‘Arven’ by Zenon | Album Premiere
Exclusive album premiere of ‘Arven’ by Zenon, out today.
Zenon is the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Filip Zenon Ramberg. His music is rooted in early 1970s underground rock, with influences from jazz and traditional folk music. Idiosyncratic and personal, with lyrics on spiritual and philosophical questions. Imagine Ecclesiastes as set to music by a jazzy Scandinavian psych rock group. ‘Arven’ features vocalist Michelle Uller, and Martin van Houtum on bass, and follows 2021’s debut album ‘Passasje’. The new album was recorded in January 2023, produced by Per Christian Berg at Audioskop studios in Oslo.
“We recorded live and kept mostly first or early takes. There was often a vibe or quality we liked in the first takes that was hard to define and replicate. We aimed to capture these moments, not focusing on perfection, but the song and the story.
The actual playing, when tracking the drums and bass, often felt like a dance. Now I’m thinking that was perhaps not so strange, as many of the rhythmic ideas were based on or inspired by the steps and footwork of folk dances. And the fact that Martin van Houtum (bassist) and I started our journey in music playing drums and bass together, in the empty swimming pool of our secondary school, some 20 years ago.
Every day in the recording studio we started with a meditation, then coffee and working out the list of work to be done. There was little discussion, and a silent, attentive atmosphere throughout the week. We even got through the vocals and guitar solos, usually the toughest phase of album recordings, alive and unharmed – thanks to our producer Per Christian Berg. His open mind, great ears and decisiveness guided us from start to finish.
One of the days we were delayed by a snowstorm and strong winds, which closed off roads and delayed all public transportation out of the city. In isolation, with a view to the snowy forest outside, gradually we began to get into the zone. That simultaneously familiar and strange headspace where studio work can happen. Returning to the city at night, falling asleep while watching Stalker by Tarkovsky. Feeling a kinship with the main characters of the movie, travelling in silence to the Zone.” – Filip Zenon Ramberg
Headline photo: Kjetil Tangen