Bendik Giske debuts with ‘Surrender’

The Norwegian saxophonist and queer artist’s new avant-jazz album is out now.

Today, saxophonist and queer performance artist Bendik Giske releases his debut record, Surrender. The eight-track album arrives on Smalltown Supersound, the Norwegian indie also home to works by Neneh Cherry and Kelly Lee Owens.

Though Giske has contributed to many other artists’ works over the years, he was inspired to start on Surrender after he visited the famous Berlin club Berghain in 2012. “The space really creates a parallel universe that takes a while to get into—but once you surrender yourself to it, you experience yourself in a way that feels more true,” he said in a statement. The concept of ‘surrender’ is also central to Giske’s engagement with the sexual politics of gay culture.

The album, which was recorded in a museum-slash-mausoleum in Oslo, is an experimental, ambient work that sometimes hews more towards sound design than music. To capture the intricacies of his playing, Giske and producer Amund Ulvestad placed tiny microphones over the saxophone and Giske’s own body, which allowed them to capture even his breathing between notes.

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