Myhre makes his solo debut with the release of the captivating and mysterious Unheimlich Manoeuvre. The title is an obvious play on the life-saving technique, though whether the added negation makes the threatening or simply subverted remains ambiguous. More to the point, the English translation of unheimlich is “uncanny” or “eerie” – an apt descriptor for the sounds that Myhre creates. To borrow a phrase from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Myhre conjures aural landscapes that suggest “a place both wonderful and strange,” stunning in their beauty with something alluringly unsettling lurking just underneath.
While the 2020 pandemic has led to a definite surge in solo projects necessitated by quarantine conditions, Myhre began work on Unheimlich Manoeuvre in September 2019, long before Covid had intruded on the world’s consciousness. The album is the end result of Myhre’s career-long experimentation with his approach to his instrument, evolved via his work with others yet ultimately yielding rich results in his own personal expression.
While the pandemic may not have instigated the project, it certainly provided Myhre with the significant free time he needed to record it. It also allowed him to invite remote contributions from a number of collaborators, leading to guest appearances by Iranian tombak player Kaveh Mahmudiyan; Iceland’s Ólafur Björn Ólafsson, here playing organ; vocalist Vivian Wang of the Singaporean art-rock band The Observatory; and Norwegian compatriots Jo David Meyer Lysne (guitar), Jana Anisimova (piano), and Morten Qvenild (synth).
While collaboration thus entered the realm of the soundworlds Myhre crafted for Unheimlich Manoeuvre, it was at a distance and after the fact, making the project – which Myhre recorded, mixed and produced entirely on his own – an exercise in self-exploration.
The nine tracks that comprise Unheimlich Manoeuvre were largely born out of free improvisation (the sole exception is the dreamlike Gate Opens, penned with Jo David Meyer Lysne’s acoustic guitar in mind. The second half of the two-part “Smallest Things” also includes text from writer Raymond Carver’s short story “I Could See the Smallest Things” recited by Wang, who Myhre first heard on an album by singer-songwriter Jenny Hval. The reading plays out over a monolithic, unnerving wash of sound incorporating Qvenild’s synth and Ólafsson’s organ.
released September 24, 2021
Jo Berger Myhre – 1930´s German double bass, 1964 Gretsch 6071 bass guitar, Music Man HD150 amplifier, Simmons SDS8 drum machine, Moog Minitaur, Grendel Drone Commander and various analogue electronics.
Kaveh Mahmudiyan – tombak (#2, 4, 5, 7)
Jo David Meyer Lysne – acoustic guitar (#2, 3, 6)
Jana Anisimova – upright piano (#2, 3)
Morten Qvenild – synth (#3, 5)
Ólafur Björn Ólafsson – organ (#5)
Vivian Wang – narration (#5)
My deepest thanks to all musicians involved for how your beautiful contributions have enhanced this music. And Zhubin Kalhor, teacher and mentor. Natural sound!
Forever grateful also to Giacomo Bruzzo, Niklas Adam, Jenny Berger Myhre, Ole Morten Vågan, Ivar Grydeland, Jon Balke, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Marius Aareskjold, and Elena Frohlick at The Wylie Agency who helped this process move along.
Inga, Svava and Edda. I love you.
Executive Producer For RareNoiseRecords: Giacomo Bruzzo
Cover painting “The Education of Icarus 2”, by Yari Ostovany. Used with permission.
Supported by TONO, NOPA, Statens Kunstnerstipend and the Norwegian Academy of Music.
supported by 20 fans who also own “Unheimlich Manoeuvre”
"Jü’s style on this record can be described as a proggy Jazz Rock power trio’s take on Indonesian traditionals with the additional integration of electronic Avantgarde as well as European and African instrumentation; which as a description almost sounds disgustingly academical and distracts from how damn awesome and fun this adventure actually is."
my full review on Veil of Sound:
https://veilofsound.com/2021/10/17/J%C3%BC-III.html Der Ohlsen