Fire! is where Mats Gustafsson (The Thing), Johan Berthling (Tape) and drummer Andreas Werliin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums) go to stretch their instrumental skills and collaborate with prestigious guests like Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi.
Fire! Orchestra takes the project to the next level: a sonic behemoth comprising 28 members from Swedish jazz, improv and avant rock that should be unmanageable,
but turns out to possess the elegance and lucidity of the righteous free jazz big bands of the past. Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra. Carla Bley’s “Escalator Over the Hill”. Centipede. Sun Ra’s “Space Is The Place”. Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath. Freddie Hubbard & Ilhan Mimaroglu’s “Sing Me A Song Of Songmy”. All these classic landmarks come to mind as you listen to their monumental “Exit!”.
“Exit!” was recorded in front of an over enthusiastic audience in January 2012 at the headquarters of Fylkingen, the legendary Stockholm avant garde music centre.
But before you go thinking this is an impenetrable free jazz meltdown, listen again. “Exit!” follows in these mighty footprints, but it’s also an odyssey that takes its own route, with post-rock/krautrock diversions along the way. There is a way in to “Exit!”, and the way out is clearly signposted. Fire! is all about burning up tradition and blazing new paths and fresh approaches in improvised music – approaches informed equally by garage punk, electroacoustics and the noise of heavy industry.
Throughout both long halves of “Exit!”, Mariam Wallentin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums) and Sofia Jernberg chant ritualistic lyrics written by Arnold de Boer of Dutch avant rock institution, The Ex.