Eclectic Fusion / Nu Jazz / Avant-Garde Jazz • Sweden
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Angles is a Swedish jazz sextet made up of Johan Berthling (bass), Kjell Nordeson (drums), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Martin Küchen (alto saxophone), Mats Äleklint (trombone), Mattias Ståhl (vibraphone). The group just released their latest record, “Every Woman is a Tree” (Clean Feed, 2008). Described by Clean Feed: Angles “spans the artificial divisions imposed between the ‘new’ and the ‘old’ improvising schools. His radical extended techniques, such as in the sonic use of saliva, are fundamental for the abstract, textural constructions on his solo album ‘Homo Sacer. ’ Although these techniques address sound itself rather than music as conventionally considered, Küchen is first of all a free jazz player. Küchen the free jazz artist is in fact what we find on ‘Every Woman is a Tree.’ It is free jazz with a post-bop twist, profiting from contributions from some of the most interesting musicians on the Scandinavian scene.

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ANGLES Discography

ANGLES albums / top albums

ANGLES Angles 9 ‎: Injuries album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Angles 9 ‎: Injuries
Eclectic Fusion 2014
ANGLES Angles 9 : Disappeared Behind The Sun album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angles 9 : Disappeared Behind The Sun
Eclectic Fusion 2017
ANGLES A Muted Reality album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Muted Reality
Eclectic Fusion 2022

ANGLES EPs & splits

ANGLES Angles 9 : Equality & Death / Pacemaker album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angles 9 : Equality & Death / Pacemaker
Eclectic Fusion 2016

ANGLES live albums

ANGLES Every Woman is a Tree album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Every Woman is a Tree
Nu Jazz 2008
ANGLES Epileptical West: Live in Coimbra album cover 3.26 | 3 ratings
Epileptical West: Live in Coimbra
Nu Jazz 2010
ANGLES Angles 8 : By Way Of Deception - Live In Ljubljana album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Angles 8 : By Way Of Deception - Live In Ljubljana
Nu Jazz 2012
ANGLES Angles 9 : In Our Midst album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angles 9 : In Our Midst
Eclectic Fusion 2013
ANGLES Angles 3 : Parede album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Angles 3 : Parede
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018
ANGLES Angles 9 : Beyond Us album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angles 9 : Beyond Us
Eclectic Fusion 2019
ANGLES Angles 10 / Angles 9 : Today Is Better Than Tomorrow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angles 10 / Angles 9 : Today Is Better Than Tomorrow
Eclectic Fusion 2019

ANGLES demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ANGLES re-issues & compilations

ANGLES singles (0)

ANGLES movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ANGLES Reviews

ANGLES Angles 3 : Parede

Live album · 2018 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Swedes Angles started a decade ago as sax player Martin Kuchen-led sextet playing modern mix of avant-garde jazz, Balkanica and electronic jazz. Very tuneful,emotionally colored and politically sharp songs made them one of most popular Nordic jazz band right after their debut in 2008 (on Portuguese Clean Feed label). They grew up from sextet to octet (Angles 8) for their third album and till nonet(Angles 9) for their fourth one (all - recorded live).

Band'sound became more orchestrated (possibly as the answer to success of their colleagues another Nordic super-group Fire! who grew up from power trio to progressive big band) and more sharp on Angles' two studio albums,recorded in 2014 and 2017. Being a classy band, their formula became a bit too predictable so the year 2018 gives their fans a radical change.

Angles' new album "Parede" (yes, live for sure) is recorded by Angles 3 - and they are really a trio now! Based predominantly on the compositions from their last studio album "Disappeared Behind The Sun", new Angles model is rooted on Albert Ayler free jazz tradition. Sax player Martin Kuchen with old drummer Kjell Nordeson and new Norwegian drummer Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (a member of The Thing power super-trio together with reedist Mats Gustafsson, the leader of above mentioned Fire!) instead of Angles' original Johan Berthling play bare-naked versions of of well-arranged Angles 9 originals.

The difference in music comparing with any previous Angles line-up is significant even if there still are some Balkan tunes, melodies snippets and soulful Kuchen sax soloing. Trio Angles play free jazz of old school, it radiates energy, emotions and live listeners participation is right in place here.

Probably, more Angles side-project than logical continuation, Angles 3 released truly unexpectable album at a moment when it looked they became too predictable. Not every "bigger" Angles fan will stay happy with this new music but I believe they will find some new listeners too with this step.

ANGLES Angles 8 : By Way Of Deception - Live In Ljubljana

Live album · 2012 · Nu Jazz
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"By way of Deception" is the third album for this Swedish band, and was recorded live in concert, as were their two previous releases. Geographically their debut comes from Swedish Radio recordings in Stockholm, while the second album is from the renowned Coimbra jazz festival in Portugal."Deception" was recorded in the Ljubljana Jazz Fest in 2011, and the new destination obviously radiates from the music presented here. Slovenia is a beautiful small country placed between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea and formally it's not a part of the Balkans. But historically, being a part of the former Socialist Yugoslavia, they are strongly influenced by Balkan culture and even more - by the region's political events (last Balkan war of 90s started right in Slovenia).

The cultural and political atmosphere of the place is really important for Angles' music since they are the modern equivalent of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. It's not a strange fact that all three of their albums are live recordings - with their music they speak with people about war and danger - not pathetically, but with pain in their hearts.

Previously a sextet, Angles play here as an octet (adding pianist and increasing the brass section, under "Angles 8" name). From the very first seconds of the album's opener, "By Way Of Deception", all the spaces around are filled by modern Balkan folklore tune-based compositions with characteristic unison brass passages, almost dance-able rhythms but at the same time - very elegant and full of sadness. With my quite deep knowledge of local culture I can perfectly imagine how this song sounded to the people for whom this last war is not a history, but still open bleeding sore.

With their bigger line-up, the band has a deeper, heavily arranged sound close to modern progressive big band music. At the same time, their music is jazz only partially: a lot of folklore elements (from Balkan to African and even Latin)and some rock energy produces the strange and magic, but hardly categorized brew. Comparing with two previous albums, the new line up sounds less rock influenced and more avant-garde jazz/world fusion. During concerts, the musicians will return a few more times to easily recognizable Balkan tunes, often added just as short few seconds of pieces in the body of other compositions, but such a trick helps to continue with the opener's atmosphere all concert long. Not all compositions are new on this album - "Let's Speak About The Weather (And Not About The War)" and "Don't Ruin Me" both come from their debut, "Today Is Better Than Tomorrow" and "Let's Tear The Threads Of Trust" - from "Epileptical West". Not an unusual case for the band - their excellent composition "Every Woman Is A Tree" is presented on both their first and second albums. More important - even the same songs always sound different.

Looking now from a four years and three released album distance, their debut was a true musical event, second album - strong if a bit predictable release. With "By Way Of Deception" it looks like the band found a new direction for the development of their musical ideas (during fall 2012 they played some Belgium gigs already as "Angles 9"). If you liked Angles' previous albums, this one will be a joy for you, for newcomers - for a more nu jazz sound, start from band's debut, if you prefer progressive big band-ish sound - you're in a right place.

ANGLES Epileptical West: Live in Coimbra

Live album · 2010 · Nu Jazz
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Angles plays avant-garde jazz with influences from the modern world of music including nu jazz, avant-garde art rock and post 70s eclecticism. This album’s opener, “Present Absentees” provides a good example of this band’s mixture of classic and modern influences. The first few minutes present African flavored horn arrangements while the drums set up a loping groove and the vibraphone plays a nice subtle off-kilter solo, it sounds like classic Sun Ra territory. At about the six minute mark a repetitive melody shifts everything and presents a dividing line for potential fans. This sort of insistent repetition is definitely going to be a make or break factor for many interested listeners. Repeating riffs are not that unusual in the world of avant-garde jazz where usually pretty much anything goes, but these sort of insistent rhythms are usually more the domain of the outsider art rock world and definitely places Angles in the current nu jazz entourage, albeit as one of the genres more noisy and improvisational members. A certain extroverted enthusiasm infuses this performance and combines with the rock like riffing to give this outfit an aggressive sound that will appeal to the modern post-punk avant-garde jazzy rock crowd. Subtlety is not a strong point with this group, but insatiable energy is.

Although some of the musical influences on this band combine classic 60s avant-garde jazz with more modern nu jazz/art rock directions, the sound of this ensemble is pure acoustic jazz with three horn players backed by double bass, drums and vibraphone. On track five, "Every Woman is a Tree", the bands opens up some as the drummer lays down the poly-rhythms and the horns go off one at a time in a style that recalls the classic NYC loft scene. All of the musicians in this band are quite talented and vibraphonist Mattias Stahl in particular adds a lot of originality to their sound. I suppose this band could represent new developments in the world of avant-garde jazz where adrenalin rushes of energy and forceful rhythms combine with free horn solos to make a new hybrid.

ANGLES Epileptical West: Live in Coimbra

Live album · 2010 · Nu Jazz
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Angles second album (live as well as their debut) isn't much different from their excellent debut. Same melodic tunes, complex and quite accessible at the same time,same three reeds players in front of the sound playing together and one against the other in different places, same great rhythm section.

Main difference between two releases is possibly if debut sounded more like recorded live in studio, Epileptical West is true live album, recorded during band's concert in jazz fest in Portugal, and you can hear not only applauses but even public screams in the middle of compositions.

Musically there is not very big difference between two releases, but if debut was a bit more free jazz-oriented work,second album is more structured work, what doesn't mean there is not enough space for lots of improvs. Musicians continue playing their successful mix of atmosphere and some techniques coming from late 60s free jazz and modern Nordic nu jazz.One of most successful composition from their debut -Every Woman Is a Tree - is presented on this release as well and it makes the album only more attractive.

In all - really great work even if not so surprising as their debut, but more mature. One between greatest Clean Feed label releases coming from 2010 and one of the best jazz albums released same year.

ANGLES Every Woman is a Tree

Live album · 2008 · Nu Jazz
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Swedish sextet's debut is the album which couldn't be passed unnoticed.All tracks are written by saxophonist Martin Küchen, who has released some interesting music as solo artist.Two other band's musicians - trumpeter Magnus Broo and drummer Kjell Nordeson - are known by their collaboration with Atomic and Vandenmark 5, what is excellent recommendation just to listen this debut.

Everyone familiar with Ken Vandenmark's music can imagine what to expect from such project, but the music on Angles debut is quite different. Sextet, consisting of double bass player, vibraphonist,drummer and three reeds players (read - guitar-less and keyboard-less)plays excellent melodic music somewhere on the border between avant-garde jazz and modern more accessible one.

Album (even if lyrics-less) is conceptual anti-war work dedicated to last Iraq's wars victims.With reference to women, whose children find protection in their arms (like the branches of a tree).Compositions names all are concept-related, but even more - you can hear the fear,sadness, tension, insecurity feeling in every song, even if all them are melodic and had their own's beauty.

Combination of complex drumming, excellent reeds soloing and melancholic vibraphone sound builds very specific atmosphere - there are obvious roots coming from smoky jazz clubs of 60s, Charlie Haden's orchestral aesthetics, African rhythms, funky grooves all mixed in well structured and organised modern sound. Great release,one between best albums coming from 2008, and quite characteristic for Clean Feed label ( two years later the label will release similar, but a bit more accessible and less free-jazz influenced Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth's album).

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