The Thing – Again in Jazzwise Office Charts

Kids about The Thing!

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image001image001ttrimage001recensie Shake De Groene



The Wire about SHAKE

PAPATAMUS January 2016 Cadence Magazine

“Also through Trost comes SHAKE  [The Thing Records TTR005] by THE THING [MATS GUSTAFSSON-ts/bs/fender rhodes. INGEBRIGT HÅKER FLATEN-b, PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE-, drm/perc]. I can’t say I have heard all of The Thing’s recordings but of what I have heard I find this the best. The 7 tracks [51:97] on this 6/1&2/15 recording offer a good variety of attacks from the familiar balls-to-the-wall blowing and the rhythmically repetitious riffs and lines to less familiar thoughtful strategies and ballads. On one track [Aim] the group is joined by Anna Högberg [as] and Goran Kajfeš [cor], their roll is basically to support the trio’s patterned riffing while slowly rising up in volume, in a din of squabbling, to occupy the main soundstage before returning to the background. An effective strategy powerfully developed. A mature issue.”


The Quietus about SHAKE

The Thing’s Shake might not quite offer the immediate pleasures of their great Neneh Cherry collaboration or their classic Lightning Bolt cover but it’s another beezer of an album from the Scandinavian trio – perhaps their finest to date. There’s always the worry that their punk-jazz shtick could become a stale gimmick, but Mats Gustaffson, Ingebrit Haker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love have a knack of bringing the noise every time. The sheer energy and physicality of The Thing’s sound is immensely satisfying, fusing the freedom of jazz with the controlled power of rock. When more mainstream jazzers cover rock songs, they tend to work from the melody and chord sequence, an approach that can sound a little glib and underpowered. The Thing, on the other hand, rightly focus on the riff, using it as the basis for improvisation.

Shake has only two rock covers: a super heavy take on Loop’s ‘The Nail Will Burn’ and the more reflective ‘Siggil’ by Wyrd Visions. The latter is by Toronto-based Colin Berg’s imagined Nordic free-folk outfit. These actual Scandinavians clearly approve, turning it into a candlelit psych-jazz invocation, with Gustafsson prowling menacingly over ritualistic gongs and a hypnotic bass-line that joins the dots between acid rock and Alice Coltrane. Nilssen-Love’s ‘Fra Jord Er Du Kommet’ goes deeper still into the ritual, with slow-burning saxophone drones and resonant metals. An odd waltz-like melody emerges, conjuring images of trolls dancing under the moon.


in Carnage News

Il nome di questo progetto, che ricorda i film fantascientifici che hanno attirato grandi e piccini di epoche diverse, denota un power trio svedese che mostra la sua animalità: The Thing. Difatti, più che parlare di curriculum, bisognerebbe parlare di “Pedigree” (animali da palco in numerosi festival, collaborazioni, dischi, etichette, ecc.) poiché il loro branco si è fatto rispettare in molti ambiti. Interessante è il titolo Shake, la scossa, la mossa che viene tirata fuori nell’euforia della performance. Ebbene, i tre incarnano tre “scosse” diverse (una volta è il turno del batterista con la prima, poi dal bassista e poi dal sassofonista) che, osservando attentamente sono l’intero pilastro indivisibile per il concepimento del disco, un disco che arriva successivo al debutto dell’etichetta omonima del gruppo dal titolo Boot……..full review here

in Sentire Ascoltare

ome la “cosa” da cui prende il nome, il trio scandinavo formato da Mats Gustafsson (sax tenore e baritono), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (basso e contrabbasso) e Paal Nilssen-Love (batteria) si adagia di volta in volta su coordinate sonore tra le più diverse, mantenendo il proprio essere basicamente un terzetto free-form e free-jazz, rude e felpato insieme. È successo in passato, in una mole di lavori notevole per la qualità media – si ricordi qui l’accoppiata con Neneh Cherry in quanto paradigma, ma anche le collaborazioni con Jim O’Rourke, Joe McPhee, Thurston Moore e via dicendo – e succede anche per questo ennesimo ritorno, figlio di session brevi ma intense (due soli i giorni in studio, agli inizi di giugno di quest’anno) e targato The Thing Records, la label di casa appoggiatasi alla austriaca e altrettanto coraggiosa Trost……full review here


Press about The Thing & Thurston Moore:

Posted By Peter Margasak on 01.09.15 at 02:00 PM 

Over the years the gnarly, impolite improvising trio called the Thing (saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love) has performed and recorded with many guest musicians: Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O’Rourke, Neneh Cherry, and Barry Guy among others). The hard-hitting group have proven an ability to accommodate a wide array of approaches, perpetually modulating their rough-and-tumble sound to the needs of a given context. They proved it yet again with a late-2014 release made with former Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore on Live (The Thing/Trost). As an improviser Moore relies on a noisy, texture-oriented sound that has its limitations, but not only does it fit nicely with the Thing at their most aggressive, but the trio deftly shows that they create a simpatico setting for such raw expression.

The album includes two extended pieces recorded in London in February of 2013, in which the group plows, grooves, and spazzes out in one violent, continuous flow of sound. Håker Flaten sticks with a distorted electric bass throughout, while Nilssen-Love bangs out the beats with as much ferocity and power as any rock drummer on the planet. While all three members of the Thing are virtuosic in their own special ways, what makes the trio so effective is how they move as one, intuitively reacting to one another and transforming angles with preternatural ease. Moore’s playing tends to seethe and ripple on the outskirts of the trio’s visceral grind by filling in spaces, burning edges, and pushing against rhythm like a shoulder pushing up boulders. The music is not subtle—it hits with blunt force, yet within that bludgeoning assault there’s no shortage of variation and magnetism. Below you can check out the second track from the album, “Awakened by You.”

Es wundert mich nicht wirklich, dass jemand eher in Wien als hierzulande genug Arsch in der Hose hat, um solcher Musik eine Heimstatt zu bieten, wie sie auf Live (TTR003CD) erklingt. Es ist die Musik, mit der THE THING & THURSTON MOORE am 10.2.2013 den Besuchern des Café Oto in London eine Vorstellung davon vermittelten, was LEBEN sein kann. Die Überschriften ‘Blinded By Thought’ und ‘Awakened By You’ deuten ein Vorher-Nachher an. Aber der Weckruf, die Erweckung, die beginnt schon nach den ersten Takten, gleich nach den klirrenden Tönen, die Moore von den Saiten fingert und die Mats Gustafsson im Baritonsaxophon aufstöbert und mit einem hymnischen Vorschein verbindet. Sie beginnt mit dem Einsatz von Paal Nilssen-Loves Getrommel und dem E-Bass-Geknurre von Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, die den furios aufflammenden Gitarrennoise schüren und verschärfen. Und wenn dann immer wieder das Bariton brüllend und röhrend sich auf einen stürzt, um den Schädel zu knacken und das Hirn zu schlürfen, dann kenne ich wenige Musiken, die diesem Thrill, dieser Ekstase, diesem Toben eines möglichen anderen Lebens auch nur ansatzweise nahe kommen. Håker Flaten pumpt unermüdlich seine Fuzzwellen in diesen Jungbrunnen, der einen mit purer Lust überschwemmt. Brachial, ja, kakophon, ja, aber auch polymorph. Hört euch nur den Gitarre-Drums-Clash in der 16. Min. an, wo Moore dem Instrument das Äußerste abverlangt, bis Håker Flaten wieder seine rauen Riffs zu schrubben beginnt und Gustafsson einen bittersüßen Gesang kirrt. Es ist nicht die Lautstärke als solche, auch nicht das Tempo, das ist gar nicht so zügellos. Es sind die Frequenzen, die die Gänsehaut verursachen. Die zweite Passage wird von PNL leicht ‘chinesisch’ angeschlagen. Was Gustafsson aber summend anstößt und Bass und Gitarre weitertragen, ist lange nur eine Glut, die dann mit wetzenden Schraffuren erhitzt wird. Bis rasendes Getrommel, Saitenkakophonie und aus tiefen Registern gepumpte Wellen die Glieder lösen für einen dionysischen Hoodoo hoe-down, wie ihn Nietzsche erträumt hat, der seine shiny beastliness besser ertanzt als nur als Hirnfieber erlitten hätte. [BA 84 rbd]


Press about BOOT!:


Boot review in The Wire – November 2013

The Thing, fresh from a collaboration with singer Neneh Cherry, have returned to their stripped-down, raucous core sound on Boot!, Recorded in three day, the six track album opens with a version of John Coltrane’s “India” that’s primitive in the best possible way: the original’s hypnotic, mantra-like saxophone line becomes, through Mats Gustafsson’s efforts, a blustery cross between a military fanfare and the cry of some enraged ape. Behind him, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love batter their instruments in a manner more akin to garage rock than free jazz. This is The Thing’s modus operandi, unchanged since their emergence in the 1990s. The performance is always intense, leaving only the material up to question. In this case, they tackle Duke Ellington’s “Heaven” in addition to the Coltrane piece and four originals, and it’s one earthquake/windstorm after another for an hour, possibly the group’s best release since 2009’s Bag It!.

Phil Freeman, the Wire

The Quietus –Infuse, Confuse, Provoke: Mats Gustafsson Interviewed
Boot!, the mighty new album from Scandinavian jazz punks The Thing, is a heavy, heavy beast. The sonic equivalent of the Hulk doing battle with Godzilla, it bursts out of the speakers in a seething mass of molten bass saxophone, filthy fuzz bass and machine gun snare. If German free-jazz berserker Peter Brötzmann were ever to jam with stoner-rock overlords Sleep, it might sound something like this monstrosity.
Read full here

In AllMusic by Thom Jurek
Boot! not only refines what the Thing do, it extends them into a breathtaking sphere where a Babel-like musical conversation takes place, elevating all of its singular elements into a rough, raucous, glorious whole.
Read full here

in FreeJazzBlog by Martin Schray
….But what is really new on “Boot!” is that Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is exclusively on electric bass. His relentlessly repetitive bass playing brings the band closer to Gustafsson’s other long-term trio: Fire!. It’s no surprise therefore, that the highlight of the album is Håker Flaten’s composition “Red River”, which is based on a riff Led Zeppelin would be proud of. Although Robert Plant has made it clear that he’s not interested in a Led Zeppelin reunion, if he were to change his mind he should seriously consider Paal Nilssen-Love as a replacement for John Bonham. Maybe somebody should play the 14-minute “Epilog” to him, a free jazz bungee jump with Nilssen-Love’s raucous snare rolls bumping over a slow two-step sax theme (I am only joking – Jason Bonham has done a fine job at their O2 reunion gig)….
Read full here

In Guardian:
…Gustafsson charges into the opener with maddened-elephant bass-saxophone grunts over the wonderful Nilssen-Love’s crunching rock drumming, Reboot is a tonally contrasting episode of dissonant whistles and high-pitched snarls over a speeding-train snare-drum pulse, and the frantic Red River is a percussion tour de force….
In The List:

….What emerges is a seething radioactive beast, howling as it’s strafed by Nilssen-Love’s machine-gun snare volleys….

In Marlbank:
….Always on the edge of mayhem yet amazingly tuneful as if the tune has to be smashed into pieces first and then fastidiously put back together again with a method using the chunkiest riffs imaginable and even taking a cue from Ellington on ‘Heaven’, Boot! has the power of punk and attitude of free jazz rolled into one….

Spin Review:
Scandinavian blat-jazz heatmakers and barbecue enthusiasts the Thing are best when they walk the poles of pop song and freak-out — as evidenced by last year’s excellent collabo with Neneh Cherry. The front end of sixth album BOOT! blurps and blarps and skips rocks along this swamp nicely: It’s basically Man’s Ruin-ready muscular sludge-rock with Mats Gustafsson getting his saxophone to crack or flop around and cry like a wounded duck. The back-end sounds alarms and revels in ick.

This is the sixth album by Scandinavian band The Thing. An appropriate name for a band that have built their reputation on their own brand of free form “garage jazz”, ‘Boot!’ is not the easiest thing to categorise or choose suitable words for. Garage jazz is not one of the larger genres out there. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t even have its own section in HMV. in fact it probably doesn’t even have its own section on the internet. Somehow in these most generic of times in which we live in it confidently bucks the trend with its individuality and complete imagination……

The List
Originals and standards given the heavy Scandinavian jazz treatment

in Brooklyn Vegan

In Fader

In Bad Alchemy












In NewCityMusic:
….The covers in question, John Coltrane’s “India” and Duke Ellington’s “Heaven,” are among the most cherished harmonies in the idiom. The Thing turns these standards inside out, revealing their raw power and pure strength. Featuring some brawny blowing from Gustafsson laid atop a rhythm section of absolute barnburners in bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, “BOOT!” is a revelatory listen for the crossover from free form jazz to noise rock and back again.

Burgundio Blog – Jungle style for the second millennium! Read full here