Lord Kelvin – Milk Factory



«Lord Kelvin is a very different beast altogether. Formed of Eirik Hegdal (saxophones, clarinet), Erik Johannessen (trombone) and Gard Nilssen (drums, vibraphone), the trio show a purer connection to jazz, but this brass-heavy formation approach things from a surprising angle. It seems almost unavoidable that they should pay some tribute to the man whose name they borrow, referencing key moments of his life (birth and death dates) and some of his work in the track titles. But they certainly keep well clear of the absolute cold the first Baron Kelvin calculated in 1848. Indeed, the unusual set up results in a series of warm and playful pieces, some so short that they appear like quick ideas thrown in and left in their raw state (the three tracks forming the album title, a quote from Lord Kelvin himself), or slightly more sketched out (The Mirror Galvanometer, June 26th, 1824, Fourier Is A Mathematical Poem), others are much more fully formed, yet retain a strong minimal feel, due to the band’s configuration.


There is something quite joyous running through the whole record though, especially as sax and trombone appear locked in intense dialogues (Baron Kelvin Of Largs, The Analog Tide Predictor, Kelvin’s Thunderstorm, Molecular Dynamics) as Nilssen drives fiery drum beats. On Improved Gyro-compass, he swaps drums for vibraphone for a much more gentle and rather beautiful piece on which Hegdal and Johannessen create a particularly refined miniature sonic tapestry.


These two radically different albums have very little in common, apart for the resolutely intriguing approach. (info: double review on Marvel Machine and Lord Kelvin) Marvel Machine operate on the outer reach of experimental music, with strong connection to rock and noise, while Lord Kelvin indefinably find their ground within the confines of jazz. If the former’s debut album at times proves something of a challenge, its arid or heavy soundscapes and textures giving it a slightly somber appearance, the latter’sRadio Has No Future is a delightfully irreverent and playful collection.»


                                                                                                        – Bruno Lasnier, The Milk Factory