Artist/ Band: SOT (Salt of Tusj)
Title: Kind of Saltz
Label: Sotanic Sounds
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

A combination group of musicians (Skjalg Reithaug - guitars, Anders Hunstad - drums, keyboards, and Lars Andreas Haug - tuba, trumpet, trombone, saxes and effects) from Oslo, Norway that bring elements of jazz, metal, Balkan, progressive rock, avant and various fusions, this trio truly pushes boundaries as well as mixes them together. Their inventiveness is outstanding! While some of the music seems spontaneous (it’s obvious these guys are kings in the improv genre), at the same time it clearly sounds all composed. And acutely composed it is!

First thing one may recognize is the unusual substitution of the typical bass guitar, with the tuba. Not only a tuba, but varied modifications and treated tubas. Now the tuba indeed has been used in progressive music before way back in the band Sky, with Herbie Flowers using it in their music. I remember loving it then too. Sky was classical rock and mellow, where only a few moments of this could be described in SOT’s music. SOT uses tuba in a much more angular and punch line way and I felt it often sounded like the much beloved Stick (oh yes, Tony Levin land).

The first song (“Schlatan“) is a heavy progressive rock infused jazz and metal display. I am reminded of Material but the varied horns and especially tuba put the uniqueness to it. The style changes are constant in the initial song alone, leaving the listener in a kind of wonderment. Adventurous to say the least. Track two (“Tusjpen“) starts oh so melodious in a light jazz rock style but soon pushes forth to something sounding like Soft Machine (Softs era), but the changes continue to occur with stops and starts, runs and riffs, and you have a solid idea how SOT operate. Exciting!

Little effects and inserts pop up unexpectedly while you try to keep up with the music. Even choir is used in places. The directions are often brisk and "Kind of Saltz" is filled with so much surprise. With all the vast genres on this CD, you cannot count them all on two hands, you’ll have to use your feet as well. Lovers of RIO, math rock, and even touches of ambient and space, will find this at the top of their list. At times, simply unreal. Think pieces of Stickmen, Zappa,, Uz Jsme Doma, Soft Machine, and odd chamber, all in a random order.

In the end, SOT with it's many years of varied experience sounds like no other exactly, due to so many characteristics and constant shuffling and outright sprinting of music styles. The music refuses to sit still for but a few seconds at any time. Wonderful beyond belief! This band is a game changer in my opinion with giant ideas and masterful musicianship, turn on a dime changes, energy to burn, and such a high degree of creativity. I will call it a kitchen sink masterpiece. EXTREMELY AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on September 23rd, 2013


01. Schlatan (5:14)
02. Tusjpen (5:53)
03. Bartof (1:38)
04. Follower (6:30)
05. Saltpetersyre (6:01)
06. Den Avsagde (1:52)
07. Stotten (4:22)
08. End Of Saltz (2:44)
09. Oftebrua (3:44)
10. Tzar Saltan (8:21)

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