Linus + Økland/Van Heertum/Zach – light as never

Linus + Økland/Van Heertum/Zach light as never anxious magazine

The distinctive sound of Linus is born from a delicate balance between folk, jazz, minimalism, chamber music and free improvisation. Starting as a duo, Ruben Machtelinckx and Thomas Jillings have always tried to infuse their compositions, which tend towards poetry and simplicity, with the ungraspable spirit of true open-minded improvisation. In the search of new stories to tell, it therefore did not come as a surprise that they chose to expand their palette by including both an eclectic mix of instruments (from banjo and Hardanger fiddle to electronics and an orchestral bass drum) and a range of collaborations with some unique voices in the world of improvised music. Showing much affinity for the thriving Norwegian scene, they collaborated with the likes of Nils Økland, Ingar Zach, Christian Wallumrød and Øyvind Skarbø, as well as Jakob Bro, Frederik Leroux and Niels Van Heertum.

On Light as Never, the second album by this constellation and the fifth by Linus overall, one no longer hears a meeting of different worlds, but rather the creation of a new one. A world where the blending of Scandinavian fiddle-tunes, abstract electronic soundscapes, meditatively repeating melodies and jazz-inspired free improv is no longer an experiment, but simply a state of mind. From the joyful interplay of Playful to the serenity of Ostinato, the microtonal alientation of Affirms Nothing to the wide-eyed energy of Conway, the almost bluesy warmth of Light as Never to the cold emptiness of Echo, nothing about these connections feels contrived. They simply represent a new outlook on improvised music. 

released April 20, 2022

Ruben Machtelinckx
guitar, baritone guitar, banjo

Thomas Jillings
tenor saxophone, alto clarinet, synthesizer

Nils Økland
hardanger fiddle

Niels Van Heertum
euphonium, trumpet

Ingar Zach

All music improvised by Linus + Økland /Van Heertum/Zach except
Light as never composed by Ruben Machtelinckx, Ostinato by Thomas Jillings

Recorded by Stijn Cools at DE SINGEL in June 2021
Except hardanger fiddle recorded by Kjetil Ulland at ABC studio
Mixed by Werner Pensaert at Linster Studios
Mastered by Gert Van Hoof at Cochlea
Artwork and copyright by Ante Timmermans
Design by Robin Foesters