Going past musical genres and instead straight towards something more elemental - Selvhenter’s music creates a strikingly direct, physical experience of sound composed of polyrhythms, acoustic and electric melodies, heavy music and improvised beauty.
Since forming in Copenhagen in 2010, drummers Jaleh Negari and Anja Jacobsen, saxophonist Sonja LaBianca and trombonist Maria Bertel have forged a unique approach to making music that starts with their instrumental setup: two drummers that interlock as frequently as they go their own way, a trombone put through a bass amplifier loud enough to rattle your chest and a saxophone put through a range of effects so that it often sounds unrecognisable. Selvhenter work within their own idiom, drawing from the individual players’ personalities and interests to make a highly collective music, where all four musicians are absorbed into a total sound where an improvised free jazz approach collides with experimental electronic music and avant-garde noise/post-punk sonorities.
Their new LP Mesmerizer - which marks their first physical album release in nearly a decade and their debut on the French label Hands in the Dark - carries forward this process of exploration, deploying original and complex patterns of rhythm through various percussive instruments and finely textured horns and synths. The attention to sonic details is also almost pushed to an extreme on this new offering, making the open auditory adventure suggested by the title of the album all the more captivating. These creative developments have brilliantly kept Selvhenter’s music alive to new uncharted moods and possibilities, while at the same time strengthening their core elements: a propulsive, dense and often ecstatic music.