Atlanter washed over Norway like a tidal wave in 2013. Their debut album, Vidde, became a favourite among both record buyers and critics, with its beautiful and natural mix of African desert blues, American delta blues and German “motorik” from the 70s. “Vidde blues” was a new and self-made term at that time – a term that summed up the quartet’s wish of uniting music from several corners of the world in “Norwegianised” and timeless attire. They fully succeeded. “Atlanter are a straightforward pleasure”, the NME wrote about their debut album. With a Norwegian Grammy nomination and several high positions in some critics’ summaries of the music year 2013, we’re allowed to have high expectations. The Atlanter wave is here again.
‘Jewels of Crime’ is both a natural sequel and a long step forward for the quartet. A conceptual album about diamonds and pearls. An album that Atlanter have spent three long years recording, but that really has provided the musical gems to befit the subject matter.
Arild Hammerø (guitar, vocal), Jens J Carelius Krogsveen (guitar, vocal), Jonas Barsten (drums) and Morten Kvam (bass) have all the time kept and developed their astounding knack for improvisation, their joy of playing and their intuitive musical understanding, which also in a live setting is central to the band’s sound. They’re proving on ‘Jewels of Crime’ that they also master the art of songwriting completely.
“Before the studio recordings, we listened to loads of jams and rehearsals, picking out compositions, intensity and, not least, ensemble playing, which we thought could become songs. I think we had up to 250 recordings which altogether formed the basis of the songs. Because that’s still the key to why this band works so well: People with different approaches and musical tastes who love playing together” Jens J Carelius Krogsveen says.
The album was recorded at Engfelt & Forsgrens Studio, Brageveien Studio, ARC and Pooka Studios in Oslo plus Ocean Sound Recordings at Giske outside of Ålesund. So it’s not just in the music that the band’s restless and nomadic nature emerges. The mixing was done in New York by Abe Seiferth, known for his work with dissimilar artists like Yeasayer, Ornette Coleman and Simian Mobile Disco. Among the album’s guests we find the group Imarhan from Mali, with Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane a.k.a. Sadam on vocals. Sadam is also known as the singer in Tinariwen’s live line-up. On the track ‘Jareeze’, another Jansen artist appears: Hanne Kolstø on vocals. The album was produced by Erlend Mokkelbost and Øyvind Røsrud Gundersen.
“The title ‘Jewels of Crime’ deals with these thematics: “Even though things are shining, it doesn’t mean they’re working”. We wanted to present such an old-fashioned thing like a rock band in a kitschy, glossy and gaudy universe” Krogsveen says.
Jewels of Crime will be released on Jansen Plateproduksjon on 22 January 2016.