Guitarist and instrument collector Geir Sundstøl appeared on over 260 albums as a session player and sideman before he released his solo debut “Furulund” in 2015. After 27 years as a professional musician he finally took the big step, and was rewarded with glowing reviews and a Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannspris) nomination.
Mojo described Sundstøl’s debut album as “a soothing series of languid guitar soundscapes that blend Cooderesque western warmth with a twilight Norwegian chill.” The British magazine HiFi+ highlighted “the great choice of sounds” and the Norwegian music writer Terje Mosnes referred to the “musicianship that doesn’t shout, but that wins the listener over through the subtle tonal diversity that gradually emerges, making each listen a new experience.”
Now, a year later, Geir Sundstøl is following up his success with a new album that is even more fully realised. “Langen ro” offers a wide range of genre references and an original and distinctive sound. Sundstøl’s music has clearly cinematic features, while at the same time retaining a subdued and linear quality that is reminiscent of ambient. Sundstøl himself said that here he wanted to make an album of “underwater music”. Synthesizers play a more important role on “Langen ro”, and he even offers us an original (and synthesizer-free) take on Giorgio Moroder’s “Tony’s Theme” (from the Scarface OST).
Sundstøl composed, or “invented”, as he prefers to describe it, most of the material on the album, but the traditional folk tune “Gråtarslaget” is also packaged in a new way here.
Whereas Sundstøl’s debut album “Furulund” was recorded over an extended period of time in Sundstøl’s home studio, “Langen ro” was recorded in the course of a few days at St James’s Church in the centre of Oslo. The church is often used for recordings and concerts due to its superb acoustics. As on “Furulund”, Geir collaborated with engineer Bård Ingebrigtsen, and among his guests are a number of first-class musicians and friends, including keyboardist David Wallumrød (Spirit in the Dark, Needlepoint) and drummer Erland Dahlen (Nils Petter Molvær), who also appeard on “Furulund”. Bass player Nikolai Eilertsen (Møster!, Elephant 9, Band of Gold), drummer Martin Langlie, violinist Erik Sollid (Valkyrien) and percussionist Martin Winstad (Bernhoft) are casting their spell on Sundstøl’s music for the first time here.
Sundstøl is still very much in demand as a musical collaborator regardless of genre, and this autumn he is touring as a member of Nils Petter Molvær’s group.