Hailing from Norway, Eivind Aarset has recorded on over 150 albums with artists as celebrated as they are varied, including Ray Charles, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mike Mainieri, Ute Lemper, Ketil Bjornstad, Arild Andersen and Abraham Laboriel. This resume, along with three critically acclaimed solo albums, establishes Aarset as one of the pioneering spirits of modern jazz guitar. Dubbing his music "Nu-Jazz," Aarset is a leading voice in instrumentalist-driven electronica, where melody and form come from jazz touchstones but rhythm is inspired by "the club." Hunting for new sounds and rhythmic inspiration, Aarset has turned to Ableton Live both for sound design and the ability to transport loops and recordings to new dimensions.
"When working in the studio, I use Live for reworking loops and for more extreme processing of my guitars," says Aarset. "I find Live very fast, functional and easy to use. You can put in any sound, process it and get serious changes in a way that is very appealing to me. The plug-ins are also very effective, sonically rich and work in a very intuitive way."
Equally important to Eivind's rhythmic and melodic exploration is his collaboration with bandmates. Describing the process, Aarset tells us, "In my band, improvisation is a vital ingredient. We try to keep the song form as open as possible, and this is where Live comes into play. Welte Holte, the drummer in my band, uses six pads on a drum controller to trigger different scenes in Live. This gives us the possibility of working with up to six different scenes on each tune, triggering these whenever we want to. It gives us a lot of freedom in terms of making breakdowns, prolonging sections, going up and down in dynamics, and changing the sonic environment. But perhaps the strongest attribute of Live is its ability to create rhythmically interesting riffs and grooves. I find that by moving the Warp Makers around in the Clip View and working with pitch at the same time, thereby changing the accents, I can actually create a total change of the feel and characteristics of the riff or loop tonally, sonically and rhythmically."
"One of the tracks on my last CD, a tune called 'Transmission,' was recorded and mixed only with Live by Raymond Pellicer. All the sounds on the track were made with processed guitars and electronic drums in Live."
The New York Times: calls Aarset's first solo album, Electronique Noir:, "One of the best post Miles electric jazz albums." His latest album, Connected:, was released in May 2004.