Somnambule - Writing About Music

Vesslefrek ~ Valse Mysterioso

Vesslefrek released their eponymous debut a decade ago, after which the trio joined forces with Helge Sten (aka Deathprod) and renamed themselves Supersilent. Valse Mysterioso is a more consistent though perhaps less experimental work than its predecessor. From its first moments it conveys a pronounced feeling of the preternatural conjured by Ståle Storløkken's Theremin-like keyboards, Jarle Vespestad’s bleached bone percussion and Arve Henriksen’s beyond-the-veil trumpet. Valse Mysterioso presents a delicate, finely balanced but highly durable architecture. There’s a sense of each musician constructing a latticework through which silence could be heard at any given moment. The music mixes a number of different strains: Joe Zawinul's reflective lyricism heard on the quieter passages of Miles Davis’s Fille De Killimanjaro; the pride and pathos of folk musics; a sense of fin-de-siecle elegance. Despite the frequent presence of Storløkken’s synthesizers the music has a febrile, acoustic feel which charms without overwhelming. Valse Mysterioso is a thing of rare beauty: crepescular, strange and haunted.
Colin Buttimer
September 2004
Published by Jazzwise magazine