D/B Recommended: Hanne Hukkelberg live in Berlin, 26.05.2009 @ Lido

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Hanne started singing and playing instruments in her home town of Kongsberg, Norway at the age of 3 and later played in various jazz, pop and rock groups as well as a doom metal band. A graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music, she has gained a reputation as a powerful live performer.

http://hanne.hukkelberg.net | http://www.myspace.com/hannehukkelberg

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Blood From A Stone is the third album by Norwegian artist Hanne Hukkelberg. In part inspired by her past as a member of various rock and metal bands (especially their live incarnations) and in part by her 80’s dominated collection of indie/rock albums, Hanne acknowledges that the likes of Sonic Youth, Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Einstüerzende Neubauten and P.J. Harvey have all exerted an influence over her new songs, while one can also detect traces of Siouxsie & The Banshees at their most oblique and many other new wave/post punk outfits.

However, although it is immediately apparent that this is a more ‘rock’ album than Hanne’s previous releases (Little Things [2005] and Rykestrasse 68 [2007]), the results are still undeniably leftfield leaning. The bulk of her vocals are first takes and her lyrics more direct and less introverted than on previous albums. Musically, the songs continue her penchant for combining traditional and unusual instrumentation to form a soundscape unique to her; for a self-confessed ‘rock’ album, Blood From A Stone still manages to include field recordings of flagpoles, train doors, seagulls, clogs, rocks, kitchen utensils, freezers, stoves and a school desk. And no regular drum kit. In line with the pervading approach towards the recording process, all instruments were tuned by ear, with digital tuners banned from the studio.

Repeated listens to Blood From A Stone reveal an album of depth and many treasures. Among its highlights, the metal inspired Salt Of The Earth begins with gentle verses featuring a church organ and a softly coo-ing vocal harmony, before lurching into an epic chorus that sports crashing piano chords and metal percussion galore and that carries with it an ominous sense of foreboding. The title track is built around a robust, repetitive bass and metal percussion rhythm with an uplifting, melodic chorus and added vocal whoops and hollers aplenty, while Bandy Riddles swiftly develops into a frenetic acoustic indie-rock strummer….albeit an indie-rock strummer without a drumkit, although it does incorporate bicycle spokes, clogs and a vaseline box into the mix. In contrast, the closing Bygd Til By gradually unfolds in a sedate and stately manner, building to a musical climax that maintains a controlled grandeur throughout. It is the only song on the album with lyrics in Hanne’s native Norwegian.

Blood From A Stone is produced by Hanne’s long-term collaborator Kåre Vestrheim and co-produced by Hanne. Several of her regular musicians appear on the album, including Henning Sandsdalen, Lena Nymark, Erland Dahlen and Kåre Vestrheim, while other contributors are Bent Sæther (of Motorpsycho) Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville), Martin Langlie (Gåte, Valkyrien Allstars), Mark Jowett (head of Hanne’s international label, Nettwerk), and the unusual rhythm section Hurra Torpedo (on freezers and stoves). Hanne herself plays bass, guitar, drums, percussion, piano and various bric-a-brac.

Upcoming concerts:

* 22. May 2009
Spot Festival, Arhus, Denmark
* 24. May 2009
Fabrik, Hamburg, Germany
* 25. May 2009
Studio 672, Cologne, Germany
* 26. May 2009
Lido, Berlin, Germany
* 27. May 2009
B flat, Bern, Switzerland
* 28. May 2009
Karlstorfbahnhof, Heidleberg, Germany
* 30. May 2009
Santiago Alqumista, Lisbon, Portugal
* 01. July 2009
Mølla, Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Kongsberg, Norway

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