Downtown Music Gallery

by Bryce Gallanter

Featuring Klaus E. Holm on alto sax, clarinet & feedback and Roger Arntzen on acoustic bass with Lars Myrvoll on guitar & laptop. This is the second disc that we've gotten from this unique Norwegian duo. Roger Arntzen is also the bassist for In the Country who have three discs out on Rune Grammofon. Although Ballrogg is mainly a duo, they know how to create dramatic landscapes with just bass and a sax or clarinet. Beginning with "N.R.E.M." the duo create a most haunting landscape with minimal plucked bass and hushed clarinet. Klaus adds an occasional distant feed back drone to keeps things eerie and a bit off balance. The acoustic bass and clarinet sound especially good together as they both have a sort of wooden tone. On "Monkeytown" it is to tell the difference between the feedback and the sax as they both are twisting their notes inside out. Ballrogg actually perform a cover of Morton Feldman's "Patterns in a Chromatic Field" which they also twist into an odd shape. No doubt Mr. Feldman would turn over in his grave but I found it to be somewhat charming. I often found this disc to be better when I wasn't paying close attention, since the dig the vibe more than execution. No doubt this will grow on me (like fungus) as I check out a few more times.