No Spaghetti Edition: Pasta Variations

Pat Thomas’ ongoing work with No Spaghetti Edition, an Oslo-based ensemble with a frequently changing line-up, is representative of his edgy electronics and keyboards. Though NSE’s second CD, Pasta Variations (Sofa), finds the group trimmed down from 12 to seven, the music is just as prickly. Credit vocalist Phil Minton’s primal screeches and groans only to an extent. With a little more elbow room, the Norwegians-saxophonist Hakon Kornstad, accordionist Frode Haltli, guitarist Ivar Grydeland, bassist Tonny Kluften and drummer Ingar Zach-are better able to assert their own provocative voices. These are musicians who place a premium on and have an impressive command of the initially indistinguishable sound. Pasta Variations is loaded with surprising moments where a wheeze or scrape turns out to be from an unexpected source. This is hard-boiled improvised music, requiring a taste, if not a zeal for raucous noise on the part of the listener.