01 - Lanke (00:04:13) 02 - Mangelen Min (00:04:56) 03 - Lette (00:01:47) 04 - Rygge Rygge La La (00:02:45) 05 - Ta Regnet (00:06:50) 06 - Sangen Min (00:03:56) 07 - Klokkespillsymfonien (00:01:28) 08 - Vil Du Dit Nok (00:05:33) 09 - Trosten (00:02:24) 10 - Gronnere Under (00:01:02) 11 - Alt Forsvinn (00:02:51) 12 - Blokk Omni (00:01:16)
It happens only rarely that musicians working with improvisation at the sharp end of experimental practice are so attuned to contemporary style and taste that their work reaches beyond “the serious” or “the popular” to come out the other side sounding like a genuinely new form resonating on both levels simultaneously. Building Instrument – the Bergen-based trio of Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Øyvind Hegg-Lunde and Åsmund Weltzien – are such a group. On new album, ’Mangelen Min’(following up the acclaimed self-titled Hubro debut from 2014, and ‘Kem Som Kan å Leve’ from 2016), they mix electronic echoes of the classical baroque, drums that sound almost melodic, fragile but powerful vocals, Balkan flavours and the kind of deep spacey synth sounds you might expect to find on the soundtrack to a feature film by Nicolas Winding Refn. The result is a continually diverting series of subtle and intricately nuanced musical settings where the rate of change never lets up. Yet the group’s massive sense of groove also makes this art that you can dance to.
“The title, ‘Mangelen Min’, roughly translates as ‘the thing missing in my life’, or ‘my lack’ ”, says the band’s singer, co-composer and lyricist Mari Kvien Brunvoll. “Mangelen Min is the presence of what is missing or no longer there, as if there is a body of sorrow following you around. Like a companion creature made up of all the longing inside a person. Mangelen Min is your alien-like shadow friend”, Mari says.
The sense of a home-made craft aesthetic is also reinforced by the band’s choice of unusual sound sources and the organic-seeming way they structure them through intricate layering to form each track, “We employed everything from Hardanger fiddle samples, vibraphone, sampled wind instruments and whistles in addition to our customary resources of song, drums and synthesisers”, continues Brunvoll, whose striking, multi-octave voice is so adaptable that it becomes yet another instrumental tool. But whatever the instrument, and whatever the musical context or point of reference, whether the contemporary Caribbean or the court music of eighteenth century Versailles – both of which get a knowing nod in ‘Mangelen Min’ – Building Instrument emphatically sound like no one but themselves. Mari Kvien Brunvoll - vocals, electronics, zither, omnichord Åsmund Weltzien - synthesizer, electronics Øyvind Hegg-Lunde - drums, percussion