FNS aka Fredrik Ness Sevendal – No Foly Bow

Lydbilde 005. LP pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl in screen printed sleeve. Includes FNS custom guitar pick. Edition of 100 numbered copies. Release date: T.B.A.

Side A:
1. No Foly Bow (6:35)
2. Ghostfest (2:51)
3. Dog Alone Home (3:01)
4. Is She Asleep (4:59)
5. Walking On Ice Cream (2:51)

Side B:
1. Gamle Gudbrand (9:27)
2. The Chimney Sweeper (10:39)

Recorded sometime between 2004 and 2006 at home and here and there in Norway.
Composed, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by Fredrik Ness Sevendal.
Mastered and remastered by Kai Mikalsen.
Cover design by Bjørn Kjetil Johansen.
Reissue curated by Petter Flaten Eilertsen.

Thanks: Anders, Inga-Lill, Bjørn Kjetil, Kai, Per Gisle, friends and family.

Originally co-released in 2007 by Humbug (Humbug066) and Apartment Records (aparec027) as a CD limited to 500 copies. This reissue features new artwork, remastered sound, plus a slightly altered track order to make everything fit nicely onto the vinyl.

FNS is the solo project of Fredrik Ness Sevendal. He co-runs Apartment Records and plays in bands like Slowburn, DEL, Kobi, Lucia, Marmont, Children And Corpse Playing In The Streets, GOM, Softrebels, Alfabulator, Domestic Dwellings and various other constellations. He has also collaborated with Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Mitsuru Tabata (Zeni Geva, Marble Sheep, Acid Mothers Temple), Mark Francombe (former guitarist in Cranes), Bill Wood (1/3 Octave Band) and many others.

Fredrik’s music spans lo-fi pop, weird folk, noise rock, free noise and much more. Common for all the projects is the homespun lo-fi production, tape hiss, lots of different instruments and sound sources, and that a big part of the music is always improvised. Much of this has been released on various formats and labels.

His solo recordings include the 2005 “FNS” CD-R album on Clearsnare, reissued in 2010 by Miasmah as a remastered LP/CD including a bonus track, the “Days Later” 7″ on Apartment Records plus cassettes on Sloow Tapes and Sweat Lodge Guru.

Website: www.apartmentrecords.com/fns
Contact/booking: fredrik@apartmentrecords.com

Reviews of the 2007 CD release of No Foly Bow

“(..) Equally gorgeous, but in a more fragile and Terrascopic fashion is “No Foly Bow”, the first full-length album from experimental Norwegian artist Fredrik Ness Sevendal. With a glacial quality in its timbre, the album has some exquisite guitar playing, and fragile melodies inspired by the folk music of Norway. Repetitive without becoming stale, the music moves slowly, thoughtfully constructed so that not a note is wasted, the sounds delicately poised on the edge of perfection. One listen to the title track will demonstrate how good this album is, whilst tracks such as “Gamle gudbrand” have a rougher, hewn property, as if torn from the very forest.”
– Simon Lewis, Terrascope

“The name Frederik Ness Sevendal popped up a few times in Vital Weekly, through his LP with Bill Wood of 1.3 Octave Band and a self-released CDR (see Vital Weekly 409 and 463). He has also played with people like Makoto Kawabata, Tabata, Lasse Marhaug and Crazy River. ‘No Foly Bow’ however is his first solo album. Sevendal plays guitar and sound effects. The result, the seven tracks that can be found on this release, is quite an interesting affair, as Sevendal doesn’t have one sound in mind, but several. He can play a beautiful piece of drone music with various layers of sustaining guitars, but on top he plays a nice set of slide guitars. In the next track he can play a more melodic tune that harks back to folk music. It makes this into a highly varied CD release, but it works well. The various tunes, which were apparently created through improvisation (hard to believe really), make a consistent whole, and displays a true talent at work. Nice recording, with a keen ear for details, this might still appeal to the fans of music from New Zealand, especially when Sevendal plays a drone like piece, but he has so much more to offer. Great debut.”
– Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

“Although he’s been a part of the experimental music scene in Norway for more than 10 years and has collaborated with the likes of Bill Wood (1/3 Octave Band), Makoto Kawabata and Crazy River, Fredrik Ness Sevendal is still little known in current underground music circles. This debut CD (a co-release between Humbug and Apartment Records) appears after a series of 7 inches and appearances on various CD-R compilations. It will be the opportunity for all to discover a rich, colourful and very personal musical universe. Sevendal’s songs are mostly instrumental (with some very sparse wordless vocals here and there) and they are very concise in nature. They are mainly built around deceptively-simple melodic lines played either on the acoustic or electric guitar. Yet, the sound can be raw and delicate at the same time as Sevendal uses a wide array of very subtle effects which are able to give his songs a more mysterious quality. Some of them may recall the “acid folk” melodies of a band like Espers (“No Foly Bow”), while others evolve around a more introspective kind of experimental blues (“Is She Asleep” and its looped guitar chords). Some melodies even have an inclination towards some sense of melodic pop (“Ghostfest” or “Dog Alone Home” whose quiet melancholy evokes the more minimal side of Piano Magic). Yet, the sound palette is always rich and surprising – not unlike some of the more song-oriented Finnish stuff. There are some lo-fi oddities as well, such as the central epic track “Gamle Gudbrand” which begins with some delicate layers of fiddle-like sounds (quite similar to the music of Pekko Kappi) before the strumming of a lonelier, noisier chord achieves to give the music a more unsettling turn. The final 10-minute track entitled “The Chimney Sweeper” is my favourite of the lot as it perfectly sums up Sevendal’s music in my opinion. In this sense, this track is a true masterpiece. The piece begins with a series of repetitive acoustic guitar lines that delineate a somewhat “darker” kind of mood. As it goes on, the use of various effects create a “noisier”, yet unobtrusive environment for the song to grow. Behind the electronic manipulations, one already senses the presence of a broken, distant “folk” tune. Out of this quietly devastating storm finally comes an ethereal melody played on the acoustic guitar, with subtly-layered loops paving the way for a more serene, yet equally mysterious ending. The results are simply stunning and way more personal than my words can actually say. To my ears, this is the stand-out track on the whole album, no doubt. If you like Fursaxa, David Thomas Broughton or some of the more “experimental” Finnish folk stuff (with a more melodically-concise approach though), you should definitely check out the music of Fredrik Ness Sevendal.”
– Francois Hubert, Foxy Digitalis

“A regular in the improv drone noise scene in Oslo, guitarist Frederik Ness Sevendal has appeared in many constellations of musicians, Slowburn, Del and (at the risk of being accused of nepotism) my own occasional combo We Snakes. His blend of folkish, finger picked tones and string bowing techniques, combined with more noisy uses of distortion and ring modulation, makes him an intriguing addition to any improvisational group, and someone I enjoy watching play! Despite having played with him live on a number of occasions, I quite literally ran home after he pushed his debut album No Foly Bow into my sweaty trembling hands. I was pleasantly not so surprised… The first thing you notice is the cover, a gorgeous Victorian theatre stage, or puppet theatre, with some absurd performance going on, immediately puts you in mind of music hall and magic, but also freak shows, the circus, dadaism even. It puts you in the mood for the twisted, and bizarre, but somehow safe and naive. The music is mainly drone based, (a form, which I have to say up front I am completely bored of these days) however, here the drones seem more, um… real.. like they have formed naturally somehow. Imagine this if you will… You have a real old timer banjo player, an Irish fiddle player and … oh I don’t know, a bagpipe player perhaps? Well there they all are, sitting together in a sauna naked (this IS Norway after all) and casually strumming, stroking and (oh god, why did I start this) blowing their instruments. As they play, due to the heat and humidity, the music and sounds from their instruments sink to the floor and collect, as a hot, dense stew, and as this stew leaks out of the drain, there is Frederik scooping it up with those little shovels they have in the Pic-N-Mix, and layering it onto his record. I don’t know enough about Norwegian folk music to say if there is a connection there, but the drone is certainly in the area. The Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle is famous for its special feature of an extra set of drone strings that lie under the normal strings, and give the instrument its resonant tone. Also there is a drone to the “Joik”, the monotonous chanting from the indigenous Sami people (or Laplanders, as they don’t like to be called). He makes this dense hot pickle of a sound that is both up front and yet quiet. Guitars intertwine with guitars in a delicate web in near random time signatures, there is melody and tune, but nothing is stated loudly or brashly, but at the same time there is menace and mystery in the background, like how your skin prickles in hot environments and sweat stings your eyes. Despite being basically a relaxed and non-confrontational album, it has also been mastered and compressed really very loud, and you really have to get up out of the sofa and walk across the room to the volume control, if you want a relaxing moment. Alternatively you can grip the edges of a cushion and lean forward into the drone and as your face distorts with the g-force and big fat grin that is contorting your face, you better pray that the wind doesn’t change direction.”
– Mark Francombe, Furthernoise.org

“With No Foly Bow Fredrik Ness Sevendal has launched one of the most exciting Norwegian albums of the year when it comes to the improv-exerimental-alternative genre. Sevendal, who’s done a lot of work both solo as well as in bands (Slowburn, DEL) and in collaboration with many others, domestic (Lasse Marhaug) as well as world wide (Bill Wood, Makoto Kawabata, Mark Francombe), and his guitars create sound-scapes floating and hovering in every direction at once. Yet it sounds quite tamed and controlled. This is instrumental medicine for the soul. It’s musical transcendental meditation, with some waking state of consciousness. Or it’s music to travel underground (check this with headphones while taking the subway/metro). There’s a lot of repetitive themes on No Foly Bow, including glimpses of mysticism and fairy-folklore. Slightly spooky, but mainly comfortably.
– Håvard Oppøyen, Luna Kafé

“Fredrik Ness Sevendal er en ganske obskur figur – i et ganske obskurt miljø – med tilhold i hovedstadens undergrunnsscene. Han kan knyttes til miljøet rundt Brugata-kollektivet, og er/har vært involvert i en rekke prosjekter av interessant karakter: DEL, Slowburn og Norwegian Noise Orchestra, for å nevne noen av de mange prosjektene hvor gitareleganten har bidratt de senere årene. Han har jobbet særlig mye med makker Per Gisle Galåen (Knoll & Tott) og har videre samarbeidet med blant andre Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Mitsuru Tabata (Zeni Geva) og Bill Wood (1/3 Octave Band). Nå solodebuterer han med en langspiller under eget navn med No Foly Bow. Det er naturlig nok gitaren som står i fokus også denne gangen, men ikke den mest støyende, aggressive varianten. Sevendal vender heller strengene mot mer eksperimentell dronemusikk, american primitive og faktisk norsk folk. Med fokus på nettopp de norske røttene klarer han å tilføre en egenart i det opptråkkede impro/gitar-landskapet han befinner seg i. Nøkkelsporet her heter Gamle Gudbrand og er en 10 minutter lang begravelsesmarsj fra svartedauden med utmagra felespillere og en enslig trommebanker som knakker monotont på alle dørene han passerer som eneste følge. Gamle Gudbrand er et helt nydelig spor som gradvis vokser i intensitet, og går fra å være truende til å bli altoppslukende når gitaren også begynner å glefse fra seg de siste minuttene. The Chimney Sweeper strekker seg også over 10 minutter, og igjen med en del særtrekk som gjelder for mye av denne platen: Betagende improviserte melodier, repetitivt oppbygde mønstre, underliggende støyknotting og feleaktig gnikking. Sevendal forener her dimensjoner fra hjemmebakt pop med mer avantgarde-uttrykk og folkbasert improvisasjon. Det gir denne platen minst to solide ben å stå på. Fredrik Ness Sevendal har en åpenbar forkjærlighet for mye av disse tradisjonene, og han lykkes å forene flere uttrykk med sin naturlige avslappede spillestil. Sjekk ut åpningssporet og tittellåten for en 6 minutter umiddelbar oppsummering av platens kvaliteter; her møtes skograsling, lofi-folkemusikk og slepne droner til en forunderlig suggererende St.Hans-dans i måneskinn. Sevendal vil nok neppe klive i tigersprang oppover hitlistene med denne platen, men det vil være blodig urettferdig hvis han ikke får bare litt mer oppmerksomhet rundt sitt virke. Dette er i så måte et perfekt utgangspunkt for den åpne lytter.”
– Bjørn Hammershaug, Groove

“Jo mer vi lytter, jo fattigere blir ord. For her har Sevendal skapt noe av det beste vi har hørt i år. Og vel så det. Vi kjenner ham først og fremst fra Slowburn, men dette er en ren solo, for gitarer, fele, primitiv perkusjon. Fragile eksperimentelle droner, primitiv amerikansk som Ben Chasny, Sir Richard Bishop eller Steven R Smith, og skygger av norsk folkemusikk. Men uendelig langt unna folkemusikkhalvtimen! Repetitive uten å gjenta seg selv, saktebevegelig og helt på grensen til perfeksjon, ikke en note for mye, alt plassert helt nøyaktig uten at det virker uttenkt, her flyter alt som om han øser rett ut av naturen. Et spor som Gamle Gudbrand, en 10 minutter lang begervelsemarsj med fele og en spinkel tromme er et helt nydelig spor som bare vokser og vokser i intensitet, og som ender opp for å sluke deg når gitarer nærmest freser de siste minutter. Det er mulig å høre at han har et godt øre for pop, og når han sømløst plasserer denne erfaringen inn i avant og folk-uttrykk er det bare å bøye seg i støvet. Strålende!”
– Bjørn Einan, Popopdrops

“Norske Fredrik Ness Sevendal (verkar i Oslo av vad jag förstår och spelar även i band som Slowburn, Del, Kobi med flera) spelade in “No Foly Bow” mellan 2004 och 2006. Den kom ut under förra året som delad utgivelse av bolagen Humbug och Apartment records och är enligt omslaget “inspelad i hemmet och här och där i Norge”. Och visst ger den sken av att vara en lo-fi-skiva, om än mer till attityd än till ljud (vilket är riktigt bra). “No Foly Bow” är sju låtar som kan ses som en välspelad instrumental lovsång (sic) till gitarren. Förutom några enstaka andra instrument handlar det uteslutande om gitarrer. Hemmabyggda låtar där lager lagts på lager, inte som mattor utan som väl avvägda och förhållandevis luftiga låtar med avgränsade melodier eller färgrika droner, eller både och. Fram träder mullrande feedback, pulserande ekon, psykedelika, långsamma och distade ackord samt fingerspel på stålsträngad gitarr. Man hittar lätt ljud och melodier man kan hänga upp lyssnandet på. Det är ändå en ganska sökande skiva där långsamma och harmoniska tillstånd eftertraktas, men som också då och då störs av disharmoni och noise. Dronerna vibrerar (om än inte alltid så länge eftersom flera av låtarna endast är runt tre minuter) och låten “Gamle Gudbrand” är en av favoriterna. En på trumma sakta slagen rytm som föräras av bland annat stråkdrag på ett stränginstrument jag inte riktigt vet vilket det är. Hypnotiskt och österländskt klingande. Riktigt bra! En annan favorit är “The Chimney Sweeper”. Drone, noise och fingerplock i en fin blandning.”
– Magnus Olsson, Soundofmusic.nu