Exposé Online banner

Annbjørg Lien — Aliens Alive
(NorthSide NSD6068, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Aliens Alive Cover artAnnbjørg Lien’s career has taken her from traditional Norwegian solo fiddling to 2000’s Baba Yaga, with its progressive and world music influences. On this live release, she and her band (a total of eight musicians, though all never appear on the same track) take us through that entire spectrum, and throw in a few goodies besides. She starts out the show with a lovely bit of solo fiddling called “The Rose,” putting us into a mellow and receptive mood (and reminding us of the traditions behind what she does), then proceeds to Baba Yaga’s “Loki” with keyboard man Bjørn Ole Rasch laying down a wash of synth chords for a flute melody before the familiar music starts. Next up is a fourteen minute suite called “Origins” which rearranges some of the parts of “Ája,” including the drone singing of Ailo Gaup, and adds some other parts, such as a great flute solo from Hans Fredrik Jacobsen. Rasch’s keyboards add an unexpected touch, often a cathedral organ sound (sort of like Wakeman without the continual arpeggios), but sometimes a classic Hammond touch, as in the title track, where he lays down an Emerson-style riff under some heavy percussion. Rasch also covers the low end in the absence of a bass player, and has a hand in arranging almost every track. Acoustic guitarist Roger Tallroth gets plenty of opportunities to shine, though not in a flashy up-front way; his support in arrangements and harmonies is integral to the sound of the band.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Annbjørg Lien

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Flower Travellin' Band - Satori – Psychedelic bands in Europe and North America often incorporated aspects of Middle-Eastern or Indian music into their own styles. So what happens when a band from Japan does the same thing? On the one...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues