Stoner Forss Borg, The Lektor Tapes

Peter Margasak

By Peter Margasak

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Jazz and electronica meet again, this time in Scandinavia.

Scandinavia has long been a hot spot for fusions of jazz and electronica, but like most stylistic mergers the music often sounds watered down. Not so with this effort between the Swedish-Norwegian quartet Stoner and Swedish electronic beat merchants Forss Versus Borg. Saxophonist Nils Berg composed seven lovely themes, generally keeping the quartet at a simmer. Berg and pianist Jonas Östholm occasionally embroider the proceedings with concise improvisational asides, but the real focus is on the interaction with the electronics. On a piece like “Die Liebhaber der Rosa Klebb” Forss Versus Borg shake things up with stuttering beats that nicely puncture the groove laid down by the great drummer Jon Fält. On other pieces things are far more subtle yet just as effective — the samples of a few guitar notes on “Essa” repeated in irregular patterns provides a nice tension. What really makes the album succeed is that both parties give and take throughout; neither element smothers the other, nor does one take a backseat.