Tabs Out | Espen Lund – The Speaking Hand

Espen Lund – The Speaking Hand

2.20.20 by Ryan Masteller

Espen Lund makes music that fills me with utter, overwhelming joy. It may be par for the course here – the idea for “The Speaking Hand” was for Espen to amplify his trumpet and play it in a room where the reverberations became overwhelming to the point where his playing was completely reactive. “How the heck am I gonna keep up with all this sound pinging around me in here?” Espen likely wondered. I know if it was me, a single farted note would likely have caused a feedback loop that would have made me piss my pants before the engineer could unlock the studio door I was so desperately banging on. But hey, that’s me, not Espen Lund, so we’ll pretend none of that ever happened and get back to “The Speaking Hand.”

Is Espen Lund the Thurston Moore of trumpet players? It has to be asked. Thurston basically does the same thing with his guitar – sometimes anyway – where he lets it feed the hell back until he has to do something about it or be overwhelmed completely. Espen tries out several different approaches, like the variations over a single-chord drone (courtesy of Bjørn Ognøy on harmonium) on “Rejoicing Collectively to the Spirits,” which is immediately followed by the breakneck “I Mørket. Med Lyset,” allowing Lund to chase Jard Hole’s drumming around the studio while trying not to knock the walls down. “Speak the Blood” is a jazz ensemble playing at a smoky club through a haze of LSD, while “That’s the Night I See a Ghost” and “Darker Glow” tap into the utter reverberations of feedback that have cracked boundaries between the spiritual and physical worlds. And if that sounds spooky, it is – Lund let’s the atmosphere bubble and boil until your heart palpitates with dread. Or is that just with the tension Lund’s wringing out of every note on “The Speaking Hand”? Well … why can’t it be both?

It is both.

“The Speaking Hand” is available from Flag Day Recordings. Don’t let another day elapse without it!

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