-Highly talented improvisers join forces on this epic impro record-
Voxpheria is the very special soundscape created when the electro-acoustic improvisers Tone Åse and Thomas Strønen join forces: Åse, who through her use of electronics continually seeks to explore and expand the singer’s musical palette, from being the traditional bearer and interpreter of melody and text, to filling the role as a source of sound in an electronic universe, and everything in between. Strønen, who explores the drums and percussion by way of grooves and soundscapes, and utilizing them as a source for electronic processing. They improvise freely with a broad musical field of inspiration, ranging from techno / rock / pop / jazz, through contemporary music to Eastern traditional music.
With their highly personal voices and fingerspitzengefühl they manage to lure you in to their own unique musical universe without losing the thread that brings you safely back down to earth again.
Voxpheria is organic beat-conglomerates that´s messing around with playful linguistics in electronic disguise,
transparent orchestration surrounding lyrical vocal lines,
and bells in slow motion. And much more. Welcome.
«Vocals and drums in new landscapes»
5 out of 6
«Supple vocals and rhytmic electronics combines into a higher unity–
Vocalist Tone Åse and drummer Thomas Strønen, who both belong to the jazz scene in Trondheim, has separately been very active in different settings. Now they´ve joined forces in a duo that displays their talents in a fascinating way.
Tone Åse has always been a vocalist that´s more than willing to experiment. Much like Eldbjørg Raknes and other colleagues within the same generation,
she´s explored the possibilities of the human voice, often utilizing electronics and sampling. This album is no exception in that regard. Distorted, vowel-like sounds goes hand in hand with powerful presentations of lyrics by Rolf Jacobsen and E.E.Cummings. This time, because she´s brought along Thomas Strønen as an equal partner, the result comes off as more accesible than before.
Strønen provides a strong rhytmic element, using both drums and electronics. This makes parts of this album tight and almost funky, in a very appealing way. Some sections actually gives me assosiations to artists like Tom Waits and Talking Heads, even though Åse and Strønen resides in a totally different genre.
Voxpheria does offer some more stationary soundscapes, but they never last for so long that it gets monotone. This album perfectly exemplifies that it´s possible to make new soundscapes using traditional instruments like vocals and drums.
– Trygve Lundemo, Adressa
It could have been a new galaxy, but «Voxpheria» is introduced as the soundscape that´s created when the electro-acoustic improvisers Tone Åse and Thomas Strønen meet. Åse, who once co-founded Kvitretten, who is the leader in Trondheim Voices and has her own band Bol, has been an important voice in the field of vocal improvisation, somewhat musically related to Sidsel Endresen in the way she creates her own language. Strønen´s drum repertoire has been both acoustic and electronic for a long while, especially in the duo Humcrush, and here two performers meet in a conglomerat of sonic display, some of the tracks containing daring use of the lyrics of E.E.Cummings, often used by vocalists, and Norway´s own Rolf Jacobsen, in a setting he himself didn´t live to see, but most certainly would have approved of. They venture high and wide, before the duo performs a smooth landing on «Dive for Dreams».
– Roald Helgheim, Dagsavisen
«From their own unique soundscape, Tone Åse and Thomas Strønen brings «Voxpheria», improvisation for voice and drums with lyrics by amongst others Rolf Jacobsen and E.E. Cummings.
Is´t an album that doesn´t just invite to- but demands – full concentration from it´s listeners when the voice, partly manipulated, imparts lyrics and word-alike vocalsounds in harmony with beats, pulses and sound colours.
There is no answer book on how to approach this music; you´re either hooked and lured in to the multicoloured, audiosculpturalroom that Åse/Strønen builds with both subtle and tangible moves, or the door´s slammed in your face pretty fast.»
– Terje Mosnes, Dagbladet