Streifenjunko – Like Driving


CD – Sofa

The saxophonist Espen Reinertsen and the trumpeter Eivind Lønning have played together since 2005 under the moniker Streifenjunko. Apart from their studio works and their work with the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, they have performed in different international festivals, some specifically jazz, other more open-minded, always followed by an audience accustomed to experimentation and crossovers between audio and art. Now the sounds of Like Driving, their third album, released by Sofa Records, make us think the duo have shifted their focus to a different style, closer to electronics and structured on dilated patterns that work as leads for their sonic interventions. Streifenjunko show their elegance following slow but unstoppable fluxes with rhythmic elements, a lightning calibration of pauses and false starts, light variations in dynamics, and some studied minimalist iterations. A signature of the duo is to set a melody in motion only to suddenly halt it in its tracks, with a constant return to that same melody and a careful modulation of starts and stops. It almost seems as though some parts are self-generated and not the result of the composers’ skills in creating such precise musical structures. Clearly the attachment of the musicians to their own instruments is still strong, so they keep feeling the need to follow a preset plot. This is not a limitation and some simplicity is praiseworthy. However, there are also sudden dynamic changes and some rough overlaps, always softened by the embracing wind instruments. The variations in tonality set the mood of the first track, “Everything We Touch Is Electric”, a sweet and slightly disturbing composition lasting over 16 minutes, characterised by weak phrasings and controlled bunches of clicks and crackles. The second track, “Astronaut Peace”, is more subtle and atmospherically ambient, with few selected drum elements and dissonances. The final score, “Like Driving”, seems the most coherent, the most programmatic and the most oriented to the future. The sophisticated artwork by Kjell Bjørgeengen is also worth a mention. The artist happily adapted his background in graphic design and is now a specialist of artistic flickerings in colorful video synchronizations.


Streifenjunko: Everything we touch is electric