Geir Sundstøl

#sundstoel

  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.  

 

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.

 

Reviews "Langen Ro"

«Divine, desert-blues instrumentals from Norway.» - 8/10 Uncut (UK)

«Stunning» Jazzwise (UK)

«Quietly triumphant» - Textura (CA)

«Indispensable» - Jazz News (FR)

«Symphonic space blues» - Electronic Sound (UK)

«Ein kleines Meisterwerk» - Musikreviews (DE)

«Seriously captivating» - Bird is the Worm (USA)

Reviews "Langen ro" Norwegian media

To read some complete reviews from Norwegian media click on the buttons to the right of the one you would like to read (all are written in Norwegian).
«Norges gitar-guru i svevet» - Dagbladet
«Dette er det vakreste, og kanskje det blåeste, jeg har hørt til nå i år.» -The Wilhelmsens
«Vakkert, visuelt og stemningsfullt» - www.erikvalebrokk.no

Reviews  "Furulund"

Norse guitarist Sundstøl has played on nearly 300 records since the late ´80s but this is his first solo LP, a soothing series of languid guitar soundscapes that blend Cooderesque western warmth with a twilight Norwegian chill.
— Mojo, Andrew Male 3/4 (UK)
Furulund is one of the best debut albums of 2015. The best way to describe the music on Furulund is cinematic. That describes the musical journey that is Furulund. It features eight soundscapes that last thirty-five magical minutes. Geir Sundstøl takes the listener on a cerebral and cinematic journey on Furulund, his long-awaited debut album which is sure to be one of the albums of 2015.
— Derek´s Music Blog (UK)
Hubro has a knack for persuading professional backing musicians to make their own albums. Geir Sundstøl is a classic example; the multi-instrumentalist has played on 260 records in the last 27 years. But Furulund is his debut solo album. Sundstøl´s first love is clearly the acoustic guitar (and various therof), not least beacuse his home studio houses a collection of rare instruments, many of which can be heard on the opening track. These include banj, lap steel, and sitar, which are combined beautifully. Keyboard player David Wallumrød, and drummers Erland Dahlen and Michael Blair (who has performed with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and Lou Reed) join Sundstøl here. Their textures, plus with the layers of shimmering, glissando notes from the strings, make for a rich and relaxing listen. The tunes on Furulund are linear affairs that dazzle thanks to the great choice of sounds, and the breadth of tonal sublety is a prime attraction. There´s great musicianship here, too, but theyt are mature enough in their own skills not to turn this into an album of showmanship. It´s almost as if Hubro chose the atypically monochrome cover art to avoid the “book by its cover” listener and find more discerning ears.
— HiFi+ 9/10 (UK)
Strengevirtuos Geir Sundstøl har vært en viktig skikkelse innenfor norsk musikkliv i flere tiår, og har ornamentert utgivelsene og konsertene til en meget lang rekke artister, også kjendiser som Sissel Kyrkjebø og Odd Nordstoga. Men han tenker også sitt, noe som er åpenbart på det aldeles strålende soloalbumet “Furulund”, der country, world music og noe dypt personlig åpenbarer seg. Sundstøl samler på alle mulige gitartyper, og bruker en haug av dem på den varmt stemningsfulle og svært assosiasjonsfremmende instrumentalplaten. Forestill deg den filmaktige atmosfæren hos Ry Cooder og Bill Frisell, koblet med noe nærmest sakralt, og i tillegg med et umiskjennelig islett av østnorsk hillbilly. Kanskje ikke uten grunn av Coen-brødrene etter sigende fant opp en av figurene i “Fargo” inspirert av ham, etter å ha sett ham spille. Med musikk som dette kan høsten trygt komme.
— Dagens Næringsliv (N)