by Stamish Malcuss
Norwegian guitarist Christer Fredriksen’s new album Vit finds him creating a continued unique sound is his next-in-line of an ever-growing discography. This time his new offering Vit explores soundscapes in a single take, utilizing a loop pedal and three guitar amps (along with guest performers on two tracks). It’s his most spontaneous record to date, with only a tad of jazz in the mixture – well to be honest it’s about a tad of many genres in the mixture.
Loops are being used often in the jazz genre today, but what is refreshing about Fredriksen’s approach is his loops typically are not presented in a repetitive way. An example is the opener “Preludium” loops are used to create a spacious, reverberant quality, which Fredriksen then plays over melodically.
“The Day I Lived” broods a spiraling overdriven guitar melody suggestive of another great Norwegian guitar pioneer, ECM stalwart Terje Rypdal. The ringing guitar sound of “Five Drops of Love” leads into “Go With the Grain,” the heaviest track in the set. This is where guests artists percussionist Jan Erik Pettersen, as well as keyboards by Kenneth Silden (who also contributes to “Flow”) add to the overall density of the sound with great result. “Flow” offers a folksy lyricism almost an ala Pat Metheny vibe, while “I Did Nothing” is a more avant garde wall of clamor, with short repeating backwards loops and boisterous guitar noises a plenty. “Raindancer” harkens another guitar great Bill Frisell and Dave King, a more Americana sound is at hand.
Vit may mark Fredriksen’s debut as a crack loop improviser, though not a new idea – in the hands of Frederiksen, it certainly bears its own originality.