GEIR SUNDSTØL — The Studio Intim Sessions vol. 1 (review)

GEIR SUNDSTØL — The Studio Intim Sessions vol. 1 album cover EP · 2022 · Dub/Ska/Reggae Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
Every now and then you come across an album on which every note is so perfectly placed that it sparkles like a rare gem. Such is the case with Geir Sandstol’s “The Studio Sessions Volume 1”. Geiris is a very popular session musicians who specializes in a variety of string instruments such as guitar, dobro, pedal steel, banjo and the Indian Shankar guitar. He occasionally releases solo albums which are usually sparse ambient affairs that reflect the wide open spaces of Norway, but his new album reveals something entirely different, dub reggae from Jamaica. The Nordic guitar work is still there, but everything is backed with very well played dub riddims.

This music is attractively somber and melancholic, often reminding one of early Bill Laswell albums such as “Hear No Evil” and “Hallucination Engine”, and also Ry Cooder’s sparse slide guitar work for the “Paris Texas” soundtrack. This is music for reflection that reaches deep into your soul. Every track is thoughtful and essential, there are no wasted moments on here. Album opener, “Gem”, features the purest dub, while other tracks are closer to dub fusion similar to the work of Laswell again, and Jah Wobble. The Indian Shankar guitar blends with the pedal steel guitar providing nice tone colors on “Dogg”. On “Snik”, Geir plays the stringed harp producing an exotica styled melody. Sampled choir gives album closer, “Whole” a spiritual impact. The top track though may be “C’est Vide en Ville”, on which Middle eastern melodies alternate with a folk melody sung in French. Throughout the entire album the expected dub style ambient breaks and psychedelic effects add to the soundscapes.
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