Nils Petter Molvaer / Moritz von Oswald = 1/1

Moritz von Oswald and Nils Petter Molvaer (by Marion Benoit)

One of the unexpected surprises of this year was the teaming up of Norwegian trumpet player, composer and producer Nils Petter Molvaer with the Berliner electronic music genius Moritz von Oswald. I was wondering what he would do after the breakup his trio and I thought that he would definitely find an interesting project for himself, which was not a bad guess. Moritz von Oswald does not stay behind in terms of being busy with different projects. He has exhibited his expertise on electronic music in almost all genres from classical to jazz, dub, techno by taking part in numerous projects. Although the name of the album is 1/1, the effect that it has evoked is like 1+1.

1/1 is a dark album under the reign of grey skies. The opener “Noise 1” starts as if one was in search of a distant trumpet sound while walking through a dark, foggy forest. The tone of the trumpet that spreads like sound waves due to the use of reverb, is so beautifully plain. Disappearing from the scene suddenly, Molvaer’s trumpet leaves its place to Oswald’s synths creating tension and then comes back into the scene. “Step by Step” starts at a stable tempo of 4/4, but for a while later, it goes on to walk into the roads less travelled with the accompanying electronic percussions. You get lost without realizing while following Molvaer’s mini solos in between lengthy breaks that heighten the tension. “Transition” is the longest track of the album. It is a song that makes you feel that “I got lost anyway so why not to enjoy the foggy view from the top of the mountain?”. Oswald, combining the sound from his synth with soft rhythms, weaves a nice background for Molvaer’s clean tone with soft effects. In addition to this, Molvaer’s delicate and melodic improvisations help increase the transition between the musicians’ parts. It feels like as if they follow each other while leading the song in turns in great harmony. This song has a kind of meditative feel, which has the potential to make one look inwards. “Development” heralds the time to start the journey in the woods again with its dynamic beats. The search for that distant lyrical trumpet begins accompanied by the rhythms and synths woven layer by layer. This time you do not ask the “why, where, what” questions in your mind as you are so much into music that you let yourself flow with it. “Further” is the track that you quit the search. Molvaer improvises by using motifs, of which sometimes reminds me of distant oriental feeling. Reverbs make the timbre of the trumpet larger and larger. This time the pauses are a bit shorter and Oswald fills them in with such great expertise. You just walk in the forest. You have already crossed the line between this world and another world. The trumpet’s high and low-pitched sound is in a contrasting-but-nice harmony with Oswald’s stable beats. Once again in “Future”, Oswald starts with dark synths and weaves the song with melodies and rhythms step by step. Meanwhile, Molvaer’s trumpet is like the soul of the forest sounding deep as if humming a song to itself. It is Oswald who drives the melody this time and Molvaer wraps around the song like a cat which rubs itself on a hot central heating radiator. There is a second “Development” in the album which is the remix of the first one. It is like coming across a familiar place while travelling in an unknown territory. The journey starting with “Noise 1” finishes with “Noise 2”. As if we travelled a long way and then realized that actually we were walking in a big circle. Everything at the place we arrive is much darker and sombre. Synths are powerful and eerie. And the trumpet changes colour and melody like a cameleon while standing in the middle. The end…less.

Nils Petter Molvaer ve Moritz von Oswald will be performing at Babylon Istanbul on the 11th, December. If you want to discover a new territory in music, you should definitely have a go. It has been said that their live performance includes more rhythms and is even danceable. I will definitely be there to join their journey.

For Turkish: Alternatif Istanbul

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