Cakewalk // Wired

This one ended up as one of my favourite albums of 2012, but Norwegian trio Cakewalk disappeared below the radar after a short while, for some mysterious reason. It’s time to put them back in the headlight, because their debut album Wired is quite the avant-rock gem!

17.08 / 2013

Frontrunner Stephan Meidell first met the world in a part of Norway known for their softly pronounced consonants. But the guitarist left all softness behind after completing the jazz academy in Amsterdam, his current projects revolving around improvised krautstained riffs buried in the bottom of the baritone guitar’s register. Band accomplice Øystein Skar has on the other hand met wide acclaim as part of chill-wavers Highasakite the last year. Drummer Ivar Loe Bjørnstad also has a tight schedule travelling with among others Hedvig Mollestad trio. Let’s just hope they manage to go back on the road for one more round!

What I like about them is the ability to combine hard pumping riffs, rock solid in their own right, with a great sense of organizing their sound palette. Just listen to the finale “Kammer” operating in two different layers of time before suddenly coming together in a great big Jean Michel Jarre moment. Or how the 8-minute “Descent” in an instant shifts from aggressive riffing á là Scorch trio into a finale epic enough to be presented on the nearest stadium. Or just listen to “Soil”, a nod to the first electro acoustic experiments by Schaeffer and Varése. Try also cross-listening this one with Stockhausens “Kontakte”.

The trio thus have a richness of references that they combine with virtuosity and a seriously keen sense of riff construction. That makes for a record that’s gonna get your heart pumping with delight, pressing the repeat button the instant it’s over. Because the only bad thing about this record is that it is way too short!