Jazzkammer: Panic

Panic is both Jazzkammer's homage to the electric guitar and a bleak evocation of the modern metropolis. Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre paint a diseased and desolate landscape throughout the 35-minute, single-movement work, guiding the listener through the subterranean corridors of a nameless city's diseased underbelly. During the first half, the mood is more controlled chaos than shell-shocked noise, with droning clouds of electronic tones slowly unfurling amidst distant crowd noise. But, entering the second half, howling guitar screams detonate, shattering the relative calm with molten fuzz and distortion and offering a hint of the menacing horror Jazzkammer sculpted on its Smalltown Supernoise release Metal Music Machine, before the storm subsides and the piece settles into a becalmed spectral meditation in its final quarter.

November 2006