Sometimes an album is just so good, it makes you feel intimidated to write about. Like your insignificant, random choice of words will ever do it justice or even mean anything to it or its potential audience. Especially when the music is instrumental: words are already less meaningful to begin with! Møster!’s Dust Breathing is that album, but I felt compelled to throw my adjectives and adverbs at it anyway, mostly because so few other writers seem to have done so far. And that, my friends, is a bit of a crime.
So I guess bandleader Kjetil Møster (a much treasured hero of mine for his time in the unsurpassed disco rock band Datarock), guitarist Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan (Motorpsycho), Bassist Nikolai Haengsle (Elephant9), and drummer Kenneth Kapstad (ex-Motorpsycho, now also in Spidergawd) will have to do with my humble vocabulary in a botched attempt to describe their musical bad-assery here. Let’s forget these guys are all freaking musical geniuses in their own right, right?! Forget it, it’s impossible. Let’s focus on the music in stead.
Dust Breathing starts off calmly, like the spring of a river in a mountain meadow. The Bonfire, The Sun is one humongous 13+ minute built-up though, and what once was a lovely little stream ends up growing into a ferociously snarling swoooosh of a river when it roars down the mountain straight through a town, causing chaos and confusion with its fuzzy freejazz and rocky fusion. The album continues like this, being both subtle and outrageous, both mindbogglingly technical and hypnotically simple, oftentimes all within the same song.
The atmosphere of the album is mostly warm, reminiscent of the bandmembers’ other works in Motorpsycho and Spidergawd, but very different in style. Kjetil Møster leads everywhere, his baritone sax and clarinet are like vocals without words. Electronics also play bit parts here and there, creating more savory weirdness and extra layers of sound tapestry to explore on your headphones. And the ride goes on. Sometimes the band just likes to make you dance or do the funky chicken (Waistful Tendencies), and the next moment they are creating soundtracks for murder mysteries (Ausculptation).
Eighteen minute grand finale Organ of Bodies is cut up into three parts. It starts of looming, cinematic, and dark. It then turns into a hip-shaking fusion smorgåsbord, and finally becomes an all-devouring groovemonster leaving you breathless and yearning for more. And so you take the ride again, and again, and each time it will be slightly different.
If there’s anything that will get humanity through a moment of deep crisis, it is its capacity to dream and wonder, and create art in music like this. As long as we have this we are still a species of civilization and sophistication. Let’s not take it for granted. I would like to thank Møster! for reminding me.