Jaga Jazzist return with their new album “Pyramid” on 24 April 2020, where the legendary Norwegian eight-piece takes a deep dive into post-rock, jazz and psychedelia influences. It’s their first album since 2015’s “Starfire”, their ninth album in a career now spanning four decades, but it marks the group’s debut on Brainfeeder, the LA-based imprint curated by Flying Lotus. On “Pyramid”, Jaga Jazzist have crafted a suitably cosmic sound to match their new label home, all the while nodding to forebears spanning from 80s jazz band Out To Lunch and Norwegian synth guru Ståle Storløkken, to contemporaries Tame Impala, Todd Terje and Jon Hopkins. Each of the album’s four longform entries evolves over carefully plotted movements, the tracks’ technicolour threads dreamily unspooling.
The band, led by Lars Horntveth and his compositions, took a direct approach to the creation of “Pyramid”. Whereas “Starfire” saw them take the idea of a traditional studio record to extremity, with different members dipping in and out of the booth to write, record and experiment over two years, the process behind “Pyramid” was almost the polar opposite: it took just two weeks. Both records were driven by the same curious, experimental spirit, but the processes were very different. Retreating to a secluded woodland studio in neighbouring Sweden, they bunkered into the studio for 12 hour days. “The most important thing is that we didn’t want to over-analyze every musical idea” says co-founder and drummer Martin Horntveth. “We wanted to follow the first and original idea and keep the freshness.” For a band which has never settled on any one sound or style, the continuity lies in their constant willingness to evolve, experiment and improvise.
“Pyramid” is Jaga Jazzist’s first self-produced album (most of their records being produced by close collaborator Jørgen Træen) and it meant a change in the way they operate. On the one hand, there were lots of different voices jostling to be heard. On the other, they didn’t have an independent figure to make a call on whether something was a good idea. “It was hard but felt natural to do ourselves, as five of us are producers and make records for a living,” Martin says. The result is an album that feels more collaborative than ever.
Whilst they wouldn’t describe “Pyramid” as a concept album, the band see the track titles as a conceptual starting point from which the listener can construct whatever story flows out of the songs. The album title refers to the building blocks which make up a pyramid, and how each of the four tracks – and their constituent parts – fit together. ‘Tomita’ is a nod to Japanese composer and synth player Isao Tomita, and ‘The Shrine’ alludes to Fela Kuti’s legendary Lagos venue. Lars says: “I felt that this album is a small symphony, each part containing its own rooms to explore.”Lars Horntveth: Guitars, pedal steel guitar, clarinets, saxophones, keyboards, synthesizers, vibraphone, piano and programming
Marcus Forsgren: Electric guitar and vocals
Even Ormestad: Bass guitar
Line Horntveth: Tuba, alto horn, euphonium, flute and vocals
Erik Johannessen: Trombone and vocals
Martin Horntveth: Drums, percussion and programming
Øystein Moen: Synthesizers, clavinet and Hammond organ
Andreas Mjøs: Vibraphone and chef
David Wallumrød: Pro Soloist on ‘Tomita’
- Additional Information
Artist Jaga Jazzist Label Brainfeeder Music Format General Vinyl Music Format Specific Album Genre Jazz, Psyche / Krautrock, Rock Release Date 7 Aug 2020 Track 1 Position No Track 1 Title No Track 1 Preview URL No Track 2 Position No Track 2 Title No Track 2 Preview URL No Track 3 Position No Track 3 Title No Track 3 Preview URL No Track 4 Position No Track 4 Title No Track 4 Preview URL No Track 5 Position No Track 5 Title No Track 5 Preview URL No Track 6 Position No Track 6 Title No Track 6 Preview URL No Track 7 Position No Track 7 Title No Track 7 Preview URL No Track 8 Position No Track 8 Title No Track 8 Preview URL No Track 9 Position No Track 9 Title No Track 9 Preview URL No Track 10 Position No Track 10 Title No Track 10 Preview URL No Track 11 Position No Track 11 Title No Track 11 Preview URL No Track 12 Position No Track12 Title No Track 12 Preview URL No