Somnambule - Writing About Music

Atomic - Boom Boom

Boom Boom is the second release from Atomic, a five-piece acoustic outfit from Norway. The cd comes in a rather lovely cardboard digipak in typical Jazzland style with liner notes by Ken Vandermark. ‘Toner Frän För’ begins proceedings with wistful unison line lamentations which frequently pause for delicate, delicious percussion interludes from Nilssen-Love. There’s something of the spirit of Miles Davis’s Nefertiti in the piece, but with a less steely and warmer heart. The title track picks up the pace and is driven along by galloping, hypnotic bass and piano allied to some formidable drumming. There’s a hint of the east about the music – if the Leningrad Cowboys played jazz this might be what they’d sound like. Magnus Broo’s mercurial trumpet solo raises the pressure to such an extent that it seems like there might be an explosion. ‘Praeladium’ explores Paul Hindemith’s melody at length with trumpet, sax and piano shadowing each other like private detectives. The album closes with a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Pyramid Song’ which manages to sound both like a prime, late ‘60s Blue Note track and a convincingly passionate, contemporary rendering. The same might be said of the whole album. Atomic’s music has space, energy to spare and a tangible good humour allied to a classic, modernist impulse. Highly recommended.
Colin Buttimer
March 2004
Published by the BBC