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This is subtle music that sustains feelings for much longer than you’d imagine possible, a freedom inspired by musicians like Jan Johansson, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis.
“When it works for me,” says pianist Morten McCoy, “it’s pure meditation, pure prayer. Pure gratitude for simply being, without all kinds of jibber-jabber filling my thoughts.” A sentiment that tells you everything about the feeling.
McCoy and the bassist Jonathan Bremer started making music together back in 2012 when they were still in school. At first the Danish duo played dub. It’s hard to imagine that that’s how they started when you listen to the ethereal sounds they make now, but the influence becomes clearer when you see them live: They insist on traveling with their own sound system.
That might seem like a lot of effort for a quiet duo, but for Bremer/McCoy, making music is all about what happens in the room. That’s why they go through the trouble of carrying their own equipment, and it’s why they record analog. When they write music, they aim for direct transmission—idea straight to composition.
Their latest album Natten, which means “The Night” in Danish, draws inspiration from the end of day, that regenerative time under the constellations when our lives look different. It is released on the prestigious label Luaka Bop, founded by David Byrne. Listeners might be quick to call it escapist—the music might be a reprieve from our busy lives. And while that’s one way to experience Natten, there’s also another, which has more to do with immersion. It offers us the chance to see what’s around us as beautiful.
“We felt a greater freedom this time around because we now have a much deeper understanding and grounding in what we’re doing,” says Bremer. “This allows us to venture further out than ever before, because we know that things typically fall into place.”
This is the pattern: Feeling grounded and then using that solid foundation to launch to greater heights. “It’s certainly our most cosmic album,” says McCoy. “But in order to space out, you have to know where you’re coming from. So the album ranges from tracks where you can hear everything that’s going on, to tracks that take us further out.”
Music for putting your hand into a pebbly stream, music for walking into traffic.
“The well is far from empty,” says Bremer. “Listening to great works is like having a deep conversation with somebody, a type of communication that can evolve and continue opening doors to new perspectives.”
There’s a hint in what Bremer says of how he hopes his own listeners will experience his music. As a key to something. A key to life, or possibly a key to appreciating new sounds. This is the feeling Bremer/McCoy’s music transmits that you won’t be able to shake. They’re trying to tell you something; You’ll hear it if you listen.