Best of 2019 #12: Erlend Apneseth Trio with Frode Haltli – “Salika, Molika”


Earlier this year, I gave a pretty thorough breakdown of what this album is about and why it’s so damn compelling.  The Erlend Apneseth Trio with Frode Haltli created something timeless, music that has deep roots and eyes to the stars and beyond.  But now having spent nearly a year with this recording, and had the time to experience it at first listen, grow increasingly enamored with it, analyze it objectively for a write-up, and then get to where it settled in as one of my go-to albums when I just wanted some music to fill up the space in my house and my life, it’s gotten to where Salika, Molika elicits more abstruse reactions and oblique connections.

That past-future timelessness, and how it’s couched within a foundation of folk musics, it reminds me of other brilliant and adored recordings, like Down Deep from the trio of Ernst Reijseger, Harmen Fraanje, and Mola Sylla, and, similarly, Codona 3 by another trio, of Don Cherry, Collin Walcott, and Naná Vasconcelos.  All of these recordings had a way with their melodies, where they could come head on or an indirect route and nail their target, and they each conducted an inspired rhythmic discourse, the kind where its just as likely to compel the foot to tap as trigger the brain to try to interpret what it all means.  They each utilized unconventional instrumentation, and yet made it sound like something common to everyday life, as if crickets bathed in moonlight or the electric hum of the city at daybreak.  These are old soul recordings.  They transcend the bookends of our own personal timelines and make us feel as a part of something more eternal, entering a special place where art becomes immortality, and everyone it touches.

The musicians tapped into that source for this session, and it’s magical.

Your album personnel:  Erlend Apneseth (hardanger fiddle), Stephan Meidell (baritone acoustic guitar, zither, live sampling and electronics), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums, percussion) and Frode Haltli (accordion).

Released on Hubro Music.

Music from Aal, Buskerud, Norway.

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