It will be their first Austin show in ten years for Atomic - a two-time Grammy winning Scandinavian ensemble that has garnered widespread acclaim for creating a completely unique and identifiable sound. Their music seamlessly merges the American and European free jazz traditions, and you can catch this original flavor at the steadfastly underground venue, Beerland, on February 20, 2018.
Atomic is comprised of Fredrik Ljungkvist (reeds), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Håvard Wiik (piano), Hans Hulbækmo (drums) Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass). The group, whose inception began in 2000, are equally indebted to the music of Archie Shepp and Derek Bailey, and they use these traditions as sources of inspiration — no restrictions on their creativity. The compositions, by Håvard Wiik and Fredrik Ljungkvist, are typical Atomic: thoughtfully constructed melodies alternate with explosive passages by way of fast, unexpected changes.
In 2014, the first change in personel took place: Hans Hulbækmo replaced Paal Nilssenon drums. He is one of the biggest musical talents to come out of Norway in the last years. In early 2015 this new line-up released the studio album Lucidity followed in 2017 by Six Easy Pieces (Odin/Hubro):
"...on the evidence of the stunning new Lucidity [Hulbaekmo] has made a remarkably smooth, effective transition, powering the group in his own way. While the complexity of the writing might come off as fussy in lesser hands, for Atomic it never feels less than charged, with fresh concepts speeding by breathless moment after breathless moment." (Peter Margasak, Downbeat ****1/2).
With the advent of Sonic Transmissions Festival for the last four years, Austin is becoming quite the hub for experimental, improvised music, and free jazz. Alongside and in coordination of the festival, Self Sabotage Records, Astral Spirits, Epistrophy Arts, and Beerland have become part of the team and have organized other genre-bending events in Austin.
Be sure to catch this cultural event on February 20th at Beerland (Facebook Event). Doors open at 7:00 P.M, and American jazz pianist, Collin Shook, will open the show.