The days when rock and jazz were mutually exclusive, or maintained a worrisome and tense relationship, are over. It’s no longer of matter of what you can combine, but how expertly you succeed in forging a personal identity that’s connected to your personal roots. Ghent-based quartet Nordmann has carved out its own place since its inception in 2012. From the start, it tickled the interest of a younger audience that’s always on the lookout for new, unheard sounds and combinations. Their successful appearances at a series of contests confirmed it, and so did the reception of their self-titled EP (2014) and debut album Alarm! (2015). In 2017, instrumental four-piece Nordmann returns with a strong and intense second album: The Boiling Ground.
Ranging from repetitive, propulsive grooves and jagged, espresso-driven work-outs, to luscious dreamscapes and shapeshifting rumblings: The Boiling Ground is an album in which every roar, thud, growl and incision is meticulously placed. It pushes Nordmann firmly to the forefront of Belgium’s thriving music scene, signaling they’re ready for bigger things. Recorded at Koen Gisen’s La Patrie studio, the eight-song album retains the unmistakable Nordmann identity, while simultaneously expanding their sound and vision. Influenced by brooding jazz, crooked rock & roll, expressionist grooves and nocturnal minimalism in an even more layered and seductive way. As such, Nordmann betrays the live wire intensity and explosive potential of a furious rock & roll band, while also retaining the thoughtfulness and shape-shifting qualities of the best improvising units. It’s a sound that is as imaginative as it is suggestive, as thrilling as it is satisfying. It’s the soothing drug and instantaneous kick for those craving an adventure.