Geir Sundstøl can coax sounds from his guitar that seem to emerge from another world. The Norwegian guitarist's second album Langen Ro takes his Wild Western-inflected instrumentals and opens them up to the cosmos.
Sundstøl is a man of experience: prior to releasing his acclaimed first solo album Furuland last year, he appeared as a sideman on some 260 records, making him the most frequently heard musician on Norwegian radio. He was allegedly an inspiration for the villainous crook Gaear Grimsrud in the Coen Brothers' film Fargo.
With a career spanning jazz, blues, folk, country and rock, you might expect Sundstøl's solo work to draw on the musical past, and to fit neatly into a predetermined genre. You'd be wrong. Instead, Langen Ro's eight tracks take on a sprawling instrumental journey through allusions and echoes. There are moments of Americana, and passages that draw upon Norway's distinct avant-jazz scene. Too propulsive to be called ambient and too free-flowing to be dubbed post-rock, Langen ro plunges listeners into Sundstøl's cinematic sound world.