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Rural Tapes (Norway) – Run Rapid (single/track from forthcoming album Contact)

I was surprised to discover how long it has been since Rural Tapes (Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen) was last here, right back in October 2022 in fact with an instrumental called ‘Waltz for the Living Dead’ and we’ve noted previously the variety in his work.

His third album, ‘Contact’, will be released on February 23rd via Smuggler Music and ‘Run Rapid’, the first track on the second side,is the first taste of it.

It appears he is trying to slow the world down, or at least his world, from its mad dash into oblivion, employing, as he has done before, old analogue equipment and historic instrumentation, preferring them over new technological advances.

‘Run Rapid’ is inspired by the work of English drummer and composer Basil Kirchin, whose career varied between playing drums in his father’s big band in his youth, through scoring films, to electronic music in which he used tape manipulation to rework the sounds made by birds, animals, insects and even autistic children.

Rural Tapes’ objective is to mix traditional instruments with the likes of synthesisers, drum machines and his own field recordings to create a future-sounding, forward-thinking record, but one shaped by the equipment of the past. On ‘Contact’ he uses10 different instruments in addition to his recordings including gamelan, a set of tuned percussive instruments that originated in Indonesia.

The Doctor Who of Music, in his Tardis, one might suggest.

In fact, and living up to his moniker, he declares himself to be incapable of walking past an old tape recorder in a shop without buying it, or of failing to secure one off eBay, “while the world is discussing artificial intelligence” because what Pandora’s Tape Machine might contain in terms of sounds and stories is too tempting. He adds, “twisting knobs really makes me feel in contact with my music.” So there’s hope for me yet.

I’ve put it on record before that he has the knack of fulfilling his old-meets-new ambitions and hey-ho he’s done it again with an oriental spaghetti western score played to a jazz beat, with the gamelan much to the fore alongside what sounds like fairground ride music and which I guess comes courtesy of his favoured mellotron. He just needs to chomp on a cheroot, throw a poncho over his shoulder and look mean when he plays live.

Forthcoming album ‘Contact’ follows the release of ‘Inner Space Music’ (2022) and ‘Rural Tapes’ (2021).

In a career which spans almost 20 years, he has worked with the likes of Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey from R.E.M.

Other musicians on the album are: Lars Løberg Tofte (bass), Marin Stallemo Bakke (violin), Sigurd Thomassen (acoustic guitar) and Øystein Braut (electric & steel guitar).

Find him on:



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