Lumen Drones ‘Lumen Drones’ (ECM) 4/5

2434 XNorwegian folk trio Lumen Dreams have been regulars on the Norwegian folk scene, but are virtually unknown outside their native land, in the UK at least, and so ECM’s decision to take them on board is a very welcome one and the music successfully combines a folk-influenced repertoire with more contemporary musical influences. The latter encompasses post-rock, psychedelia (Sonic Youth, the Velvet Underground and wait for it the Dave Pike Jazz Set count among their strongest musical influences) and what the group themselves describe as a ‘anarchist approach’ which might in British terms equate to the do it yourself approach of the post-punk indie-rock era of the 1980s. On the opener ‘Dark Sea’ there is something of an independent soundtrack film quality and the guitar of Par Steiner Lie is accompanied by some echoey fiddle from Nils Økland. This writer especially likes the reposing if solemn sounding ‘Keel Water’ with guitar and fiddle in unison and the gentle ballad ‘Lux’ on which the guitar lays down some lyrical notes and the fiddle accompanies sensitively. Country-folk permeates the lyrical and mournful ‘Anemone’ with the guitar sound of Bill Frisell seemingly influential here and the repetitive guitar and drum riff working a treat. The trio actually came together after separately performing at a local festival in Norway and then were persuaded by their now producer to perform together in aid of a benefit concert for the victims of Haiti’s earthquake. They have played together ever since and regularly gig at small venues throughout Norway. Thankfully the secret is no more and Lumen Dreams deserve to be regular features on the progressive folk scene in the UK from now onwards.

Tim Stenhouse