Sturle Dagsland - ‘Kusanagi’ (single)
It’s been a while since we featured the extraordinary talents of Sturle Dagsland. When I first wrote about him / them in 2017 I declined to try and attach a label, suggesting that there were genres, and then ‘there was Sturle Dagsland’.
Three years on nothing much has changed, but I never thought for one moment that it would.
So Sturle Dagsland are based around the talents of brothers Sturle (who appears to be the main man) and Sjur, although for live performances they’re joined by other musicians. Their unique brand of experimental / abnormal rock has received widespread praise from websites and magazines across the world, including notably The Quietus, who can always recognise a decent weird sound when they hear it.
Most recently the Dagsland's have been working on their debut album, which is due out in early 2021. Of course they haven’t adopted the normal method of heading straight to a music studio, or even the traditional Scandinavian approach of locking themselves away for weeks in a cabin the the forest, with only a mouse for company – as was once claimed in a Mirel Wagner press release. Instead they’ve travelled around their native country, Eastern Europe and Russia, finding suitable places to record, including remote lighthouses, mountaintops and abandoned soviet warships.
The array of instruments used is remarkable too, with apparently over 40 used in the construction of their new songs. These include some completely new to me such as a ‘Norwegian Billy Goat horn’, and some we’ve come across before such as the Armenian dudak – most recently when writing about Piotr Nowotnik.
Anyway I almost forgot the new song. It’s called ‘Kusanagi’, and of course it’s pretty extraordinary. A huge cacophony of sounds opens the song, but it’s the rhythms that beguile and intrigue, staccato vocals blend with atmospheric world music and the whole things builds to a screeched climax. It’s very clever, imaginative stuff.