skadedyr is out doing its own thing, and there’s really nobody else that comes close to sounding like them.  That said, they’re not all alone.  Arguably, they could be considered the Nordic counterparts to the jazz inventiveness of NYC musicians Todd Sickafoose and Chris Lightcap.  On the wildly expressive Culturen, Skadedyr mixes in psychedelic pop music, ambient electronica, indie-rock, Nordic folk and anything else that seemed like a good ingredient at the time.  But the point isn’t so much the ingredients as it is the determined process of using whatever tools available to forge a raw tunefulness out of misshapen melodies.  The grumble and growl of “Bie” leads into a raucous chorus bordering on euphoria.  “Datavirus” wobbles between states of post-bop and post-jazz.  Or how about the way that “Trålertrall” transforms from an acerbic dissonance to waves of gorgeous harmonies.  There’s nothing conventional about the means or the methods employed by the ensemble, and yet it’s made to coalesce in kaleidoscopic imagery that almost seems logical.

Jazz from Oslo, Norway.

Read more about the album on Bird is the Worm (LINK).