The Eivind Aarset 4-Tet, 'Manta Ray, Or Soft Spot'
Eivind Aarset does everything in his power to make his guitar not sound like an instrument with six strings and a body tethered to earth. That's been the case for decades, netting the Norwegian gigs with like-minded sound sculptors Nils Petter Molvaer and Jon Hassell. "Manta Ray, or Soft Spot" — from Phantasmagoria, or A Different Kind of Journey — shimmers just below the ocean's surface with a translucent hypnosis. Over seven minutes, the ambient-jazz 4-Tet (along with guests) undulates the piece with resonant gongs, vibraphone, Arve Henriksen's fluttering trumpet and groaning, synth-like transmissions from – at least, what we have to assume is – Aarset's guitar. This is music that responds to the movement of its ever-changing environment that, especially, in the final minutes, opens to the sudden whims of euphoria.