Creative espionage and inventive intimation: an interview with Aiming For Enrike

 

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Without doubt, one of the year’s most exhilarating and inventive propositions has been Segway Nation, the new album from Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike. The encounter is a fascinating instrumental adventure in sound and captivating aural suggestiveness; a multi-flavoured infectiousness created by drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen. Offered the chance to learn more with the duo, we set about discovering the creative heart of band and album.

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

First of all can you tell us about yourselves as individuals?

We are two quite calm persons; a guitar player and drummer. We love making and playing music, so we spend a lot of time in the rehearsal space, practicing, jamming, and composing.

When did you first meet and what sparked the idea to form the band?

We met in 2010, when we attended a music school in Oslo. We were both into experimental noise rock music. After seeing some mind-blowing bands like Monolithic and Zu, we wanted to do something like that as a duo. By using loops we managed to get a huge sound even though we were only two. In the beginning we had more of a noise/prog sound but over the years the songs developed into more conventional song structures where we have incorporated a lot of influences from electronica, funk etc.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

Yes, but not worth sharing 😉

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

It is wonderfully difficult to pin down the Aiming For Enrike sound for us, how would you describe it to newcomers to the band?

It’s an adventurous band with good melodies, cool grooves, and lots of energy. It has a very distinct sound, but still the music can go in many different directions.

What and who have most inspired your musical ideas and subsequently sound would you say?

Our sound is kind of schizophrenic and has a lot of layers because of a wide range of influences. Of course we can be inspired by other things in life, but I think it is only music and music gear that have a direct influence to our sound. Aiming for Enrike is the result of two people and sounds like something none of us would have made by ourselves.

Here are some names: Miles Davis, Josh Homme, James Brown, Nels Cline, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Greg Saunier, Hot Snakes, Glen Branca, Mike Patton, Moha…

I am no expert on the broad expanse of the Norwegian music scene right now, generally coming across the diversity of metal and rock bands from there, but I get the feeling that your music is a one of a kind there; something unusual to the Norwegian landscape of sound. Is that the reality and if so how have they taken to it?

In Norway it is very common to have musical collaborations across genres. If you look at the jazz and improvisational music scene, you have lots of artist who play music that have more in common with pop, rock/metal, electronic music than traditional jazz. In jazz festivals you can go and see pop acts, and in commercial festivals there are jazz bands playing. So I think in general people are very open to new stuff.  Most artists are not so focused on sounding like the other one. It is a good thing to be original, and have your own thing going. We don’t know of any other Norwegian band that sounds like us but way more people than we would have guessed have been positive and open to it.

You have just released new album, Segway Nation; a release which had our imagination as busy and enthralled as ears and feet. Where does a ‘typical’ Aiming For Enrike song start composing wise?

We always start by just playing. We spend a lot of time just improvising, or trying out different kind of ideas. It is important that we are inspired when we play, and that there is a fun factor. We try to follow our intuition, and not doubt our choices too much. Then we record our ideas and make tunes out of them.

Throughout the album, there is an organic freedom, almost as things were created, played, and improvised in the moment. Tell us about the recording of Segway Nation; were songs already AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400written before recording them or was there an element of conjuring twists and turns there and then?

Everything is played live in the studio, without any click track. That might create a more «free» or improvised feel. On Segway Nation we composed all the songs before we recorded them, but there are some parts in the songs where we improvise. It can be open sections, or written parts played in different ways. That keeps it interesting for us, and hopefully for the listeners. Some of the more «free form» songs like Minitrue and Phone Phobia are the result of some improvised recording sessions.

Another great aspect to the album is the way it inspires the listener’s imagination to create its own adventures. Can you tell us about some of the actual themes and inspirations to the tracks and their suggestive dramas?

We didn’t have any specific plans for this. But it is a good thing if the listeners make up their own adventure in the music. I don’t think there are any specific themes to the songs, but there are specific inspirations to some of the songs. It can be a groove, melody, riff etc.

The past few years has seen some impressive and ear striking duos emerge with varying styles and dynamics within their union. Often it seems that the slimness of personnel allows a band to bring its live presence much more easily to recordings. It is the same with you guys; there is a feeling that listening to Segway Nation would be like standing in front of you on stage. Do you think there is some validity in that thought from your perspective; less bodies and minds leads to less of a leaning on technology and tricks when recording music?

There is more space in the music when you are a duo, and that makes it easier to follow your intuition and play in the moment. Since we record our music live in a room, the recording becomes very representative for us as a band. There are very few options sound wise with only a guitar and a drum kit, so I think it is hard to lose the live feeling in the recording.

Marius Mada Dale

Marius Mada Dale

Tell us about your live side; how you translate the dynamics of songs to the stage?

It works really great! We played the songs live many times before we recorded them. So the recording is not much different from a live performance. With the live performance you will also get the visual aspect and a bit more playful approach to the material.

What is next for Aiming For Enrike now that the album is out and earning acclaim and new hearts?

We are working on new material, which is turning out really good! And we have some festivals coming up this summer; first there´s Nattjazz festival in Bergen, then Øya festival in Oslo. We are planning a European tour in the fall! So lots of cool stuff coming up!

Once again many thanks for giving your time to us. Anything you would like to add?

Check out our album Segway Nation, and also the live in Rohdos garage videos on YouTube.

Read the review for Segway Nation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/aiming-for-enrike-segway-nation/

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike    http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 04/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Aiming For Enrike – Segway Nation

Aiming For Enrike_RingMasterReview

There seems to have been a bit of a buzz brewing up around Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike and now with the release of new album Segway Nation, it is very easy to see why. The twelve strong imagination and body inciting instrumentals are a captivating and fascinating adventure in sound and aural suggestiveness revealing two musicians in total creative sync whilst embracing the infectious essences of everything from funk and jazz, post punk to rock ‘n’ roll with plenty more included.

Aiming For Enrike consists of drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen, a pair creating refreshing and virulent sounds through intricate polyrhythms within compelling grooves and melodies from a drum kit, three guitar amps, and a rich selection of loop and effect pedals. Inspirations seem to come from the likes of Hella, Lightning Bolt, and Monolithic but across time and debut album Mao Miro, now backed by Segway Nation, Aiming For Enrike has undoubtedly developed something distinct to their own adventure and imagination.

The album opens with the band’s latest single Newspeak, a track which has feet tapping within seconds and hips swinging after a few more inviting moments of its sonically informative body. The track is a keen shuffle of flirtatious rhythms and intrigue lit melodies amidst darker grumbling hues. They all build into a resourceful and magnetic coaxing into the waiting full landscape of Segway Nation and the expanse of the Aiming for Enrike sound. With additional fuzz and a busy nature to its rock ‘n’ roll, the track has attention and appetite firmly hooked before handing both over to its successor.

AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400Riget similarly has ears snared from its first throws of imagination; post punk/noise rock psychosis leaping at the senses with matching rhythms. It nags and niggles away like a glorious itch that scratching can only deflect momentarily, each strain of temptation more compelling and irresistible than the last while the following Mad Driver is an over active ride which is almost like being locked in a car crazed computer game; like a jazzy version of Mario Kart.

Already there is an open freedom to each piece of music. It is almost as if the band is physically busking in ears with the suggestion that each play of a track by them will always differ from another, something replicated in a way by new aspects being revealed with every listen to the album. New twists and turns certainly make up each highly enjoyable venture into Billion Year Contract, a spatial almost sci-fi spiced flight though shimmering melodies and fiery textures escorted by restrained yet tenacious percussion.

Through the brief distorted scenery and discord of Minitrue and the riveting drama of Ushikawa, the album continues to enthral and add to its already potent persuasion. The second of the two is especially contagious and rousing as it inspires thoughts of mystery and intrigue involved in dark escapades though throughout it reassures the senses with a celebratory air to its hooks and melodies. The track is superb and swiftly matched by the sonic dissonance of Now Watch This Drive. Again its drama holds numerous twists and suggestive turns to try and interpret or simply cast one’s own adventure from, the increasing volatile beats of Ørnes perfectly framing the building creative theatre of Følstad Nilsen’s guitar.

There is little time for the imagination to relax across Segway Nation either. Both the exotically unpredictable Necrocratic Republic and the sinister yet haunting Phone Phobia lay stronger temptation after bewitching temptation on body and mind to engross and almost mentally exhaust when added to the busy adventure already offered while the album’s title track expands the shadowy context of its predecessor with its own rhythmic and sonic slice of emotional espionage and inventive intimation.

Brought to a close by firstly the low key, melancholic ambience of Almost All of Them and finally the dynamic tango of Nakata Johnny Walker, a track which again has the body bouncing from first to last second with its catchy swing and often off-kilter devilry. The closing flames of brass and cosmopolitan hues ensures it and album leave the listener absorbed and ready to go again, something so easy to do.

Segway Nation is one of those album’s you would probably not go explore without a hint or two, so consider this a big nudge and go treat yourselves.

Segway Nation is released May 6th via Name Music across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike   http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete Ringmaster 06/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Uncanny – Self Titled EP

Pic Marius Ringen

Pic Marius Ringen

As much as technical prowess does impress, personal tastes dictates that if an instrumental proposition is going to really fire up the passions, it has to have inescapable imagination inspiring drama to its presence whether that be cinematic or emotional. It is a quality which is in abundance within the self-titled debut EP from Norwegian trio Uncanny and why the release has barely left our speakers these past couple of days since first immersing in its fascinating and dark creative adventure.

The Oslo based Uncanny consists of Andreas Oltedal, Rikard Sjånes Pedersen, and Torkil Rødvand; a threesome drawing on the inspirations of artists ranging from Meshuggah, Benea Reach, and Shining to Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses, Aiming for Enrike, and Igor Stravinskij for their own multi-textured exploits. Their first EP is an introduction to all to the band and if it is a sign of things to come, the first step in drawing perpetually eager and persistent attention their way.

The release opens with klown, a darkly flavoured web of sound swiftly sparking ears and imagination into life. The initial steps of the track are heavy and predacious, a Korn-esque hue soon wrapped in acidic melodies before things suddenly settle into a gentle yet slightly sinister calm. Skittish rhythms equally have an off-kilter edge to them as they court the melancholic melody playing in ears before the track erupts into another rousing trespass of the senses. Light and dark, mellow and raw textures continue to clash and entwine across the track as thoughts explore the two sides of their take on the title and the figure it provokes. It’s scary and welcoming sides battle in thoughts, the former winning the battle as the track twists and turns with increasing metal and raw rock ‘n’ roll voracity. Of course the theme and inspiration to the song, to any of the tracks, is not always going to match that conjured by the listener, every song allowing and encouraging the imagination to make their own interpretation of their aural suggestiveness.

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

The great start is quickly eclipsed by the outstanding maze of sound and styles making up electric black. Starting with an ears rapping roll of beats, the track spins a web of steely and winy grooves, two hues fuelling their irrepressible and addictive toxicity. The guitars move like animated vines across song and the senses, spicing up the imagination with their dark flirtation as the rhythms grouchily grumble below. As in the first, a more passive weave of sound emerges with a mystique toned air and melodic reflection though little time passes before the volatility of the moment brews tempestuous traits which lead back to the galvanic and rabid maelstrom with waspish grooves and nagging riffs to the fore.

The following u will fail envelops ears in a haunting caress initially, floating harmonic almost gossamer like vocals more a texture than a narrative in the brewing theatre of sound and temptation. Across its body, the early post punk like elements continue to inspire and excite as the song involves melodic and progressive rock enterprise into its cinematic tapestry. Often prowling and persistently imposing whilst stimulating ears and thoughts, the song is at times like a cold war romancing for the imagination in other moments a dystopian bred oppressor and all the time increasingly irresistible.

Fair to say it and its predecessor steal the show upon the Uncanny EP, yet the first song and the EP closing rat8 only add to the impressive nature and creativity of the release. The last song initially lays a solemn melodic mist which is soon alive with tendrils of guitar spawned rock ‘n’ roll before a black hearted descent of dark metal invades all. That too is a momentary incitement though as a post and progressive rock brewed climate washes over the senses whilst rhythms reveal great irritability and feverish tenacity to their character which in turn inspires something similar from guitars and bass.  This too is just another emotively expressive moment in an ever evolving soundscape of a track where ears joyfully feel like they are in a creative rat run. It constantly leads and twists around on the listener, providing riveting rewards at every turn whilst never relenting in its busy and voraciously delicious manipulation.

There may be not too much background  available to Uncanny yet but their music and EP has everything you need to know about their potential and their already impressive qualities which invite the imagination to go on their own thrilling adventures.

The Uncanny EP is out now on iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/uncannysounds

Pete RingMaster 07/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/