Somnambule - Writing About Music

Karl Seglem ~ Femstein

Seglem is director of Norwegian label Norcd, as well as a producer and musician whose career dates back to the end of the 1980s. On Femstein’s opening track, Blå Botn, ribald rhythms married to the rasp and claw of Seglem’s goathorn evoke celebratory images of a harsh rural life lived to the full. Joined by Kjellemyr’s second, abrasively treated bass and Høgemo’s hardanger fiddle, the effect is simultaneously medieval and contemporary. Later, Bål spins goathorn, fiddle and electronics into long skeins of sound that disappear into past and future. Femstein’s outspokenness speaks straight from the heart, its very sound conjuring the sense of touching weathered wood, windstrafed rock, worn leather. That this music works so convincingly as a fusion of Norwegian folk music and contemporary techniques must be ascribed both to the group’s sympathy for the material and to Seglem’s understanding of the potential of loops, samples and modern instruments to revitalise tradition.
Colin Buttimer
January 2005
Published by Jazzwise magazine