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Artist: WESTBERG, NORMAN
Title: Idling Live
Format: Cass
Label: Alien Passengers
Country: USA
Price: $7.00
Edition of 200. Norman Westberg is a longtime member of Swans.
SOLD OUT

Artist: WESTBERG, NORMAN
Title: The All Most Quiet
Format: LP
Label: Hollow Ground
Country: Switzerland
Price: $26.00
"Anyone who has experienced Swans live on one of their recent tours will know who Norman Westberg is: the almost stoic, tall man, who coaxes rhythmic sounds from his guitar with an incomparably minimalist power and elegance. The play on words in the title can be applied to Westbergs own musical work, because whereas Swans are hard to surpass in terms of brute force, the artists solo work is much more subtle, and therefore also quieter. The resulting juxtaposition between the dense metropolis of New York, where The All Most Quiet was recorded, and the albums minimalistic strains, open up virtual spaces for attentive listeners. The opening, nearly twenty-minute title track begins with a lucid echo-like and extensive sound that seems to expand spatially and then contract again. At the same time the piece is evocative of lighting effects: mostly the music is slightly cool but rather bright. Individual beams break open or darken the mood. The consistent subtlety of the collages provokes the increased attention of the listener and every sonic shift is consciously perceived. The track "Sound 2" begins with atonal and slightly bumpy delays, which become increasingly confused and develop an unpleasant undertow. It is a kind of clamorous minimalism combined with an ability to conjure up sounds from a guitar that hardly sounds like guitar that makes Norman Westbergs music so unique." - Hollow Ground.

Artist: WESTBERG, NORMAN
Title: After Vacation
Format: LP
Label: Room40
Country: Australia
Price: $24.00
"Norman Westberg is perhaps best recognized for his truly individual approach to guitar with the band Swans. His playing with Swans has influenced a generation of musicians across genres. His particular approaches to that instrument, in creating both harmony and brute force, have challenged and ultimately informed a great many players. His new solo record, After Vacation, is his first full-length to come in the wake of the final Swans outing in its current configuration. More importantly it is also the first record to see Westberg move beyond a more performative mode of single take composition. After Vacation sees Westberg significantly expand his sonic palette. He opens up the tonal and harmonic possibilities of his instrument in unexpected and profoundly beautiful ways. His guitar, as singular source, becomes transformed through a web of outboard processes. He transforms vibrating strings completely, taking singular gesture and reshapes it through webs of delay, reverb, and other treatments. Moreover, he finds a new sense of space and dimension with these recordings. After Vacation has a decidedly more topographic sense. It charts out the dark contours of places unseen but imagined. It traverses a divergent range of places in search of an ever-opening compositional approach. The results are in excess of anything Westberg has created previously. His melodic capacities come to the fore; matching his distinctly personal approach to the textural qualities of his instrument." - Room40.

From Norman: "This is the first recording that was not done in my one take; it is what it is method. For me, this was like jumping into the pool with a blindfold on! Due to this shift, After Vacation is something of a collaborative record with the very capable and caring Lawrence English, acting as producer for the sessions; taking my sounds and weaving them into finished pieces. I listen to them more as stand-alone stories, rather than my usual style of bouncing conversation. The title After Vacation came from the feeling that something was changing. Not that playtime was over, just that last week was fun and all, but now is a good time to move around into something more realized."

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