• Michael Wallick

Bjarte K. Helland presents: Maniae EP.

June 2021 - Bjarte K. Helland is an artist and performer who has recently re- leased a brand new project, Maniae. This EP is a perfect example of what it’s like to produce detailed and highly nuanced instrumental music, with influences as diverse as fusion and progressive. One of the most distinctive traits of this release is certainly the energy, and the drive that fuels the kaleidoscopic compositions of the EP. The arrangement feels very open-ended and carefully crafted, but also quite spontaneous and one-of-a- kind, never chasing the easy way out and always looking for innovative ideas in order to treat the audience to a more impactful experience. In addition to the impactful and diverse compositional value, Maniae EP is also quite distinctive because of the sheer quality of the production. The mix is balanced and very detail-oriented, making for a lively, natural and focus sonic approach, which actually allows every single element in the compositions of the EP to really stand out. In other words, the recording is so balanced and pristine that it really enables all of the many subtle nuances to stand out in this release. Check them out on Spotify and add them to your playlists!

The diverse dynamic range and the wide scope of the ideas that drive each track really add to the richness of the EP and lends a much broader depth of sound to the entire concept. Maniae stands out for its eclectic sound, and the EP is a perfect example of what great fusion instrumental music could be these days. There are no rules: it’s all about following undiluted creativity and let the flow of the music dictate its direction, telling a more compelling story through sound. The amazing musicians featured in this EP definitely help the concept: the EP features Grammy-nominated bass player Ric Fierabracci (Chick Corea, Planet X) and Norwegian guitar virtuous Jarle H. Olsen (Quadrasonic). Both of them brought a high degree of focus and proficiency to these performances! This is the kind of EP that will surprise you for it sonic variety, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat due to its catchy, yet unpredictable arrangement. I always love to hear from artists who set the bar higher and push the envelope when it comes to their productions: this certainly appears to be the case!

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