The second release on Smalltown Supersound’s highly promising offside jazz label, ‘Le Jazz Non
Series’ follows Bendik Giske and Buttechno’s mighty label opener with a killer compilation bursting
with contemporary/outsider Norwegian free music as a show of solidarity against racism in the
scene, with a title that translates to “Freejazz against racism“.
Stitched and compiled by Anja Lauvdal and Tine Hvidsten, the set features 18 outsider Jazz burners
centered around a varied and diverse cast of characters from the young Norwegian scene. While
Norway has long had a positive relationship with free music, its players have invariably looked
remarkably similar. “Frijazz mot rasisme” aims to address that by expressing the diversity of Oslo’s
contemporary scene and show its commitment to anti-racism; of the players featured on the
record, many are regulars at Norwegian demonstrations against local anti-Muslim organization
SIAN - with the compilation designed to collect funds for local anti-racist work.
Musically, “Frijazz mot rasism” is a fractal head-fry of the highest order, dilating a fertile
movement thru spiraling outsider-jazz. If musical nodes are needed for a point of reference,
it flexes from Don Cherry-inspired communal psychedelia sprawlers to fiery shredders, modal
percussive cyclones and lushly expressive instrumental virtuosity of a sort we can only imagine
would short-circuit and frazzle a pack of bleating Viking gammons.
With well over half the tracks originating from female artists, the set also represents a phase shift
in perception, wickedly reprising the form’s historic function as fire music and a soundtrack to
civil unrest, but with a decided female energy that’s more agitant than aggressive, in a way that
might just calm and enlighten the xenophobes.
There’s a tonne to get down with; Sanskriti Shrestha & Andreas Wildhagen’s modal tabla groover
‘Eight hands’ is a real standout, with subtle treats in the liminal thizz of ‘Up There’
Arve Henriksen & Kjetil Husebø
Electro / Electronic
Kelly Lee Owens