Shamblemaths 2: If this isn't good enough, we can't help you!
The second album is darker, heavier, knottier, yet also more fragile, more vulnerable. It has taken five years, countless studio hours, but zero compromises, as hours of music were distilled to 45 intense minutes, each one of which a deliberate and necessary part. Not a calorie was spent, however, catering to anyone's preferences but our own. Perhaps it constitutes a change of direction, but then, Shamblemaths never had a direction to begin with.
Most people won’t like “Shamblemaths 2”, but then, we don’t try to please “most people”. We’d much rather have a profound impact on a few than be liked by many!
Some might call it retro-prog, some will say it flies in the face of convention, most will call it a bloody racket. They’ll all be right. And wrong. Either way, we don’t particularly care.
Here are bad-mannered rockers, reinterpretations of a 20th century string quartet and a third-century hymn, and contemporary classical moments. There is anger and awe, despair and quiet melancholy, fear, doubt, and the faintest embers of hope. You find thundering fuzz bass, eerie mellotrons and soft, mellow winds. Yet all the elements are chosen and constructed to form a coherent album which is more than a collection of tunes. At least, that’s the intention.
Shamblemaths is currently Simen Å. Ellingsen (soprano/alto/tenor/baritone sax, guitar, vo-cals, recorder, sundry implements) and Ingvald A. Vassbø (drums, xylophone) with Ellingsen the principal writer. The album could not have materialised without a jaw-dropping performance by bassist Eskild Myrvoll (Kanaan) and keyboard wizard PAolo "Ske" Botta (Ske, Yugen, Not a Good Sign) lending his genius, alongside an array of indispensable guest musicians.
In real life, Ellingsen is a university Professor of Fluid Mechanics. Vassbø is a full-time musician, also member of Kanaan, Juno and the Verge.
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