Is it Jazz? Records seems to be getting its pick from the talented alumni of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Academy, as signalled by the label’s latest signing, AKSEL RØED’S OTHER ASPECTS,  the new project from Jazz saxophonist  Aksel Røed.

Putting together an octet, which is what AKSEL RØED’S OTHER ASPECTS is, in order to bring his musical vision to fruition, is no mean feat, but that is what Røed has successfully achieved.  Having attracted some of the finest young Norwegian musicians, as well as those with a proven track record,  to the ranks of AKSEL RØED’S OTHER ASPECTS, the band will now become the focus of Røed’s attention.  As he explains:

OTHER ASPECTS started out in 2019 as an ambitious project for me to write some music for a school project at the Grieg Academy.  But, having put this octet together, I have not been able to put it aside and it is now my main focus in music.

The ensemble is my biggest to date with all original music composed for an eight piece band.  Other Aspects’ debut album` “Do you dream in colours?”  was recorded at fashionable Duper Studios in May 2020 in Bergen, and the band, consisting of some of my best friends and finest young musicians in Norway, perfectly executed my visions as composer and leader. 

On trumpet and flugelhorn we have my dear brother, the amazing Lyder Øvreås Røed, and on second trumpet, my good friend and colleague for many years, Andreas Hesselberg Hatzikiriakidis.  The saxophone section consists of Lauritz Lyster Skeidsvoll on soprano and tenor, known from some of my favorite bands such as BEAR BROTHER and MASTER OOGWAY. On baritone sax and bass clarinet is  Michael Barnes, my long time mentor, friend and the musical leader of BERGEN BIGBAND. He is an Aussie who writes the best scores for large ensembles in Bergen.  As for myself, I try to lead the band from the tenor stand. Sigurd Steinkopf keeps the drums going and Sverre Sæbø holds the bas,  and Isach Skeidsvoll gives new meaning to the phrase “playing the piano”.


OTHER ASPECTS allows me to constantly drift into different directions and usually with short notice. The music is composed but not set, meaning its perfectly acceptable,  and even encouraged to think and play outside the box. Most of the magic within the band lies in the free improvisation.  

In terms of inspiration I find it in the old saxophone recordings of Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders, but also in the composing mind of Django Bates and Charlie Hadens Liberation Orchestra I.e. Despite all of the references, I still think (and hope) that the music undoubtedly sounds like “Aksel Røed”

As to his decision to sign with Is it Jazz? Records, it seems that both label and artist are of the same mind when it comes to their home town of Bergen:

I am very pleased to have signed with Is It Jazz? and their team. I strive to keep Bergen as active and attractive as I can musically, and I have no doubt in my mind that such a professional and local label has my back in doing so.

More information about AKSEL RØED’S OTHER ASPECTS can be found at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082226721671

Additional Information
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082226721671
Band Contact:  akseltr@hotmail.com
Is it Jazz? Records
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no

When bands release music in a 7″ vinyl format, usually in a limited edition, it can mean that the majority of fans who don’t have anything on which to play vinyl are unable to access the music easily.  And, with this in mind, on the first Friday of the first six months of 2022, Norwegian Black Metallers SARKOM have been releasing their entire back catalogue of 7″ vinyls in digital format, and in chronological order. 

Starting in January, and ending in June, the band will have released a total of ten tracks, representing the crushingly dark, guitar-driven sound for which SARKOM has become known over the band’s 19 years of existence.

Available to download or stream from a number of platforms including Spotify, Apple, YouTube, etc.,  a rundown of all the releases is as follows:

TO RUIN SOMETHING THAT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE   Track listing is:

To Ruin Something That Was Never Meant To Be
Black-Bondage Suicide

Originally released in 2009, and now completely sold out, the digital version was released in January 2022 and is available from all the usual platforms including:

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/48m5UTmBkfbBDxv4jupsU3?si=OCM0Zkk-QYeMu8pg5JzFLQ&utm_source=copy-link
YouTube: 
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kS_MStAza0UlS8m3RtKKFE-0WLNf_qI7c

EXIT TERRA  Tracklisting is:

Exit Terra
Hallucinating the Superior Psychologist

Originally  released in 2010 , and now completely sold out, the digital version was released in February  2022 and is available from all the usual platforms  including:

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/2ll0nR8XsJB3hgMS55GAPz?si=6t4E1o1zRvKuXGrvQ-HgHQ&utm_source=copy-link

YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mG6naIO12HM-Wt5xi0B6F_4MfcPpjDJ0Y

DISINTEGRATE   (single)

Originally released in 2012 and now completely sold out, the digital version was released in March 2022 and is available from all the usual platforms including:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0fWA2c3n6pTXB7EDW6Ldvr?si=nPv2LVMsROqwsvPsadX6Ug&utm_source=copy-link
YouTube:
https://youtu.be/y5Sz2Fm4nnc

SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF A PAEDOPHILE PRIEST Track listing is:

Seen Through the Eyes of a Paedophile Priest
Goatcraft Torment (Urgehal cover)

Originally released in 2016 and now completely sold out, the digital version was released in April 2022 and is available from all the usual platforms including:

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/2VBTrS3LtqPOnbnear6Vuv?si=DYE7__e2TFK-xApe3thaPQ&utm_source=copy-link
YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kPd84sfQ5ScgChu06DUuXG8kjx3w-mzd8

ROCK BOTTOM MANIFEST  (single)

Originally released in 2021, and with some vinyl copies still available from www.katakomben.no, the digital version was released in May 2022 and is available from all the usual platforms including:

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/2CssSmrj5QWb4lDhUQCKTd?si=qtN3Rz0iQHScaaotEi4yuQ&utm_source=copy-link
YouTube:
https://youtu.be/FQV5vj02exY

SVØPT I EN DYNGE AV DRITT Tracklisting is:

Svøpt i en Dynge av Dritt
Breathe (The Prodigy cover)

Originally released in 2021, and with some vinyl copies still available from www.katakomben.no, the digital version was released in June 2022 and is available from all the usual platforms including:

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/3OSqjVcdpPIkxU8zcRpff6?si=10e0VJcsRs-Em1LWdauyXQ&utm_source=copy-link
YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_na9-jIhQW0bPVOEKMPQHcceXANmwNuV6w

The official video of SARKOM’s cover of THE PRODIGY’s “Breathe” can be seen below and on YouTube at https://youtu.be/6sOGKBo02Gc

More information about SARKOM can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sarkom

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Sarkom Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sarkom
Sarkom Bandcamp:  https://sarkom.bandcamp.com
Sarkom Merchandise including  vinyls & T’s: https://www.facebook.com/sarkom/photos_albums
Band Contact and Booking: e.unsgaard@gmail.com

When you have a band whose lineup features three musicians who are graduates of the prestigious Grieg Academy in Norway, it is little wonder that their varied skill sets enable them to create a distinctive and original sound that makes use of what they have learned both through academia and hands-on experience. 

And this is what you get with DATADYR, a band that retains its original spontaneity and playfulness, and takes it up a notch by using the traditional sounds one would expect of jazz, whilst, at the same time, also taking those traditions into new directions – along with a good dose of improvisation.

So, with DATADYR’s debut full-length album “Woolgathering” due to be released on the 10th June, and, conscious of the fact that DATADYR is a young band, and relatively unknown to followers of the genre, Is it Jazz? Records have chosen to release a second track from the album, thereby giving fans a further taste of what to expect from an album that is set to deliver an explosive mix of Americana, Blues, Jazz and Free Jazz.

The track, “Daybreaking”, can be streamed or downloaded from a number of services at https://isitjazzrecords.fanlink.to/Datadyr_Daybreaking

About the track itself, DATADYR had this to say:

Daybreaking features Kjetil Møster on saxophone, a musician we all look up to, so it was great to have him in the studio and record two songs with him. He brought a lot of energy and passion to the music and we’re very proud to have him on our record.

Based in Bergen, Norway, DATADYR’s  lineup comprises Øystein Høynes on bass,  Amund Nordstrøm  on drums and  Odd Erlend Mikkelsen on guitars, and, whilst DATADYR may be a new band, its three musicians have considerable experience with other bands and projects, either live or in the studio, past, present and upcoming. These include FINNSETH TRIO, HERKULES, KRYPTOGRAF, DREAMARCHER, ATARI, CORT PIIL, TARA MARTINE, TREVERKET, HVO, DREAMARCHER, AVIAN ART, THOMAS LOSSIUS SEPTETT,  GUNSLINGING BIRD, MØ: SAN, DUMBO CASINO  and SHAKAI.  

 “Woolgathering” was Recorded at the Solslottet Studio at Bergen Kjøtt, and is produced and engineered by  Iver Sandøy.  Aside from the afore mentioned Ketil Møster on saxophone, the album will also feature a guest appearance by Mathias Marstrander on guitar. 

Track listing for “Woolgathering”  is as follows:

  1. Tier
  2. Krystalldans
  3. Woolgathering
  4. Daybreaking
  5. FastUp
  6. Datadyr
  7. Low Hanging Moon

With cover art by Eigil Nordstrøm and band photographs by Olav Vikingstad , “Woolgathering will be released in CD, Digital and Red Vinyl formats, and is now available to pre-order from:

Webshop: https://isitjazzrecords.no/shop/
Bandcamp: https://datadyr.bandcamp.com~

More information about DATADYR  can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Datadyrmusic

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Datadyr Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Datadyrmusic
Datadyr Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLXhM4Pd4bZxJ0UEkAzgpg
Datadyr Booking: datadyrepost@gmail.com
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no

Is it Jazz? Records have inked a deal with Norway’s SOLSTEIN, the latest project from multi-instrumentalist Jacob Holm-Lupo.  Inspired by jazz-rock, funk, prog rock and chill-out, SOLSTEIN, offers up an instrumental form of rock, where jazz harmony combines with proggy arrangements and soul/funk grooves.  The end result is a laid back, elegant, sound that oscillates between funky fusion and rock.

SOLSTEIN’s four- piece lineup have a  history that could be classed as illustrious.

On keyboards for SOLSTEIN is Brynjar Dambo, known for his work with WHITE WILLOW, PINE LAKE, DONNER, HAAKON ELLINGSEN

A published author of books on various artists including TOTO and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT,  Jacob Holm-Lupo himself, who will handle bass guitar, guitar and  keyboards, is known for his other projects WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL and DONNER. He is also a much respected producer and audio engineer, working out of his Dude Ranch Studio, whose name is very well known to  fans of many of the bands on Is it Jazz? Records’ sister-label Karisma Records, with whom he has had a long collaboration. 

Guitarist Stian Larsen was educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where he specialised in Jazz. He has recorded with, amongst others, SMITH KOMMA JOHN, KÖÖK and PET ZOO, and played live with the likes of LÖV, DANIEL KVAMMEN and  BENDIK BAKSAAS, to name but a few.

Drummer Keith Carlock is a drum instructor who is a Grammy-winning recording artist and a Member of the Mississippi Musicians’ Hall of Fame.  STEELY DAN, DONALD FAGEN, WALTER BECKER, TOTO, JOHN MAYER and STING are amongst the myriad artists with whom he has recorded or played live.

The initial idea behind SOLSTEIN, which translated means “Sunstone,  was born from Jacob and Keith Carlock’s  2021 collaboration on “Hesitant Light”,  the debut album from DONNER, on which Keith’s playing pushed some of the material in a jazzier, funkier, direction that Jacob felt merited further exploration.

The band itself is named after a relatively rare rock whose main deposit is found along the coast in Southern Norway where Jacob lives on a small island. The Sunstone has copper-red crystals that refract light in a beautiful way when seen from different angles.

About their upcoming collaboration with Is it Jazz? Records, the band  had this to say:

SOLSTEIN are proud and pleased to sign with Is It Jazz? Records. We are looking forward to joining their artist roster and we feel their name reflects questions we often ask ourselves!

About their debut album, which will be titled “The Skerry” and which will be comprised of eight instrumental tracks, SOLSTEIN explained:

The making of our debut album has been a fun, light-hearted affair where zero fucks were given as to what the jazz police may have to say. Cheeky, 80’s-tinged fusion-soloing, pastel synths and a very open-minded interpretation of a Wayne Shorter classic are all par for the course. In fact there has only been one rule: No long solos. Keep it rock-length, not jazz-length.

More details about “The Skerry” will be revealed at a later date.

In the meantime, more  information about SOLSTEIN can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/solsteinband

Additional Information
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/solsteinband
Band Contact:  aslanlupo@gmail.com
Is it Jazz? Records
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no

“A short, sweet banger of a song!” is how Norwegian Jazz Trio DATADYR describe “Tier”,  the opening track of their upcoming album “Woolgathering”, and which also happens to be the track that Is it Jazz? Records have chosen to release as the first single from the album.

“Tier” is, according to DATADYR, “One of the first songs we made together, and it’s one of the few songs that always appears on our set list whenever we play live”, and you can stream or download it from a number of services at:

https://isitjazzrecords.fanlink.to/Datadyr_Tier

“Woolgathering” itself will be released on the 10th June and is set to be an explosive mix of Americana, Blues, Jazz and Free Jazz. Recorded at the Solslottet Studio at Bergen Kjøtt, and produced and engineered by  Iver Sandøy, “Woolgathering features guest musicians Ketil Møster on saxophone and Mathias Marstrander on guitar. 

With cover art by Eigil Nordstrøm and band photographs by Olav Vikingstad , track listing for “Woolgathering”  is as follows:

  1. Tier
  2. Krystalldans
  3. Woolgathering
  4. Daybreaking
  5. FastUp
  6. Datadyr
  7. Low Hanging Moon

Based in Bergen, Norway, DATADYR is a trio comprising Øystein Høynes on bass,  Amund Nordstrøm  on drums and  Odd Erlend Mikkelsen on guitars.  All three musicians are graduates of the renowned Grieg Academy, and have considerable experience in other bands and projects such as
KRYPTOGRAF, DREAMARCHER,ATARI, CORT PIIL andSHAKAI.   

The trio have used their musical training and experience to hone their skills and develop DATADYR’s  distinctive sound, which ranges from the heartfelt and gentle to the energetic and explosive.  It is a sound that is characterised by a mix of traditional jazz, newer directions in jazz and improvisation, and which, to this day, still retains the spontaneous and playful expression that was the starting point for the band .  

Of their debut full-length, DATADYR had this to say:

“Woolgathering” is a collection of our favourite songs which were written early on in DATADYR’s career. Some of them go all the way back to 2018, while some of them are more recent. It’s a good mix of all our influences as a band and as individual musicians. “Woolgathering” means to daydream, to gather your thoughts – a fitting title in our opinion. 

“Woolgathering” will be released in CD, Digital and Red Vinyl formats and is now available to pre-order from:

Webshop: https://isitjazzrecords.no/shop/
Bandcamp: https://datadyr.bandcamp.com

More information about DATADYR  can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Datadyrmusic

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Datadyr Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Datadyrmusic
Datadyr Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLXhM4Pd4bZxJ0UEkAzgpg
Datadyr Booking: datadyrepost@gmail.com Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no



Dark Essence Records, the label that gave the  Swedish Rockers their recording start back in 2014, have welcomed ALFAHANNE back into the fold, something the band is more than happy about:

ALFAHANNE is back where it all started at Dark Essence.  We got side-tracked but now we are right back on track and where we belong. It feels so great to be on Dark Essence again – to be part of their roster, and we  couldn’t be more pleased about this. Everyone at the label has always felt like friends and we enjoyed working with them on the release of our first two albums, and  will enjoy working with them again on the release of our fifth.  So  now let the darkness begin…

When ALFAHANNE burst onto the scene in 2010 their minds were fully set on bringing the danger back to rock n roll.  Playing what they call “Alfapocalyptic Rock”, ALFAHANNE  mixes Black Metal with Classic Rock and Punk, and good old Rock n Roll, creating their own style of music. A style that has earned them plaudits from critics and fans alike.

With a lineup comprising Pehr Skjoldhammer on guitars and vocals, Fredrik Sööberg on guitars, Jimmy Wiberg on bass,  Niklas Åström on drums, and Stefan Eriksson on keyboards, ALFAHANNE’s stage debut came at 2014’s Inferno Metal Festival where their show garnered them high praise. 

 Since  then, their high energy, exuberance, and easy going, friendly  interaction with the fans (both on and off the stage) make them guaranteed crowd pleasers and much in demand for club and festival appearances.

The band’s popularity is not limited to fans, as the list of guests of the ALFAHANNE’s previous albums demonstrates.  A list that fans of extreme genres will find mouth-watering and that includes fellow Dark Essence artists Hoest (TAAKE) and V’gandr (HELHEIM), as well as other titans of the Scandinavian scene such as Dolk (KAMPFAR), Erlend Hjelvik (KVELERTAK), Spellgoth (HORNA, TURMION KÄTILÖT), Nattfursth (SORHIN), David Lindh (YVONNE and BRODER DANIEL),  Sanrabb (GEHENNA) and Niklas Kvarforth (SHINING).

With work progressing on their fifth studio album, ALFAHANNE had this to say about what fans could expect:

Having already released four album,  Eskilstuna´s finest will soon be back with a new one. Once again we will explore the darkness of mankind and continue to widen our musical realms.  The new material will mark the beginning of a new era for the band and the fifth album will truly be a monster. Its release will make it clear that ALFAHANNE is an unstoppable force…

ALFAHANNE have already been confirmed to appear at Steelfest Open Air in Finland and Rock Away Winter in Borås, Sweden, in May, the Spetakkel Festivalen in Larvik, Norway in September, and the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in the Netherlands in December.

Details  about the new album will be released in due course, and more information about ALFAHANNE can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alfahanneofficial

A video of ALFAHANNE performing the track “Indiehora” from their album “Alfapokalyps”, live at Inferno Festival 2014, and featuring  V’gandr of TAAKE & HELHEIM can be seen below and at https://youtu.be/alOrLodpTGg  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alfahanne on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alfahanneofficial
Alfahanne on YourTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzlnEhv8tEx2GNRAqVduRMQ
Alfahanne on Bandcamp: https://alfahanne.bandcamp.com
Alfahanne on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/alfahanne
Band Contact: nickeastrom@hotmail.com
Dark Essence contact: post@darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence Records: www.darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darkessencerecords
Dark Essence Records Bandcamp:  http://karismarecords.bandcamp.com/
Dark Essence Records YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/DarkEssenceRecords
Dark Essence Records Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darkessencerecords/
Dark Essence Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarkEssenceRec
Dark Essence SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records
Dark Essence Records Webshop: https://www.darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence Records North American Webshop:  https://darkessence.indiemerch.com
Dark Essence Records Australian Webshop:  https://www.heavymetalmerchant.com/bands/d/dark-essence-records/

Since first appearing in the Norwegian scene in 2004, BLODHEMN founder Invisus has worked tirelessly to further Black Metal’s iconic sound with his distinctive and aggressive approach, releasing three full-length albums, on which he performed all the vocals and instruments.

With a live lineup that, aside from Invisus on vocals,  includes Hauk (AMONG GODS) on bass, Dan on drums, Xarim (DJEVELKULT, DEN SAAKALDTE) on guitars and Anneland (ELSKOV, VONBROT, MUNNHUGGER, CAPRISE) on guitars, BLODHEMN has rightly earned a stellar reputation for its work both in the studio and in front of an audience.

Joining the Dark Essence Records roster for the release of the band’s fourth full-length album, has, it could be said, been twelve years in the making for BLODHEMN, as Invisus explains:

I had a good experience working with some of the Dark Essence people in the past.  Granted, at that time it was more on the music production side, but still, it has been a collaboration since recording “Brenn Alle Bruer” 12 years ago.

Inking the deal with Dark Essence Records, therefore, feels like finally finding the right street door after a long night out. Their good reputation amongst artists, and in the industry in general, was key to my decision to kick open this particular door.

I’m looking forward to finally getting the new album out and joining forces with the Dark Essence team to force-feed you thrashy black metal with a glaze of rock n’ roll. Skål!

Details of the upcoming album will be coming up in the near future, and in the meantime, more information about BLODHEMN can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Blodhemnnorway or on the band’s website at https://blodhemn.no/

Additional Information
Website: https://blodhemn.no/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blodhemnnorway
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blodhemn_official/ 
Band Contact and Booking: blodhemnband@hotmail.com
Dark Essence contact: post@karismarecords.no 
Dark Essence Records: www.darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darkessencerecords
Dark Essence Records Bandcamp:  http://karismarecords.bandcamp.com/
Dark Essence Records YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/DarkEssenceRecords
Dark Essence Records Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darkessencerecords/
Dark Essence Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarkEssenceRec
Dark Essence SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records
Dark Essence Records Webshop: https://www.darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence Records North American Webshop:  https://darkessence.indiemerch.com
Dark Essence Records Australian Webshop:  https://www.heavymetalmerchant.com/bands/d/dark-essence-records/

Having recently announced the details of label’s first ever release (from Jazz Prog Rockers SOFT FFOG), Is it Jazz? Records have today revealed more about DATADYR, the band destined to produce the label’s second release, which will be available on the 10th June.

Based in Bergen, Norway, DATADYR is a trio of musicians who are all graduates of the Grieg Academy,  where their jazz studies provided the inspiration for their music, which can be characterized by its use of traditional jazz, newer directions in jazz and musical improvisations.

All three have considerable experience with other bands and projects. Bassist Øystein Høynes, for instance, has deep-dived into both American and Scandinavian Jazz, something that can be heard in DATADYR’s music.  He likes to explore the differences in genres and mix them up, and his playing is “groovy and playful”, with a desire to drive the music forward.  Already a well-known figure on the Scandinavian Jazz scene, Høynes has played on albums by the FINNSETH TRIO, HERKULES and ATARI, and is currently playing with ATARI, TARA MARTINE, TREVERKET, and HVO.

During his time at the Grieg Academy drummer Amund Nordstrøm turned his focus towards jazz, free jazz and free improvisation. With a style that is energetic, playful and which pays great attention to tone and texture, it is somewhat extremist but nevertheless displays a controlled musical direction, with  clear references to older American and Scandinavian jazz. In a short time Nordstrøm has succeeded in making a name for himself on the music scene in Bergen. He has played a number of concerts in both Norway and Europe and released albums with AVIAN ART, THOMAS LOSSIUS SEPTETT and GUNSLINGING BIRD, with more in the works with bands such as DATADYR, CORT PIIL, MØ: SAN, DUMBO CASINO and SHAKAI.

Guitarist Odd Erlend Mikkelsen has, for several years, been involved in the Rock and Metal scene with bands like DREAMARCHER and KRYPTOGRAF. However, during the last four years he studied Jazz at the Grieg Academy, exploring improvisation. Through his studies he has developed a sound that combines the energy and abrasiveness of classic rock guitar playing, with the harmonic and rhythmic ideas derived from modern jazz.

Having used their experience and their studies to hone their musical skills and develop their distinctive sound – which ranges from the heartfelt and gentle to the energetic and explosive, DATADYR are now ready with their debut full-length album “Woolgathering”, about which the band had this to say:

It’s great to finally release our album on Is it Jazz? Records! There hasn’t been a proper label for jazz/improvised music in Bergen for a while now so Is it Jazz? Records came along at just the right time for us.

“Woolgathering” is a collection of our favourite songs which were written early on in DATADYR’s career. Some of them go all the way back to 2018. while some of them are more recent. It’s a good mix of all our influences as a band and as individual musicians. “Woolgathering” means to daydream, to gather your thoughts – a fitting title in our opinion. 

Further details about “Woolgathering” will be released in due course, and more information about DATADYR  can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Datadyrmusic

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Datadyrmusic
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLXhM4Pd4bZxJ0UEkAzgpg
Booking: datadyrepost@gmail.com
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no

After a long search to find a label to suit their exacting requirements, Norwegian Thrashers NOCTURNAL BREED have described their upcoming collaboration with Dark Essence Records as “Monumental and Trench-Altering”, as the band explains:

It has been an ever-occurring dream for the band to gather the forces at home in Norway. And this March 18th saw this come to pass, as hoof-marks were carved in ink, and a final deal with Dark Essence Records was signed and agreed upon.

The last two decades have been spent looking for a label and a ‘safe haven’, one that allows bands to  focus on ‘the music’ and the integrity of the product. “Quality, Dedication and Knowhow” in perfect unison is what we set out to find. And this is what we get with Dark Essence Records.  It may sound like a cliché but honestly it feels like coming home.

It is an honour to serve side by side on the battlefield, with such epic bands and old friends, such as can be found on Dark Essence’s  roster. As well as having the opportunity to work with the genuinely professional, to the bone, and utterly dedicated people as the ones at Dark Essence. It has resulted in a long-awaited refuelling and re-fusing of the bands inner workings.

And so, we raise the iron-flag here in the bunker.  The knives are out and sharpened.  A new album is on the way and new nuclear fuel is pumping through our  veins…

 This will be a good one Thrashiacs!

S.A. Destroyer

Bunker Norvegicus

NOCTURNAL BREED was formed in Oslo in 1996 by S.A. Destroyer (aka Svartalv – ex. GEHENNA, SATYRICON) both as an homage to the old waves of Thrash, Speed and Heavy Metal of the 80’s and as a reaction against the growing commercialisation of the Black Metal scene that plagued the mid 90’s with its ever increasing ‘polished’ sound, along with the softening of attitudes in Metal in general.

The decades that followed saw NOCTURNAL BREED undergo the inevitable lineup changes and hiatuses that bands are subjected to during their careers, all the while producing a plethora of releases, which, aside from the obvious early demos and studio albums, include EP’s, Boxed Sets, and Compilations, culminating in the 2021 release of the “Face Your Aggressor” double album which marked the band’s 25th Anniversary.

Which brings us to the present day and finds NOCTURNAL BREED in their private “Bunker Studios” working on the final stages of their seventh full-length album, set to be released on Dark Essence Records later this year.

More information about the band can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Thrashiac777NocturnalBreed

NOCTURNAL BREED’s 15th Year Anniversary video for the track “Resistance is Futile” can be seen at https://youtu.be/DRzu4haJyeI

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thrashiac777NocturnalBreed
YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/777VIRUSLORD777
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nocturnal_breed_official/
Email: cmachine777@gmail.com
Dark Essence contact: post@karismarecords.no 
Dark Essence Records: www.darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darkessencerecords
Dark Essence Records Bandcamp:  http://karismarecords.bandcamp.com/
Dark Essence Records YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/DarkEssenceRecords
Dark Essence Records Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darkessencerecords/
Dark Essence Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarkEssenceRec
Dark Essence SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records
Dark Essence Records Webshop: https://www.darkessencerecords.no
Dark Essence Records North American Webshop:  https://darkessence.indiemerch.com
Dark Essence Records Australian Webshop:  https://www.heavymetalmerchant.com/bands/d/dark-essence-records/

Is It Jazz? Records, the scion of Norways Dark Essence and Karisma Records, will launch their first release on the 27th May when the self-titled debut album from Jazz Prog Rockers SOFT FFOG hits the streets.  But those curious to hear what the label has in store for them need wait no longer, because today “Chun Li”,  the opening track from the SOFT FFOG album, has been released as a single, which can be streamed or downloaded from various services at:

https://isitjazzrecords.fanlink.to/Soft-Ffog_Chun-Li

Being the first band on the label is, as you can imagine, something the Instrumental Quartet is  very much looking forward to, as the band explains:

SOFT FFOG are super stoked to be the first band signed to Is it Jazz? Records and we’re looking forward to rising into the cosmos together! So,about us. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if JIMI HENDRIX joined DEEP PURPLE and aimed at sounding like GENTLE GIANT – but failing miserably in the attempt because too much jazz had been consumed lately? Probably not, but anyhow,  SOFT FFOG´s sound is unique, and draws parallels with the aforementioned acts somewhat in style, compositions and aesthetics, but is more rooted in jazz – with prolonged solos and improvisations.

And of course the time has now come, and we are happy to release the first single from our upcoming album.  The song is the opener on the album, and kicks off with a «The Who-esque» intro with a twisted indie rock melody, then progresses into a fuzzed out Gentle Giant-like riff. Guitar solo ahead! And then concludes with a bang!

SOFT FFOG’s genesis in 2016 was somewhat unusual in that it came about as a one-off gig commissioned by the Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Despite the success of this event, the band did not get the momentum it needed to be a proper working entity, and, combined with the busy schedules of the respective musicians, each with their other bands and projects, SOFT FFOG only played gigs every now and then. Playing live, did however,  help to define and refine the band’s  sound, so much so, infact, that founder  Tom Hasslan decided that  2020 was the right time for SOFT FFOG to record their first album.

The band consists of Tom Hasslan (KROKOFANT) who also wrote the album, on guitars, Axel Skalstad (KROKOFANT) on drums, Trond Frønes (RED KITE, GRAND GENERAL) on bass, and Vegard Lien Bjerkan (WIZRD) on keyboards.  It’s safe to say that individually the members of SOFT FFOG have probably played with everyone in the Norwegian Jazz scene, and now  they have a vehicle that allows them to do their own thing. By combining influences from KING CRIMSON with TERJE RYPDAL, DEEP PURPLE with PAT METHENY, SOFT FFOG have produced an album of blistering guitar solos, gnarly bass, crazy drums and supersonic keyboard playing!

Recorded at Studio Paradiso with Christian Engfelt engineering and producing, and mastered by  Herbrand Larsen, and with artwork by Tor Einar Evju and layout by Tom Korsvold,  track listing for the album is as follows:

1. Chun Li
2. Zangief
3. Ken
4. Dhalsim

“Soft Ffog” will be released in CD and LP formats and is now available to pre-order from

Bandcamp: https://softffog.bandcamp.com/album/soft-ffog
Webshop: https://isitjazzrecords.no/shop/

More information about SOFT FFOG can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Softffog

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Softffog
Booking: jazztom@hotmail.com
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no