Somnambule - Writing About Music

Nils Petter Molvær ~ ER

ER is the Norwegian trumpeter’s fifth release, not counting two remix projects and a live album. It’s ushered in on mournful tones and followed up in short order by scowling bass, busy tablas and scattershot breakbeats. In this, ER offers no surprises to those familiar with Molvær’s previous work. Molvær’s is a remarkably narrow emotional universe, hedged with mourning and regret, but also a steely determination to persevere. Arrangements are shaded with a little more or less contrast, but aside from a shuffling of elements, this latest release is effectively interchangeable with Solid Ether, NP3 or Streamer. Molvær has again chosen, with a few brief exceptions, to draw a line between the fiery chaos of his live performances and the measured organisation of his studio recordings. ER presents nothing new, but despite this it’s a very enjoyable release full of sonic detail, carefully judged interplay and wraith-like atmospheres. Surprisingly, Molvær manages once again to buck the law of diminishing returns.

Colin Buttimer
October 2005
Published by Jazzwise magazine