2/A2. Watten Koma
3/A3. Komma Hem
4/A4. Stundens Hetta
5/A5. Poly Amok
6/A6. Portal Koma
7/B1. Mittenmelodin i Erzeben
8/B2. Natt Koma
9/B3. Omkomma Hemma
10/B4. Eka Amok
11/B5. Koma Grav
12/B6. Sista Dansen
13/B7. Så Rinner
OPAKOWANIE: TIP-ON-SLEEVE / WYTŁACZANE ZŁOTE LITERY
Berlin-based Swedish bassist and producer Petter Eldh returns with a new Koma Saxo album Post Koma, out on We Jazz Records, 10 November. The title Post Koma aptly describes the vibe of this one: The Koma Saxo sound continues its evolution, morphing into a holistic vision of jazz now and soon, where live instrumentation and repurposed sampling lose their boundaries.
Over the course of its three iterations (self-titled debut in 2019, LIVE in 2020, Koma West in 2022) Koma Saxo has sounded at times "liquid" and postproduced, at times raw and direct, at times acoustic and at other times oddly electronic (even while still being made with acoustic instruments). Post Koma is a culmination of this sonic study by Eldh, resulting in a music vision that never second-guesses throwing tasty hooks and everlasting melodies out the window after a mere bite of them. But fear not: there are even more new ideas just around the corner.
Eldh's compositions and ideas merge together in a way that just flows. There are quality musicians in the mix, including Koma Saxo live band members Sofia Jernberg, Jonas Kullhammar, Otis Sandsjö, Mikko Innanen, Maciej Obara and Christian Lillinger, but that's like saying that a cake includes flour and sugar. This music is not about playing, it's essentially about how the music is and how it takes its shape, so you quickly lose track of who did what, and that's all in the benefit of encountering this music as an entity that is constantly challenging itself while moving forward. The musicians are valued contributors, and an integral part of what's here, but this is far from traditional jazz playing where a band sits in a room playing takes after takes of compositions on sheet.
That being said, this is jazz to the fullest. That is, music that understands its past but always moves forward, and is never afraid of taking risks. Petter Eldh uses jazz as a starting point, not the end goal. This gives his music edge and mobility beyond what can be contained on one album. In a way, an album, then, becomes a snapshot of a creative process in constant flux and evolution.
Opening track "Koma" is literally drum & bass. It only consists of those two elements, yet what comes out of it is an open invite, a way of clearing your palette. It would be useless to describe individual tracks beyond that, but there's a strong sense of deliverance to the set. It feels like an ending, and also like a new beginning.