Dance buffoons will know: The Cakewalk was a social dance that was widespread in the USA around 1900 and became popular in Europe shortly afterwards. Whether the Norwegian trio of the same name has anything for dance music is not known to the author of these lines. However, one thing is certain: The musicians from Edvard Grieg's hometown Bergen can get enthusiastic about classical, jazz and improvised music and cultivate an individual style, which mixes Wall Of Sound with jazz rock, noise rock and kraut rock and grooves so incessantly that you really want to swing your dancing leg. Already for their first work "Wired" the three Norwegians were allowed to sing praises. These jubilant arias should continue with "Transfixed", because their new album can confidently be regarded as a - copy-free - continuation of their debut. In the monotonously chugging "Ghosts", Øystein Skar, Stephan Meidell and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad produce ominous drones and increase them systematically until the whole thing sounds in the middle of the piece like a group of Salvation Army brass players playing against threatening thunderclouds. "Swarm" begins peacefully with an echoing acoustic guitar before the band sends the listener on a nightmarish journey culminating in exploding guitar sounds. No less disturbing is the completely decelerated "dive", which gives the impression that the diver is not emerging from the water at all. By the way, the term "cakewalk" also appears in the saying "It's a cakewalk", which means "It's a piece of cake". But one should not be deceived: The pieces on "Transfixed" are not easy to play; the art is that Cakewalk holds their listeners to the bar with long arcs of tension. And it's got class.
Top track: Bells