Albums of the year: #19

SUPERSILENT: 8

I haven’t actually got round to reviewing this for the simple reason that I’ve yet to grab myself a copy. I have heard it through (once), and have one track on the recent Wire / Rune Grammofon compilation. Even so, it could be considered more than a little presumptious of me to chuck it into my top thirty on so flimsy a basis.

For the uninitiated, Supersilent are a quartet of Norwegian musicians – Arve Henriksen, Helge Sten (aka Deathprod), Jarle Vespestad and Stale Storløkken – who come from differing musical backgrounds and infamously never practice, rehearse or even meet up outside of recording sessions and concert performances. Their LPs are edited down from long sessions of improvisation and betray a wildly eclectic range of influences from jazz, electronica, metal and all sorts of esoterica. That may sound like a recipe for a deathly, unlistenable racket, but the reality is far from that. Supersilent make music that constantly surprises, but is often infused with passages of great beauty. And it is much more accessible than it may sound.

Like I said, 8 is in this list on a fairly flimsy pretext. When I get to grips with it could be lower, but is more likely to be higher. But it’s certain to be played regularly, just like my trusty copies of 1 to 6 (1-3 was actually a triple and 7 was a live DVD).

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