It’s not an obvious progression: avant-garde experimentalist turned atmospheric synth-pop artist – but Norway’s Espen Reinertsen has made the leap to great effect.
Reinertsen first established himself in the Norwegian scene as a saxophonist with groups such as Streifenjunko, Koboku Senju and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. He also managed to grab a few gongs along the way. Chief amongst them, the prestigious Spellemannprisen (That’s a Norwegian version of a Grammy to you and me) as a member of Christian Wallumrød Ensemble.
Reinertsen also features on Norwegian conceptual singer/songwriter Jenny Hval’s EP, The Long Sleep. It was released on cult US imprint Sacred Bones – home to music from the serial surrealist David Lynch and most recently, John Carpenter’s reimagined soundtrack to the 2018 remake of his horror classic, Halloween.
Amongst all of this, Espen’s production aesthetic is both characteristically Nordic and also distinct. Seemingly disparate otherworldly elements are merged, melancholic and melodic in equal measure, but underpinned by a defined lyrical style. The results, most evident in his recent album Nattsyntese, are arrangements with a clarity of purpose, an impeccable rhythmic sensibility, and a truly immersive atmosphere.
But you won’t need to journey to Norway to experience it yourself.
Bonafide have teamed up with London/Oslo based radio channel SVS to showcase a rare as hen’s teeth, live performance from Espen and his band in London at local East London favourite, the Rich Mix, on November the 28th.
The venue has very limited capacity so we recommend jumping on this one early.
Get your tickets here