Supersilent has created some of the most challenging and rewarding improvised music to come out in recent years. "6" moves effortlessly between moments of almost ferocious noise and moments of austere beauty often combining the two to create a subtle yet forward wall of sound out of which the slightest details are slowly coaxed. An uncompromising recording full of passion and guts. Another fantastic release from the consistently engaging Rune Grammofon label.
Other Music (US)
Without compromising their uniqueness Supersilent have taken a step towards a more accesible music. "6.2" and "6.4" are among the finest tracks Supersilent have put on a record.
Supersilent are one of the absolutely best bands to appear in recent years. Recommended to anyone with a curious ear. Start with "6". Go inside. I can´t get out. Göteborgsposten (SE)
This album was recorded in a five-day studio session, where the anonymous artists improvise and share ideas, and the result is a strange, dark, melancholic, evolving work. "6" has depth and movement to it that makes it approachable, and it´s up there with Plaid, Autechre and Boards Of Canada in terms of electronic experimentalism in a good way. 8/10.
Future Music (UK)
Their mode of expression is both captivating and enchanting. The record is a total experience of contructive experimentation and instrumentation. It offers totally unique structures of living impulses and a nerve of dark unconditional willingness to create. We can´t demand more than that from a record.
6/6 Dagsavisen (NO)
Anyone talking about a Norwegian wave must familiarize themselves with Supersilent. I know few bands with similar dynamic breathing and such an arsenal of ideas. Producer and member Helge Sten has brought out new sides of the band and although the electronics are still prominent, the use of guitars, piano and organ gives new energy to the music. Supersilent gather threads from progressive rock, improvised jazz and contemporary electronica and offer us an ingenious texture. An important band! 6/6 Aftenposten (NO)
Jazz, electronica, experimental ®¢ on their fourth release Supersilent simply create powerfull music, call it what you want. A better start of the year for genre free music is hard to imagine. 6/6.
Verdens Gang (NO)
Supersilent is a sure card and again they deliver the goods with incredible precision. This time they fusion the chaotic noise from their debut with the almost quiet psalms of "5". This is clearly a collective that understand each other and share a common vision regarding what they want to achieve through music. Listen to this quartet, you will not regret.
Neither ambient, rock or electronica, "6" is sometimes deeply disturbing, at others almost unbearably uplifting, but never, ever, just there.
Supersilent have established themselves among the most important innovators in Scandinavian experimental music in recent years. The music is somewhere between electronic music and jazz, with elements of ambient and noise. The musicians are on a neverending discovery mission where musical landscapes go through frequent changes. It´s through these explorations that the tension and dynamics of Supersilent is created. The music is demanding, in that it requires that you pay attention when listening. Then you will find it both challenging and seductive.
An unguided tour through Supersilent´s electronic soundworld, including some acoustic elements, is still one of the most exciting trips a listener can have. This superb sixth round is slightly softer with dreamlike sequences slightly more dreamy and the melodic elements slightly more sacred. Henriksen, Storl¿kken og Vespestad´s jazzbackground is tangible in both approach and timing and combined with a big, soundcanvas such as this the music becomes overwhelming. In Norwegian music Supersilent is a very special flower. 5/6.
If you haven´t heard about them by now, you must pay more attention in class because this is the best combo old Norway have to offer in futuristic jazz. They sound like few others but it´s a pleasure that one can "recognize" some of their trademarks. "6" can be seen as a summing up of the whole project, but it still has the immediate freshness and playfullness that comes with the lack of conventions. It´s not really jazz and it´s not really electronica, but still it´s both. But most of all it´s excellent music.
Natt og Dag (NO)
The music breaks with conventional musical forms. Supersilent have their own sound and their own independent expression. The fruitful ambiguity that thrives in the music makes "6" a small diamond in the record collection.
This Oslo based improv quartet pads elegantly about in the territory connecting jazz, ambient, electronica, post-rock and neo-classical. Recorded live in the studio these six extraordinarily beautiful sonic sculptures recall A Silver Mount Zion and Godspeed... late period Talk Talk and Eno´s work with Robert Fripp and Jon Hassell, each one a freeze frame of the soul.
Time Out (UK)
Play it over and over, you will still find amazing things in Supersilen´s 6. The level of unspoken understanding, interplay,and clarity of vision in experimentation is now beyond words. In the fourth piece, the group finds an irresistable momentum propelled by Vespestad´s drumming, the kind of freight-train-to-outer-space drive that should send all members of Godspeed You Black Emperor! back to their bedrooms. Supersilent simply does it better, without the irritating poise. Highly recommended to dreamers, droners and avant-rock lovers.
Alternative Music Guide (US)
Such an open-ended music, where each track´s constituent elements and feel are entirely unique, should betray the tendencies and personalities of the individuals involved. Amazingly, these kinds of ego-illuminating maneuvers are entirely absent. Although the music is improvised and entirely unplanned, Supersilent move as a singular entity, with the predetermined clarity and elegant cadence of formulated composition. The group´s unedited process revels in the startling, "perfect imperfections" of selfless group improvisation.
Textures and tones are applied with great care all the way through, as the musicians interact with each other, yet expressing a true collective work. If this recording, like its predecessors, proves at times to be challenging as the four seem to lose all grip on time to delve deep in the sonic structures they patiently establish, the intensity with which they carry their music and the intrinsic beauty of the improvisations is in the end extremely rewarding. Devoid of any egoistic feelings, Supersilent 6 is once again a genuine collaborative work. With these four accomplished contemporary musicians joining forces, all ordinarily evolving in singularly different realms, Supersilent is well and truly one of the most impressive acts to have burst on the improv scene. 4.8/5.
The Milk Factory (UK)
For music this moody, it´s surprising how neutral that mood turns out to be. The atmosphere is thick, but the band stays emotionally reserved. The sound is almost stoic; its sonic extremes don´t so much as nudge the slow tempo or contemplative tone. A piece may be based on a repeating figure or simple rhythmic pattern, but that repetition comes from improvisation: Everything this group plays, every time, is improvised, and each track is presumably edited from a longer session. More to the point, it never settles: Vespestad never locks down the beat, the ambience never grows static, and they never make a noise just to fill space. You can´t treat this as background music without getting distracted by the decisions being made at every second, and although the end result is restrained-- almost weirdly cool, even at its messiest-- it refuses to be anticipated. Most postrock sounds numbingly rigid next to this: Supersilent may go for a big finish but the crescendos can rise suddenly, or appear so roughly and naturally that it´s obvious that no single player is forcing cues or smoothing out the arc. 9.1/10.
Two things about "6" deserve special note. One is that the entire thing is improvised. There are no studio overdubs here, none of the heavy-handed production that festers on so much of today´s electro-jazz music. The second is that while the record as a whole is quiet, that doesn´t mean it lacks moments of sheer intensity. Dynamics come in many forms. The sonorities these musicians explore are abstract and twisted, yet entirely accessible to an openminded listener. At times, when drummer Jarle Vespestad takes more of an active timekeeping role (as on parts of "6.4"), the music resembles the post-rock soundscapes of Tortoise. But those moments can be fleeting. Resemblances are not something Supersilent prefers to cultivate, it seems. One final piece of information, relevant to Norway´s burgeoning experimental music scene and its spillover around the world. This group´s first recording was the first release on the Rune Grammofon label, rapidly becoming recognized (through 30 releases to date) for exactly the kind of intelligent genre-bending Supersilent represents.
All About Jazz (US)
A Norwegian quartet, one of the best improvising groups. Secret weapons: melody - they´re not afraid to make up a tune - and structure - they can give that tune meaning. The sound is mostly dirty electronics with treated trumpet and lovely gentle drumming, beautifully recorded. Epic, unhurried, musical, collaborative: lovely.
Is this improvisational jazz? Free electronic? Post-rock experimentalism? Sentimental soundtracking? Blur, mixÑwe talk here as Supersilent maintain their stoic shadows behind the curtain. (Although we say as little as they tend to say of us: we say here only what can be traced in the fragments of a clean, dark grey cover, without explanation, an album devoted entirely to its disc). We hear their ghostly shapes walking the ramparts. Afraid, trembling before what awaits as each song erupts to focus upon a shimmering. A shimmering synthesizer, analogue, the particularities of those rippled sounds, a note, joined in harmony, answered in disharmony, the potential of cacophony, the limit of the song´s structure testedÑreigned in, returnedÑand tested again: "solo" moments given from one to the other, the jazz tag-team occurring unexpected (the "bars" of a jazz solo are here removed from the program completely)Ñagain, the shimmering, this time of the entire track, shimmering through the others on the album, the first few a jubilant expression of topologies, visions of landscapes and the infinite, the last few a dark and microscopic exploration of minerals, of the invisible weight of the earth, the finality of our split consciousness, the impossibility of that finality in and of itself, and now: the entire album shimmering, through other albums, and we are led to ask ourselves: is there not, every ten, maybe twenty years, a shimmering, a moment when the refraction of the mirror is turned to itself, when certain ghosts receive their chance to channel through the present a variation of the forgotten past as inspiration to the future? Like a pact with the Devil, Cornelius Agrippa to John Dee, Dee to Dr. Faustus, and on through the pantheon.
Jazz-electronic quarted Supersilent distinguish themselves from other groups in the Norwegian scene by not using sequenced set-ups as the basis for their music. Nor do they rehearse or discuss their music in advance, instead collectively improvising it in the moment. The general approach on this, their sixth album, is darkly moody, slow and hypnotic.
This mysterious Norwegian free-rock quartet recently released an engrossing album of improvisation called "6" (Rune Grammofon). The fourth piece (there are no song titles) starts off with chiming ambient sounds, then gathers weight and velocity as the drummer Jarle Vespestad nudges things forward; near the end, synthesizers build into an elegant electrical storm. Recommended listening.
New York Times (US)
"6" by Supersilent is a landmark album. It is a harrowing work of jazz, electronica and ambient textures that is as exciting as it is mind-blowing. Imagine the icy landscapes created by Sigur Ros, channeled through the experimental fusion of early Can and played in direct homage to Miles Davis circa the Pangaea era. That is as well as words can describe the sounds this band creates. It is all the more inspiring when you consider that the recording of this album was improvised live in the studio. According to Supersilent's website, the band members have little contact with each other outside of the studio and only come together during recording sessions. Incidentally, "6" is the fourth release by these Norwegians. Their early work, which has been described as bleak and hardcore, is replaced with a quietly evocative music that is a moving and elegiac wonder of sound. It is no mere hyperbole when I describe this work as probably one of the most inspiring pieces of music I've heard in years. Yet, as unsettling and experimental as it is, it is quite accessible. Barring Sigur Ros, it would be difficult to identify an artist or group capable of creating a work this fiercely intelligent, that is so movingly human and entrancing.
Ink 19 (US)
As the mark of a formidable group mind at work, there is always space available in the conjured ether of the quartet, as dense or sparse as the mood turns. Although broken into six sections, instead it all flows as one, tensing into climaxing crescendos that out-plateau the more popular Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Sigur Ros moments as well as dipping into an ebbing chill that loosens all fetters of ambient sound. A protean movement that somehow avoids the easy sectors of jazz, soundscape, instrumental rock, or noise-based improv, Supersilent instead goes deep into that which is unnameable.
With this album they reach another dimension. It«s a masterpiece.
The latest release from this versatile Norwegian quartet is an excellent set of improvised music that seems to draw as much from atmospheric, epic rock as it does from contemporary electronic and jazz traditions. The ever-changing spontaneity lends it a loose openness that rarely sounds like aimless wandering, and this CD continues to reveal new elements with each listen.
One of the most eerily beautiful and most accessible experimental records of the year so far, this Norwegian quartet's latest offering is enveloped by a mood that closely resembles something like a much darker version of Miles Davis' classic In a Silent Way, yet without falling anywhere near the jazz spectrum. Employing vintage keyboards-- some remarkably similar in sound to the dense analog tones of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine", as well as live manipulation and stoic drumming, this is Supersilent's finest record to date, and one that any fan of electronic, experimental, avant-garde, drone, ambient or jazz should be utterly consumed by.
Digital Nimbus (US)
If one group has distilled the icy Norwegian aesthetic into something new, it's Supersilent. When the band began in 1997, it was as if Aphex Twin had met the wilder side of King Crimson, pitting dark electronics against ferocious free-jazz. But after lineup changes and a new direction some years later, 6 solidified Supersilent and the all-Norwegian roster at Rune Grammofon as the figureheads of a new Nordic sound. The music often moves at a glacial pace, skimming the Aurora Borealis for alien textures. In particular, "6.2" reveals Supersilent's admiration for Miles Davis' electric period, but almost becomes an alternate world where smooth jazz is cool in a dark, dangerous way.