If 'Paris, Texas' ever got remade in Norway, Langen Ro would make the perfect soundtrack album.
Ry Cooder's desert blues perfectly matched the desert landscape of Wim Wenders' 1984 classic and Norwegian guitarist Sundstøl creates a similarly alien soundscape with his sophomore release. Florianer could even pass as an outtake from the German director's film.
Recorded over a few days in a church in Oslo, synthesizers feature more prominently than on his guitar orientated debut, Furulund (Hubro, 2015). But still, it is the pedal steel and other 'real' instruments that create the distinctive atmosphere that is part jazz, part ambient. Sundstøl says he wanted to make an album of "underwater music".
Using his experience as a professional musician for 27 years, the music works on many levels. There's an hint of Middle-Eastern exotica in Gråtarslaget a traditional folk tune in contrast to the more contemporary feel of Tony's Theme, a non-synth version of music written by Giorgio Moroder for the Scarface movie.
The title track begins with a drifting refrain but slowly adds sonic layers to effortlessly combine stillness with movement.
While the album lasts just 35 minutes, Sundstøl covers a lot of ground to produce a highly satisfying whole.