Stian Balducci & Kjetil Jerve

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From the Norwegian transcendent artist Kjetil Jerve and producer Stian Balducci comes the immersive record Tokyo Tapes: Piano Recycle; an epic archival collection fusing ambient, drone and experimentalist textures. Performed with a live emotion in mind, this aspect of the collection adds to the innovative spontaneity and the duo’s dynamic musicianship. The two are very proud to unveil this beautiful new project.

Kjetil has been an important figure in the next wave of Norwegian jazz musicians, and likewise Stian, although coming from a strictly electronic musicianship, has moved towards extended jazz and improvised genres. The clear jazz influences can be felt moving throughout the 18 track album, in which classicism and electricity combine, crafted through fuzzy textures, cinematic soundscapes and hauntingly beautiful melody paintings. Centred around Kjetil’s unique piano musings, it is then molded by Balducci through creative warping in order to design and sketch new instruments through the initial medium of the piano. The result is a record which feels both archaic and contemporary, clearly drawing inspiration from and acknowledging Alva Noto/Sakamoto and Bugge/Schwarz as predecessors, but at the same time, residing on its own plane of artistry.

FACTS:

1. K: Humanity’s strive for concensus acts as our postmodern Sisyphus stone.

2. K: A true skeptic is someone who doesn’t draw conclusions.

3. S: Our stories and their blueprints are outdated and propagate misunderstandings of our place in the world and our relationship to our surroundings and fellow beings.

QUESTIONS:

1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
S: Other music and working on music and projects.

K: The context always informs my aethetic choice. Our place in infinity and the endless.

2. How and when did you get into making music?
S: Began on playstation. Graduated onto Ableton in the middle of puberty. Got seriously into it at the end of my teenage years. 

K: Before my formal training, when I was six, there was a digital piano secluded in our basement. I didn’t ‘know’ any songs. But I remember vividly how excited I got about the keyboard’s record function, playing back to me all the crazy noodling that I hammered down. It sounded totally abstract, but I really loved the whole process, how I ‘knew’ to play. Since then the ‘rec’ button has been an important symbol.

S+K: we first met at an outdoor rave which Kjetil hosted alongside friends and fellow collaborator Bendik Baksaas. I was there to play with the live techno ensemble /grå. Since then we’ve played a variety of techno nights as well as extended jazz/improvised concerts alongside other musicians.

Tokyo tapes began as a remix commision but evolved far beyond it. 

Kjetil has been moving towards repetitive/minimalist forms while i have been moving towards free-er forms and we kind of met in the middle.

3. What are 5 of your favourite works of all time?

K: 
Bill Evans – Moonbeams 
Elton John – 17-11-70
Keith Jarrett – Expectations
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
Basic Channel – BCD

S: 
Burial – Burial
James Holden – The Inheritors
Mulatu Astatke – Mulatu of Ethiopia
Gaslamp Killer – I spit on your grave
Thom Yorke – The Eraser

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
K: Club Mate, The Stronghold of Erotica, Conglomerate of the Arts, Freedom of Lifestyle, The Never-Ending Beat
S: Tempelhof, U-bahn, Späti’s, Döner’s and Anxiety.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
K: (OSLO) I really love KAFÉ HÆRVERK. It’s an underground vinyl bar that turned into a venue by itself (and ceaseless extra work hours from its amazing team). One of Northern Europe’s most happening venues too. And we share some common goals: Bridging the scenes, merging the milieus, inviting all kinds of people to take part. I feel really at home there, whatever kind of aesthetic mood I’m bringing. 

S: Not currently living in a town, but on an island up north and way out at sea (Træna). I love walking around the southwest end tip (Kikkelen) of the island and looking out. There is a fishery there and lots of industrial parts lying around.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
K: I would devote myself to working with frequencies by other means. Right now, I am finding a lot of inspiration in the holistic antroposophic lineage. I’d probably not settle for one craft, and rather share the outlook of polymaths.

S: Either something sciency or full time alcoholism.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
K: KAFE HÆRVERK’s label HÆRVERK INDUSTRIER have a digital benefit release out now on Bandcamp, to outlast this economic rape season. It’s an 8-hour compilation of associated acts for 25 euros (or more). Anyone reading this site will want to visit this place post-plague.

S: Rødhåd & Vril – Out of place artefacts

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
K: Stian Balducci & Georgia Anne Muldrow

S: Kjetil Jerve & Thom Yorke

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
S: Live remix in Cologne of Eve Risser and Francisco Manalich. Enormous glass windows facing the cathedral resonated and acted like giant bass speakers. 

K: Seeing DJ Marcelle at Nyege Nyege’s Boiler Room Stage in 2018 was unforgettable. While swarms of flies were drawn to the spotlight and kamikazing on Marcelle and her decks trying to get ready, the previous Ugandan act was looping and jamming his last bars on his PC with Fruity Loops – their dance crew ferociously keeping the heat together with the festival’s MCs. It was hours of improvised bliss.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
S: It’s my instrument yet i have friends who call me technologically unsavvy. I find my way but i still use ableton 9 and don’t rely on the shiniest stuff. 

K: It represents the transformation of ideas. The piano is a technological invention too. But my strongest ideas usually arrive from other ‘places’ than what I can physically sense.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
S: No siblings.

K: Two brothers. 6 and 9 years older than me. Most important ‘tastemakers’ of my life. They show me all the support I could ever need. I think they can enjoy the fact that I chose art & performance as my main path, both because they pursued other branches, and that they (make me) know that I could also manage to do other things if life happens that way. I kind of feel that we’re living for each other even though our lives are quite separated since moving from home. Love u guys <3

Photo © Jan Tore Eriksen

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