Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: Didymoi Dreams

Stunning set of improvised music from Norwegian duo.

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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.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.