Splashgirl Pressure

For their third album, Norwegian instrumental trio Splashgirl have strayed considerably from the acoustic-based jazz of their debut, 2007's Doors. Keys. Supplementing the traditional piano, double bass and drum combo instrumentation with synths, electronics and field recordings, the group have widened their sound beyond any idiom. The mood and composition of the tracks suggest post-rock, yet the piano melodies remain rooted in jazz. Dark, Morricone-esque guitar passages embrace the desert, while the subtle use of electronics provides an icy chill. When present, the rhythm section plods along at a snail's pace, creating a sense of menace that deepens with each successive piece. The eponymous album-closing track, with its cymbal-scraping shrieks, hypnotic piano and unique percussion, provides the perfect climax for this sonic journey, encapsulating all of Splashgirl's strengths into ten minutes of otherworldly non-jazz. (Hubro)