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Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: Didymoi Dreams

Stunning set of improvised music from Norwegian duo.

Didymoi is the Greek name for the astrological twins Gemini, and the title of this live album, featuring the near-telepathic intimacy of these leading Norwegian players, makes perfect sense. The two discursive suites and achingly haunting encore here represent an enthralling adventure between guitar-generated electronica and that most ancient of instruments, the human voice.

Endresen’s stacatto splatter of vowels and consonants form a cut-up commentary against the swell of Westerhus’ sonic environments. Her singing flutters on the edge of song and melody; fragmentary pitches and glottal stops erupting like some obscure or newly discovered language.

Contrasting and shifting dynamics move like a swiftly developing weather front; sometimes bleak, suffused with brooding, scuttling rumbles, then transformed within seconds into sparkling motifs that skip and dance with ornate, radiant colours.

Endresen’s full-throated vocals against slo-mo spectral waves provide a cathartic yet profoundly lyrical climax. Such is their rapport, it’s impossible to tell who follows or leads throughout this remarkable collaboration.