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Jan Bang is a Norwegian producer, composer and performer known for pioneering Live Sampling and Live Remix. In 2005 together with Erik Honoré, they formed the internationally acclaimed Punkt Festival, now in it´s 18th year. Punkt has visited 27 cities around the world and has a reputation for being the musician’s festival.
Composer/singer/producer Jan Bang is known for albums and live performances in collaboration with musicians like Jon Hassell, Sidsel Endresen, Tigran Hamasyan, Nils Petter Molvær, Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset and Erik Honoré. After a string of instrumental releases and two song based albums with the project Dark Star Safari, Reading the Air is his first vocal based solo album since 1998.
Jan Bang – Reading the Air
The album’s lyrical, lingering compositions, built around Bang’s voice, keyboards and electronics, are enhanced by an accomplished team: Vocalists Anneli Drecker, guitarist Eivind Aarset, bassist Audun Erlien and drummer Anders Engen. Reading the Air is co-produced and mixed by Jan Bang’s longtime partner and Punkt Festival co-founder Erik Honoré, who also wrote the lyrics – ambiguous meditations on loss and transience, with glimpses of hope and reconciliation: The title Reading the Air borrows a Japanese term that means «understanding the situation without words» or «sensing someone’s feelings».
The album is due for release in January 2024 on the new Punkt Editions label run by Bang and Honoré that has been established as a vehicle for new releases as well as Punkt Live Remixes from the vaults.
Jan Bang (vocal, piano, live sampling), Anneli Drecker (vocal), Eivind Aarset (guitar and electronics) Audun Erlien (bass) Anders Engen (drums), Sven Persson (sound).
Jan Bang | Eivind Aarset – Last Two Inches of Sky
«Last Two Inches of Sky» is a multi-dimensional live-experience of dreams within dreams, layers upon layers of colours, light and shade. While the seamlessness and warmth of the duo’s earlier work is still present, Last Two Inches of Sky is thoroughly grounded in a bass/beat foundation owing much to the Jamaican sound systems of the 1970s, but placed within a decidedly 2020s context.
“Listening with your eyes closed, this is exactly the escape that Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang’s powerful new album offers you. Close to the sun, perhaps, but grounded by the beat”.
Aarset and Bang have collaborated since the early 1990s in constellations with, among others, Nils Petter Molvær, Bugge Wesseltoft, Sly & Robbie, David Sylvian and Jon Hassell. «Dream Logic« and «Snow Catches on her Eyelashes» (2020) are earlier recordings as a duo. John Eyles of All About Jazz to wrote: «Aarset, Bang and company go from strength to strength, as does the Norwegian scene. Onward and upward.» «Last Two Inches of Sky» further expands this sonic universe – onward and upward.
Eivind Aarset (guitar, electronics), Jan Bang (live sampling), Audun Erlien (bass), Samuel Rohrer (drums)
“Everything I know is like a rope around the ankles
Hollow out my bones and take me higher
To the last two inches of sky”
Dai Fujikura & Jan Bang – The Bow Maker
The Bow Maker began as a collaborative project between Japanese composer Dai Fujikura and Norwegian sound artist Jan Bang. Fujikura’s minimalist approach to composition and Bang’s electronic sound processing give rise to a timeless, subtle and immersive tonal landscape. Together with Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset and Austrian trumpeter Franz Hautzinger, the duo creates an auditory experience that transports the audience into a multidimensional sound space. The boundaries between acoustic and electronic music blur into a contemplative sensory experience.
Jan Bang (live sampling), Dai Fujikura (synthesizer), Eivind Aarset (guitar, electronics), Franz Hautzinger (trumpet)
“Bang’s ever-present ability to play his equipment with the same kind of intuitive and symbiotic knowledge that one hears from artists who play more «conventional» instruments…creating subtle pulses, loops and sonic washes… yet another demonstration of his ability to integrate music organically with technology, regardless of context. ”— John Kelman, allaboutjazz.com