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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 247 - 10/16/16

Kim Myhr
Bloom
Hubro

Kim Myhr has been busy for years now in the jazz and beyond part of the Nowegian underground. He's released some impressive albums as part of the trio Mural, and he has worked with everyone from Trondheim Jazz Orchestra to Lasse Marhaug. It's actually a bit surprising to realize that Bloom is only his second solo album, following All Your Limbs Singing, released by Sofa a couple of years ago.

The label promises this to be Kim Myhr's electric record, and when the hum and crackle builds to a wall of gentle noise in the opening track "Sort sol" it's easy to suspect this is going to an album of abstraction, a work for guitars not allowed to sound like guitars. But slowly the built up aural tower dissolves, giving room to Myhr's 12-string ringing out into the ether.

The rest of the album continues in the same vein. Myhr doesn't use the elctronic effects and the studio to transform his guitar, he use the tools to augment it, to fill out his soundcapes, to realize his compositions. Just listen to the folky shimmering of "Swales Fell", and the way low the end drone introduced halfway through expertly contrasts the guitar and pushes all the right emotional buttons. Or the way the multitracked guitars of "Peel Me" adds up to something rhytmically propulsive, like an industrial one-man band.

Bloom is a timely reminder of just how flexible the sound of these strings attached to wood can be. Sometimes a guitar is just a guitar.

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