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'Utopian Tales'   

-  Label: 'Hubro'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: '18th August 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'HUBROCD2585'

Our Rating:
This Bergen-based Norwegian composer and guitarist's third solo release is inspired by microtonality and draws upon references ranging from speculative science fiction of Ursula Le Guin, B.F.Skinner and Aldous Huxley to alternative art and modern architecture.

A line in the sleeve states that "shapes, pictures and lyrics may be used as inspiration to open forms and free improvisations". Keeping things as sinuous and unrestricted as possible is the primary goal.

Urheim is credited with guitars, vocals, tamboura, turkish tanbur, bass, samples, collages and electronics. This makes him the principal component of the specially formed seven piece contemporary ensemble, The Cosmolodic Orchestra, which also features sax, clarinet and upright bass.

The fascinating and varied musical journey involves stop offs at imaginary musical locations Mikrotonia, Canaticala and Intonation Island. Words are spoken and sung in Hear The People Sing and The Clown but the emphasis is on the multifaceted instrumental arrangements.

The opening and closing guitar pieces -Ustopia,Pt.1 & Pala - are elegant nods towards Americana, while on other tracks a loose mix of electronica, jazz and ambient ensures that no one style is dominant.

From the funky grooves of Letter From Walden Two to the sophistication of Ustopia,Pt.2, featuring trumpeter Per Jorgensen and Mari Kvien Brunvoll's angelic vocals, it all makes for a fascinating and fluid collection.
  author: Martin Raybould

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URHEIM, STEIN - Utopian Tales