Music

Bendik Giske announces second solo album on Smalltown Supersound

Norwegian saxophonist, composer and artist Bendik Giske announces new album, Cracks, out August 27th on Smalltown Supersound, and shares the Kiani del Valle-directed video for lead single, “Flutter.”

Cracks follows on from 2019’s critically acclaimed ‘Surrender’ and the ‘Untitled’ collaborative project with Pavel Milyakov aka Buttechno from earlier in 2021. The album sees Bendik pursuing the physical and hypnotic techniques that have gained him notoriety and seen him become one of the most interesting figures in experimental music and will be accompanied by two exclusive remixes from Laurel Halo

The body is important for Giske, even more so than as an acoustic musician. Not just in the strength and muscle control required to accomplish circular breathing on the saxophone, the unusual technique he employs mesmerizing effect. It’s also reflected in the tradition of dance he practiced as a child in Bali – where he split his time between Oslo with his artist parents – and enjoyed as part of an electronic music epiphany in his adopted hometown of Berlin. And body is implied in his sense of queerness, which has helped him create his own sound, blossoming luxuriantly not only on record but also in his striking, embodied performances. 

As such, in the past Giske has likened his performance to transmuting electronic music through all of his human faults, akin to becoming a machine. And with second album ‘Cracks’ he introduces a new set of parameters for the automated processes of his muscle memory to work against. His decision to collaborate with producer André Bratten and his extensive studio of electronic machines saw Giske play in the new “resonant” space of Bratten’s reactive studio tuned to his original sounds. 

In a sense, you could call it generative music – a term coined by Brian Eno to describe music made within a set of rules that can constantly evolve within that system. But here the only algorithms at work are responding to Giske’s self-imposed constraints (or parameters) – like the afore-mentioned circular breathing. As a practice, it induces in the player – and perhaps the listener, too – a kind of altered state, more open to discovery, and as a cycle of sound it defies time. This atemporality, or out-of-timeliness, hints at theorist José Muñoz’s notion of “queer time”, which is a chronology wholly other than the default. 

If this new studio-as-an-instrument process has brought Giske one step closer to the man-machine, it’s also a way to bridge the separation – or crack – between the two. This kind of liminal space, according to Giske, is to be treasured: “The tracks wedge themselves into the cracks of our perceived reality to explore them for their beauty. A celebration of corporeal states and divergent behaviours,” he explains. He cheerfully admits to mining the thought universe of Muñoz – especially his book Cruising Utopia – as inspiration, and the resulting ‘Cracks’ have a sensual, deeply-felt and lingering beauty with a touch of the superhuman. 

Bendik Giske is an artist and saxophonist whose expressive use of physicality, vulnerability and endurance have already won him much critical acclaim including The Financial Times, Metal, The FADER, Resident Advisor, BBC 6 Music and many more. Bendik has played many cross-discipline shows including a recent installation at Riga Biennial and during Venice Biennale.

artist Bendik Giske
title Cracks
label Smalltown Supersound
date August 27th
format Vinyl | CD | Digital
cat. # STS381
Album pre-order HERE

Tracklist

1. Flutter
2. Cruising
3. Void
4. Cracks
5. Matter (part 3)