Martin Clarke, Otto Willberg, Emil Karlsen – Shopping for Images

I’m struck by the incredibly intimate and clear sound; as if you’re listening inside the instruments, catching even the softest vibrations in the air. The clarity means the ear jumps from one instrument to the next, isolating each to savour the individual textures… but taken together, there’s a feeling of being swept along, washed down through the plug(rabbit?)hole, a moment of rapid density, followed by an opening out into a broader, perhaps subterranean world.

Close up it’s all pointillistic abstraction – the absorbing and intricate placement of sounds. However, pull back and enjoy the overlapping interactions, like three artisans building different facets of the same thing – an overall net of sound, a filigree of non-repeated designs… It’s a refreshingly stark sonic sculpture in some ways: clean lines, smooth hard surfaces, closely interlocking forms, devoid of frippery and decoration, it’s a direct and honest statement that comes with a strong sense of self-belief.

The result is an album with the beauty of a winter’s sunrise, or the natural intricacies of a weathered cliff face. No bells, no whistles. Just a purity of sound and philosophy of interplay that results in a sense of natural rightness.

Shopping for Images… those are mine, what are yours?

neon
form
visage
(43:53)
oem records

Martin Clarke – saxophone
Otto Willberg – bass
Emil Karlsen – drums

Shopping for Images is available on CD and download from the oem records Bandcamp page.