Monday, September 25, 2017

Bugge Wesseltoft: New Conception Of Jazz

Bugge WesseltoftI guess I can say my activities as a journalist/reviewer for various publications have allowed me to cross the path of some of the most creative minds in the history of contemporary music. People who more or less would regularly contribute opening my mind to new horizons. Including some of the most unexpected ones one may think of. With Bugge Wesseltoft standing on top of that list.

A man I’ve been blessed to meet on way different circumstances. From a memorable live he did from a piano and a beatbox at Paris Le New Morning. To a concert that saw him playing classic piano along with 50 musicians at le Parc Floral de Paris back in 2001. Not to mention our regular rendez-vous each time he would come to Paris. Bugge Wesseltoft never really felt on his shoes though whenever trying to find a niche for him. Be it Jazz, Electronic or whatever…

“I suppose the fans of these respective scenes are probably right when not considering me as one of theirs. But I would say it’s just a matter of personal appreciation. As for those who define themselves as die-hard fans of the one or the other, then chances are great that my music will never be their cup of tea…”

In these times of revamping music from the past, from a trendy movement to another, Bugge Wesseltoft has always had way much more on offer. As said by Compost Records CEO, Michael Reinboth himself back in the day, Bugge spends his time drawing unceasing new conceptions of contemporary music whereas you’ll find more than just Jazz…

“All I can say is that traditional Jazz has become so boring. Electronic Music to me is more progressive than Jazz. I love the period from the 60’s to the beginning of the 80’s. Jazz was so exciting back then. Nowadays, it’s repeating itself…”

Should we say Computer Jazz when talkin’ about your music?
“Definitely not!”

Compost Records label head Michael Reinboth was one of the first talkin’ about Nu-Jazz…
“Nu-Jazz sounds cool with me, although we’re coming from a different perspective. Take Beanfield for instance. I love what they’ve come up with which has been made from sampling and recycling. Meanwhile we play the instruments as a group and we program the beats and the rhythms…”

You eventually used ‘New Conception Of Jazz’ speaking of some of your albums in the past…
“Back in the day when I started, I didn’t know that much about electronic music. Of course I’d listened to Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. But Techno has never appealed me…”

What got you jumpin’ into electronic then? The Oslo scene???
“Exactly, as I met a lot of people on the heels of the release of my first albums with some becoming close friends. DJ’s who invited me to play with them at places such as Jazid or at Superreal. And this is how I discovered what they were playing.”

Should we say Jazz with an electronic perspective then when speakin’ of your music?
“Pretty much so. Some electronic-influenced Jazz!”

There’s a huge Jazz scene in Scandinavia…
“Definitely and it’s a natural ground for meetings. It’s good for the electronic music, but also for us. I’m thinking of people like Nils Petter Molvær and a couple of others. With this in mind, Jazz in Norway is not as mainstream as in Sweden for instance. It’s more specialized, leaving a wide room to local folk…”

It’s been said of the Scandinavian artists that the expression field which is their is somehow the transcription of the local climatology. So particular in this part of the world…
“Very much so. I love this kind of quiet Ambient Jazz. This charateristic impression nothing much happens, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m very respectful in regards to our ancestral traditions and our local folkore. Besides, my dad who was a Jazz guitarist has brought me to other horizons such as American R&B which got me into liking the beats. I’m very much appreciative of the rhythms and the grooves…”

“Music is a kind of underground thing here in Norway. We don’t have so many commercial acts there. So that people doin’ music here are making good music if I may say so. It doesn’t have to be Jazz or Techno. It can be everything from Rock to instrumental. And for sure, it’s experimental. And people work damn hard to do it the best way they can…”

Your favorite artists…
“The ones who got me into electronic music… The Detroit scene, people like Carl Craig whose repertoire reflects the sensibility…”

With the funny thing being that he came from the exact opposite perspective when thinking of his Innerzone Orchestra guise…

How about Japan? I’m thinking for instance of Yellow Magic Orchestra and eventually Ryuichi Sakamoto…
“I’m an unconditional fan of Ryuichi. But honesty this pushes me to admit that I’ve passed on what’s been going on in Japan at the beginning. I mean the world is so big, and there are so many things to discover. This said, whenever something tickles my ear, I’m buying without a single hesitation…”

Do you think Jazz could have been dying without people like Carl (Craig), Ian O’Brien. And of course you for instance?
“All I can say is that traditional Jazz has become so boring. Electronic Music to me is more progressive than Jazz. I love the period from the 60’s to the begining of the 80’s. Jazz was so exciting back then. Nowadays, it’s repeating itself…”

Your music looks quite introspective. Like coming from your deepest innerside(s)…
“I love music and I think about music nearly all day long. Some people could think that it’s like an obsession. I have new concepts that come to my head every day. This pushing me to try to fullfil them in a way to make them happen and do them the best way I can…”

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