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October 2005

Anderskov Accident
Unity of Action
Ilk

It is an obligation of the record reviewer to provide, at minimum, a usefully accurate characterization of music under consideration. But describing Anderskov Accident, an electric/acoustic, manic/meticulous, sarcastic/earnest Danish octet led by keyboardist-composer-conceptualist Jacob Anderskov, is not easy.

You start with a dense acoustic ensemble whose core is the electronic high rasp and low hum of Anderskov's Rhodes and Jeppe Skovbakke's bass, respectively. Anderskov writes pieces that start as slow drones ("Den Onde Cirkel"), or hollering contrapuntal repetitions ("The Sick Man"), or calm single-instrument theme statements ("What Roots"), or noise ("Handy Week"). But all tunes morph. The ensemble might careen and rave and threaten to fly apart, but eventually synchs up on Anderskov's intricate, irregularly shaped charts and strategically placed moaning riffs.

The soloists-Anderskov, trumpeter Kasper Tranberg, trombonist Peter Dahlgren, reedists Laura Toxvard, Ned Ferm and Anders Banke-are all persuasive in their diatribes. The most off-the-wall is Toxvard, whose alto saxophone is all too credible as "The Sick Man." What makes their individual extravagances both exciting and meaningful is that they grow out of and into Anderskov's overall designs. The music of Anderskov Accident is volatile but not accidental.

Originally published in October 2005
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