Heard of Lars Horntveth before? No, didn’t think so – but you will be well aware of his leadership over the rather fantastic Norwegian outfit Jaga Jazzist. This is his first solo outing, and is really very good. This is especially true when you know that apart from the beats on this album, everything was recorded in the studio live!
Dubbed as "an instrumental pop album", this is actually a very eclectic mixture of songs; stretching across the electronic, jazz, classical and pop genres with seeming ease. The apparent inspiration comes from a mischievous invisible rabbit; the figment of a drunk excellently played by James Stewart in one of my all time favourite films "Harvey". It is this sense of mischievousness that seems to drive this album, a cheeky beat here, playful clarinet there…and an overwhelming sense of fun throughout. This doesn’t mean this album is throw-away though, far from it, some of the composition here is simply genius, and gives a real insight into just how scarily talented Mr. Horntveth is. He has a unique way of weaving intricate sounds together, infusing everything and everybody with his obvious love for music and orchestration – nothing appears laboured over or under-realised; it all appears spontaneous and imaginative. Jaga Jazzist are good, but now on this showing it is worth arguing that Lars Horntveth is even better; there is a great deal of playfulness to this album which you don’t get so much with his regular group – it is as fresh as a daisy on the first day of spring.
It is difficult to select tracks from this disc for individual scrutiny, as in my humble opinion, this album works best as a set, it has so many cinematic qualities that you just instinctively start dreaming along to it – it is therefore something to just sit down and listen to all the way through: let the lush sounds just wash over you, by the end you will feel like you’ve had a sonic bath, and all will be well with the world – just as long as you don’t start imagining your own invisible rabbits that is – you know what happened to Donnie Darko!