Simon Lewis interviews Hasse Horrigmoe from Norway about the legendary TANGLE EDGE for - maybe - one last time...

First up, let's go back to the beginning. What influenced you to become a musician and were there other bands before Tangle Edge ? Was there a recognised musical Scene in Norway? Prog/psych always seems popular in Scandinavian countries, producing some fabulous bands along the way.

I guess it was the love of music that naturally led me into it. I`d always had great kicks from listening to music as far back as I am able to remember. Children`s songs at the earliest. The first 45”-single I bought myself in the store was The Beatles` “I Feel Fine”. I must have been five years old at the time. When I just drifted around in my early teens, and mostly my thoughts wandered endlessly, I didn`t even think of becoming a musician myself, I just consumed what I possibly could find and bought everything I could afford. I didn`t think I had any particular talent or would be able to produce anything relevant, as far as I can remember. At best it would have been a vague dream considered impossible to realize.

I knew chords on the guitar from taking a course at the age of ten, but that particular guitar I got for the occasion, was a cheap one and so hard to play, that I got totally discouraged. Perhaps I just did't yet feel the need yet, hard to say, really. Looking back now, that certainly seems a bit strange to me, but those years of intensive listening to music surely gave me a solid direction immediately when I finally started to play. It happened in a way by accident, really, although with everything in the universe, I have learned to be careful to not be too sure of which forces that really are at play when certain things happen.

So, in autumn 1977 when I started at high school, I ended up in the same class as Harald Strømsnes, later to become a member of our peer-band locally “Slakt”. He showed me how to play Status Quo`s  “A Year Has Gone”, with the finger-picked  A-minor chord and its descending bass line played with the thumb and also gave me a scale to play the theme and improvise a solo upon. The universe had suddenly opened a huge entrance for me. This also happened at the time when life started to get a little gloomy and gradually ripped away any significant meaning to me.

As for what was going on in the culture, I recognized during 1977 that the “new era”, as Hendrix called it, was definitely over. By 1976, the Norwegian progressive bands had vaporized or become slick. The organised music scene was through the jazz-clubs and the jazz, rock & folk festivals during summer. Of, course, with some of the Norwegian jazz musicians releasing great albums on ECM records, there was some light in the tunnel, but progressive rock music of different types were gone.

Disco had taken over and even coloured my social life grey. The norm was that you couldn`t even dance in social settings if disco wasn`t on the speakers. Everything just became so immensely lame and boring....

So, no matter what it looks like from outside of Norway, prog and psych was dead as hell in those days. As if the disco-culture wasn`t enough, punk and new wave came along and even made guitar solos forbidden.

     How did you meet Ronald Nygard, your long time musical partner, and when did you form a band together ?

Ronald and I grew up in the same three story blockhouse with twelve apartments and two entrances. There is a six year age difference between us, so we didn`t hang out together in those early days. It is all rooted back to the summer of 1975, I was 14 then and me and another buddy wanted to order LPs from UK, and therefore teamed up with Ronald to save on postage. As a result of this Ronald and I started lending records to each other. He of course had a big collection for those times already, and tried out all kinds of artists and genres. Despite my age, I wasn`t too shabby, I already had three Amon Duul II-albums in my collection. Ronald also had a strong artistic inclination, and fooled around with drawing and painting of surreal images, and had Roger Dean and Rodney Matthews books and posters. So I spent a lot of time at his mother`s apartment, listening to records until the early morning hours, and was allowed by my grandmother to do so because it was technically in the same house as we lived. I would never have been allowed staying out so long with my same aged usual friends who lived around 5-15 minute walks from us. Ronald stopped his most intense record buying already in the late 80s while I didn`t stop mine until around 2014.

After I had the “A Year Has Gone”-epiphany two years later, I immediately suggested to Ronald that we might try to play something together in addition to only listening to records and drinking coffee. Ronald also knew guitar chords from earlier years, but he also did not play anything at this time. “Nah”, he said, “what would that be any good for?”. Still, he started almost right away, and eight months later I bought myself a bass guitar and four more months after that we did our first recording of music that was considered to be something. I tend to forget that the reason for me ending up as the bass player, despite being interested in both bass and guitar, was that Ronald, during the period when I didn`t yet have money to buy a decent instrument, announced that he couldn`t play any bass. So me, being 16 years old and six years younger, and being the one with a collective and collaborative mindset, adapted or folded - take your pick - and became the bass player. Maybe that was a functional solution, for starters at least, I don`t think it would have been the same when we later added drummers, if we both were guitar players who shared the bass playing between us.....

So then we suddenly were a musical duo, with an existence limited to his mother`s apartment, where he had a Phillips quarter inch tape recorder with the “sound-on-sound”-technology`s overdubbing possibilities, must know. There were no places to play for us in Narvik, there were only dance-bands in town at that time and we didn`t even know a single one of the local musicians. But Ronald worked at the railroad and met guitarist Kjartan Edvardsen there and he shared our passion for the blues, so we slowly started to develop a blues project with him parallel to our progressive music. We had a drummer for a while in winter 1979/80, but he didn`t work out, and in April 1980 Tom Steinberg joined us as a blues band and we did two festivals in June/July and got a reputation that led us to further fruitful engagements during the coming twelve months. When I recruited Tom, I knew that he had the same progressive interests as Ronald and me, I`d heard a tape of him playing something in the style of Can. and during autumn 1980, we automatically became two bands and the second half of the album “Pharoway” was recorded right away. We had to abandon the blues band a year later, when Tom moved to another town and there was only time for the progressive stuff when he came here. Sometimes when I bitch about how hard it was to get anywhere playing music up here at that time, I tend to forget that we in fact got somewhere at least, with the blues repertoire during only a 12 month period.

    As well as your intriguing name, you also have very interesting, possibly obtuse, song titles, is this a deliberate policy to confuse or are they based on the music they describe ?

The band name is a satirical description of our musical attitude, and strongly related to how many up here viewed our music at the time. We took the name in summer 1982 while we were out of a drummer for a month or two. “Tangle” can indicate a tangle or chaos of notes, and “Edge” is because we clearly felt that our music were on the edge or at odds with the current trends or any contemporary sanity. We did not choose Tangled Edge with the “d”, because we wanted possibilities of interpretations with the two words separately and the two words together.  Also; we thought that the combination of these two words also were fairly unlikely to be chosen by any other outfit elsewhere on the planet, so Tangle Edge it was.

As for the song and album titles; I preferred them to be some kind of poetic, metaphoric and inclined to trigger people`s fantasies. They do of course have some kind of relation to what we were thinking of at the time of making the music or at least the time when pieces finally were named. Humour is also used, when found appropriate.

I do like several concepts of poetry and writing in connection with titles, maybe they can enlighten the topic a bit. One type of perspective is Robert Wyatt making the album title “Dondestan”, which is Spanish and means “where are they?”, but for those who don`t know Spanish, it would most likely sound like a forgotten country or state in Eastern Europe. Another one would be the poetry of the early 20th century artistic movement Futurism. The Russian version of this movement had poetry that was based on the sound of the words rather than the meaning. My own practise of Yoga the last thirty years has given me a fundament to bringing in Sanskrit words and expressions into the song titles. What I also like, is Scottish author George MacDonald`s concept that the reader`s own perception is equally valid as the author`s. Finally; I do sympathize with Werner Herzog`s wishes that we need new archetypes and new metaphors. I see the whole presentation of music, titles/lyrics/visuals as a whole, a united artistic statement.

Of course, inside the group during the daily struggle to get something of value together, despite all obstacles; songs that were rehearsed to death out of necessity through longer periods of time, were amongst the band members titled alternatively and often in an unflattering manner. Just consider “Daidalos` Hunt”, a tune that`s extremely hard to play successfully; during the rehearsals for our very last gig we changed one of the letters in it when referring to it.....

Some of the retrospectively decided titles amongst the unreleased tracks on YouTube can be more of a more humoristic character or something of necessity for making them easy to remember it by for me, while I`m handling this huge load of material in a relatively short time.

But basically, I prefer that the music, the titles and the art work merging into a unified   presentation of our artistic statements.



     After a couple of Cassette Releases in the late eighties you released the excellent “In Search Of A New Dawn” on vinyl, did you see that release as a step forward in your development?  Were you playing many gigs at the time and did the release raise your profile outside of Norway ? It was certainly the first time I had heard your name mentioned in the UK.

Before I start answering this, I think it is important to establish what kind of perspective I am speaking from, or else I am afraid it would easily be misunderstood. As a listener, I would never think that The Mamas & The Papas, Donovan and Mungo Jerry aren`t as great as Magma, Charlie Mingus and Henry Cow, because these are all favourites of mine. But as an exploring musician, I am inclined to favour territories that bring me experiences that are new to me and which at the moments they appeared, significantly schooled me of something new in opposition to material that is great, but wasn`t that exciting to get together or was played to an extent that made me tire of it. This makes me more than often fail to praise the pieces that are as good as the ones I am automatically drawn to.

I can`t remember exactly in which way it was articulated between us in the beginning, but both Ronald and me wanted excitement and exploration through playing music. That is the only reason why we did it. We didn`t make any compromises. Any perspectives other than that, didn`t exist in our shared musical universe. So the demand on Tangle Edge would be that the band should bring us precisely that. The successful material we produced early on, was what is now documented on the albums “The Glow Of Maya” and “Pharoway”. However, it was the ten month period between November 1982 and September 1983 that produced the greatest “WOW” or “holy shit”-moments ever for us in many different ways, perhaps only equalled by the year 1991, when we got together the compositions “Cancalam” and “Beyond The Hills Of Inhibition” and thereby progressed significantly, though exploiting a totally different creative method.

By late 1982 we improvised successfully with an energy, interaction and creativity that totally astounded us and it was also the exclusive setting that really taught me what my own most unique and original stuff as a bass player was. It was extremely inspiring and exciting and I think the band has never again spontaneously interacted so equally creatively as we did then, we were all probably on the exactly same level and planet at that time. It is all totally improvised stuff with no plan, even if the results sound like compositions, except for the modal system that Ronald and I was developing and was a given when playing. Yes, we just played and amazed and amused ourselves to death. In retrospect it seems just like we were given it all for free, compared to how things felt in years when you really had to fight to get the band to deliver adequately.

As for our place in the universe or on earth, we must remember that this was 1983. Nobody was interested in this stuff, but we managed to release a self-made cassette of 90 minutes of it at the time, titled “Improvised Drop Outs”. The later released albums from this period are “Dropouts” and “Krathoma”, comprising practically five LPs` playing time. I never tire of them. Sometimes they do sound like everything I ever would want from a band. It is like the music is still open to just jump into again and continue shaping it.

And then back to your first question in this section; no, the album “In Search...” was not a deep structural musical development for us, because of what I described above. However, it was a realisation of a recorded statement, a product of composed, well rehearsed and overdubbed material with as much variety as we were capable of presenting at the time being.

An album like this was what Ronald and I had in mind since the late 70s. But even back then, I saw no possibilities of somebody willing to release that kind of music. I thought that we`d make music and just record it on tape.  But luckily, through all those years we had this plan of an album, because we were practically bombed to stone age after Tom was considered unfit for the recording process. The actual idea to record an LP came in 1984, but I can`t remember how thought it would be executed. Anyway, during that year it became evident that Tom was not going to be available at functional amount of time for us, so in early 1985 Rune Forselv, who had spent two months together with us in mid-1982, was brought in for the task.

Rune didn`t possess broad capabilities, but he had the necessary individuality, and we found common ground around acts as The Who, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Mountain, plus he also liked early King Crimson, though he didn`t have skills to pull off such material, but was still inspired by it. So we adapted ourselves to what he was able to play, shaped the selected material and recorded the album during a period of two and a half years. Still, it must be said that none of the other drummers played the material from this period better than what Rune did, neither before or after, no matter what they themselves might be inclined to think. Curiously, I`ve also found through interaction with fans on Facebook during the later years that we have a fraction that really loves the 1986 Radio Stroganoff-sessions also, which Rune plays on. Us at our most rocking! The actual recordings with him that was used on “In Search....” are from late 1985 and early 1986 and spring 1987. We were often without a rehearsal space during this period and Rune wasn`t that much available either, so things took its time.

The tracks without a drum kit were mostly done in 1987/88, and the final mix was completed in autumn 1988, and then we were ready for our grand representation for the world. So, I don`t consider it that much of a step forward in our actual development, as much as a consolidation of what we could do and a finally a major decent release of a long time coming project that also served as a business presentation.

We did not play many gigs while recording “In Search....”, no. There were hardly any available. One multiple bill benefit-gig in 1985, where we were lucky enough to be pleasantly received by the the high school part of the audience. One gig in 1986, the “Aphrodite”-gig. That was a three-set whole night gig we got at a newly established bar that by coincidence turned into a music venue. Rune and Kjartan played together at the time in a very popular local rhythm and blues band, so I think if it weren`t for that fact, we would never have gotten the gig by any circumstance. In 1987 and 1988 we did a pair of short appearances at arrangements by the local rock club.

Speaking of “commercial” exposure, I must mention that the cassette “Live In The Presence Of Aphrodite” was available in a few London-stores at the time through a contact in Norway.

Luckily there were some sympathetic cosmic coincidences at play. While we developed our music in a time when the world went the other way, there was the U.K.-festival scene going on, which we knew absolutely nothing about until after the album was out. We did however, know about The Bevis Frond. Watching the world from above the arctic circle in Norway, the album “Miasma” practically re-installed  the “1965-1975”-era again, at least for me. As a reader of Record Collector, I had for at least one year in advance to the release of “In Search...” checked out what was available on the fanzine-market. So I when I sent out promo-copies of  the album, “Ptolemaic Terrascope” was of course on that list, and the very, very first letter that arrived in my mailbox was from the one and only Phil McMullen ! His review, with the classic phrase; “If this is the stuff coming out of Norway today, then saddle me up a reindeer and brush me furry hat, `cause I`m on my way!”, quickly appeared in Bucketful Of Brains. After that followed the article in the Terrascope, with the album offered for sale, and then articles in Audion, Freakbeat and others and the 1990 U.K.-tour arranged by Richard Allen.

Despite an overwhelming response for “In Search...” in the progressive underground press immediately, and receiving phone calls from amongst others journalists in Italy and Japan, we got massively slaughtered in the rock magazines here in Norway. “Aimless dorm-room jamming” was the headline of one of them. We thought that it was hilarious, of course, I don`t think we really expected anything else. We reminded the writer of albums like “Tales From Topographic Oceans” and “A Passion Play”, which he hated. Well, I honestly hope we really were as “bad” as those two. This was during the reign of what we call the Springsteen-Cowboy-era of music journalists in Norway, so what could you do? At the time, a Norwegian musician claimed publicly that none of them dared to write something positive about anything, unless he knew that at least fourteen other writers liked it. This was in a way evidenced when we for the first time played in Oslo, now documented on the “Blue Monk”-album. This was 1993 and only twenty-five people were in the audience and curiously; half of them were music journalists. None of them wrote about the gig and none of them even talked to us, but fortunately things were slowly changing a little for the better for us in the early 90s.

But, back to 1988; during the completion of “In Search...” things took on a more serious approach, not musically for Ronald and me though, for us there was no change in that, but two new members moved from Oslo to Narvik to play with us; drummer Kjell Oluf  Johansen and woodwind player Svein Hugo Bergvik and together we formed the so-called “Eulogy”-line-up. Rehearsals to establish a three hour electric and one hour long acoustic repertoire started, and they could be up to four eight hour sessions each week at the most, plus personal instrument practise, of course. We also started rebuilding a barn on my property outside of town into a studio, so there was no doubt that the band now meant serious business in multiple ways.


     Whilst you have had several Drummers in your career you have always remained a Three Piece band. I am curious to know if you have ever considered other musicians for the band, a Keyboard/Synth player seems an obvious fit, maybe even a vocalist. Having said that I don't miss extra musicians when I listen to your music the three of you mange to create a very full sound.


We would have been happy to include any other player with the right kind of attitude, but there were seldom anyone available that met our artistic demands. I suppose you can blame both the times and the geography for that. I was aware of this problem or probability or whatever it can be described as at an early stage, where I realised that more than a trio would be difficult to imagine. Also, apart for the period 1989-2000 when Kjell Oluf occupied the seat, we always had limited access to our drummers, due to the fact that they all possessed other interests in life, not only jobs, family and serious commitments, that you could not avoid taking care of, but unfortunately also small, trivial things that often won over committing to developing music. Nothing wrong with that at all, don`t get me wrong, they were amongst the majority of the human race, but such an attitude did not make for a good fit in developing Tangle Edge to match Ronald`s and my own vision.

These realities made options of have even more composed and organised elements put into our music impossible, something I strongly would have wanted. So at a very early stage I considered that Ronald had a strong enough solo voice through his guitar playing, and even if our style would exclude many listeners, it was still a very valid musical statement. This left us with the option of having a jazzy, improvised open approach. That was the only thing possible with the conditions given, so we did our best with what we had. It was interesting for me over three decades later to read an interview with Mike Oldfield, who early got the same kind of  idea from recognising the substance of Paul Kossoff`s playing, that the guitar alone maybe would be enough.

Tangle Edge were in fact a quartet from late 1988 to early 1991, when we had Svein Hugo on flute and saxophone with us. That period gave us the possibilities of exploring some other approaches. Interesting, but none that really brought me any steps further as a musician, though, I had to nurture my own development through what I composed. This line-up made the “Eulogy”-album and did the U.K. 1990-tour, where we really received well.

Else, we really wanted to have Swedish cellist Hans-Urban Andersson with us in 1992, but he had schedules from his work as a classical musician that was unmatchable with our work routines. We also tried out keyboard players at different points, but it didn`t work out for different reasons. I always thought that a dedicated keyboard player in the band would have been something fantastic that I could have worked extremely well with in enhancing the music of the band even further with more themes and exaggerated moods, and at best had liberated my role in between...

As I remember it, the drummers were in periods, to varying degrees, anxious about being a “only” a trio. But at the same time, none of them had a particular impressive notion of judging which part of a certain musician`s playing was good enough to be something of use, and they often made suggestions that were more based on what they would have liked to have done than what could actually be delivered. Ronald and I had a ruthless censorship of that concept. As an instrumental trio, we would never have reached out of town, if we had gone for solutions with any weak or derivative energy displayed. I must admit, there were often things I myself would like to have done, but if we didn`t deliver on it, I threw it away, no matter how dissatisfying, discouraging or painful it felt or how limited options it provided me with at the time.

The full sound you describe, is also a significant part of the band`s concept. Having “only” a trio operating forces you to make decisions of abandoning interesting ideas and several ways of playing, at least in live-settings, because we wouldn`t deliver good enough. I think that especially for me as a bass player, options were cut short in a live-trio format. I also had to take on a role as emulating elements of both extra guitar and keyboards in my playing to achieve the colour we needed to succeed. So we consciously had to play in defined ways that made us produce a full sound. This is the reason a track like “The Approaching Triptykhon Sunset” never wasn`t even considered for live-performance. In the long run this kind of limitation also made us, or more precisely me, always looking to cover new ground when composing the base material for the group, new moods and modes, new rhythmic structures, new chord-sequences, so we didn`t end up with repeating ourselves, which would have been the obvious result of being a trio for decades. More work, yes, but with obvious rewards.

I also think our interests in jazz and cross-over artists as amongst others; Soft Machine, Miles Davis, Carla Bley and Eberhard Weber, helped us bringing an extra set of tools to shape the music in a productive way. We always had a jazz/cross-over sensibility build in from the start, which we back then  took for granted, but which I now can see that many other bands didn`t have. This approach made us always have ways or channels outside the obvious style or character of any piece of music we while we were shaping it. It amazes me to watch in retrospect how Ronald, Tom and me all had that concept automatically built in from the go, even without ever articulating it amongst ourselves.



     It seems to be true that most of your albums are released several months/years after they are recorded. Is this a question of finding the time to mix everything or are other factors involved ? I imagine finding a label for your musical style can be quite tricky, a sad state of affairs.

We were always in between the styles, part psych, part prog, part Kraut, part Canterbury, various ethnic influences, not symphonic at all, although the live-energy of Yes was a huge inspiration in the 90s. It was always hard to fit us into an exact box even within the wide psych-prog spectre. In many cases we have been labelled as “Space Rock”, but that is not anywhere close to correct, we do though identify with Gong`s jazzy space rock and I very much appreciate that fans of Space Rock like us! Even if it was Amon Duul II that made us start composing in the beginning, I would say that of the styles, I consider us closest to Canterbury Rock when looking back at our total lifespan. For me, Canterbury Rock has nothing to with using an organ, but rather the combination of rock and jazz, directing towards free-jazz and mixed with European avant-gardism. And that is a fair description of what we mostly did. Therefore it has always been difficult to find a label that would release an album for us when needed, not that there were that many available during periods of our existence. We also wouldn`t never rush anything and risking the end result becoming inferior and mostly we were able to maintain control over that, so we never sought out a label before being sure of what kind of product we had at hand. But there are several reasons for the delays. In the 80s and 90s it could take year or more from when you delivered the final master to the album got released. “Eulogy”, recorded in Wales 1990, was delayed 2,5 years due to a lack of cash flow at Demi Monde, which was horribly bad for promoting the band. On the other hand, when the live album “Entangled Scorpio Entrance” therefore came out in 1992 as our second album, cassettes not included, we were suddenly described as “legendary” in the press. It was released as a triple LP on Colours, which was the offer that instigated the release, and on double CD financed by Jan Inge Sommerseth from our own organisation.

I`ll have to comment on that in this period we probably made our worst business decision ever. Yes, the delay of “Eulogy” was bad, but Demi Monde put out the CD-version of “In Search...” right away after that, so it seemed like the label was in business. This led us to turn down an offer from Laser`s Edge, based on the fact that since we were working in Europe, a European label and with its attached distribution was to be preferred. Well, as it happened, Demi Monde folded, and Laser`s Edge is still going strong after all these years. In 1997 when Delerium released “Tarka” it seemed like we had gotten a great substitute, but they folded too, just a few years after. So, in retrospect, not going with Laser`s Edge seems like a really horrible decision.

I suddenly remembered that Delerium had plans of releasing the “Aphrodite”-tape as a vinyl album, we did the master, but that didn`t happen either. The extended triple LP/double CD-version of “Dropouts” was first planned as a triple LP release for Colours in 1993, but they folded, and it was then planned for release as a double CD by Delerium, in 1999 I think, but they went out of business. So we did it ourselves with a smaller economic input from Jan Inge in 2010. The only consolation in this case, was that we in 2010 had new technology to make the most out of the sound quality. In 1999-2000 when we were completing the recordings of the follow-up to “Tarka”, we didn`t even have a deal with any label ready. This album was shelved because the line-up folded at the last moment before completion, but the studio version of “Cancalam” from these sessions was finally released as part of the album “Cispirius” on Space Rock Productions in late 2021.

Of course we didn`t play commercial music, so we knew nothing would be easy, and I mostly think we got lucky with a difficult style of music in times that was anything but optimal for such. But looking back at certain events, I think we probably could have had a little higher percentage of luck with getting our releases out. That would maybe have helped us a lot at certain junctions in our history.

From 2006 it seemed easier, we could always find a label it seemed, but not 100%;  the LP-version of 2006`s “Serpentary Quarters” was financed by Jan Inge Sommerseth, while the Italian label Mellow Records did the CD. Also; the CD-version of the “Kathamkaram” LP-album from 2008 never got released, which was tragic for promotion, of course, LPs are far too expensive to ship out as promo copies with the horrible Norwegian postage rates. Distributors can`t even afford to re-stock a smaller amount of LPs while buying from here.

But, as for all the digital albums that came out between late 2020-late 2021, all those were prompted by going through the archives with top notch modern technology available, and you don`t need a record company to do it ! Not deadly in need of a label anymore, although I definitely would like to see some of it getting released on vinyl some day.


    The last couple of years has seen you release a ton of archive stuff both on Bandcamp and Facebook. Was this something you had planned or did the Pandemic suddenly give you the time for what seems like a mammoth task. I kinda assume that you record every session/gig you play meaning you must have hundreds of hours of music to go through.

Yes, there are hundreds of hours. It took me five or six months, checking out badly marked tapes against others and determining if there were doublets and which one was the original before finally transferring them to digital. We always were an improvising band, to variable degrees depending on which line-up we`re talking about, so the tape machine was always running when we played. The plan with the archives, was strictly limited to transferring everything of cassettes, tapes and DATs recorded before 2004 to digital and re-master some of the earlier albums and maybe put out one or two archive releases. It is about 37 years of work for us documented here. The only thing that is lost, as far as I can see right now, are the tapes from 1979, unfortunately.

Ronald and I had already done “The Glow Of Maya” and “Cispirius”, but it took off when I started on my own in October 2020 after Ronald`s equipment broke down. Since I am retired now, the pandemic had nothing to do with me being able to do it, I had the time available to me anyway. One important factor might be that I am able to do the work in my living room. Some material was recognised already by accidental listening when I was transferring, while other discoveries came to life during mixing them. Some albums I had to spend a long time on, but this new technology really provides possibilities.

Yes, it was really a mammoth task, yes, no doubt about that, but I didn`t foresee that I would be able to do so much during a 14 month-period, and I will not do another period of so intense mixing of older material again. As I am the only one that`s been storing tapes and also have a good memory and control over what we have done, I guess this naturally had to fall on me, if anyone at all.

    Talking of your Bandcamp site, there are some rather excellent recordings to be found there, right from your earliest days to very recent material. Are there recordings you are particularly proud of and have you enjoyed the process of archiving everything ?

I have enjoyed doing the whole mixing thing, apart from all of the real time transferring, although it did give me a more precise idea of what actually was in there. But there`s no doubt that some of the finds of “new” material have been a thoroughly inspiring experience. The album “Krathoma” is perhaps the most fantastic. I knew there were good stuff from these five August and September 1983 sessions, and that they could benefit by some editing, since we had used some of it for a local radio show back then. But still my expectations weren`t even close to what the final album selection became. These are the happenings after the summer break after the half year of recording “Dropouts”. Musically it a continuation of that kind of energy and attitude. It is kind of the exit of the Dropouts-period. You also have the album “Pharoway”, which in retrospect became our first studio album and a total surprise to me!  In fact, I remembered all of those recordings and have considered them absolutely nothing through all these years, with the one exception that I`d always liked the last bass theme of the track “Wahibre Ibiau” on it.

I am also impressed of how well we played our concerts, so concerning the two live albums; “Blue Monk” and “Movida”, I was preparing them for only a YouTube offering for fans, but both came out so good that I released them as albums instead. Worth a mention also is the “Aphrodite”-album which contains 90% of the full concert. I am being made fun of up here in our inner circle, because I denied Morten Qvam access to the tapes when he joined our small organisation in the mid-90s, because I thought half of it wasn`t any good and nothing worth of hearing. Especially the two unprepared jams there. But now I have released it all on the album!

As for the unreleased stuff on YouTube that we also announce on Facebook; finding out that there is relevant stuff from sessions I thought were absolutely rubbish and also rehearsals has been very interesting. This has helped me becoming more aware of the power of my own playing. For the first time, I am able to hear myself from a fairly relaxed objective perspective over long periods of time, like a fan probably would listen, something I earlier only was able to do in small seconds scarcely. I was always solely focused on the finished results, which is of course an absolute necessity for making the band`s products musically successful. But it was not exactly a very functional attitude for feeling good about the stuff that you do. Listening back at all these sessions now, I really appreciate my own sound and playing and can relate to all positive descriptions of it that especially Jan Inge and Morten has uttered through the years.

Tangle Edge`s way of improvising could at times produce results that lay ahead of the perception of the participants. This is of course mostly when Tom Steinberg was behind the drums. You suddenly found yourself in a situation where you had gone into territories where you became forced to re-consider what ways of playing that really made the music. It could take time before you accepted the result and understood it. This is a reality for me listening to some of the left-over material now. The unreleased stuff on YouTube will give a listener a new insight to the band through its different processes. Maybe after some years, if any of it stands the test of time, some parts of this maybe come out on an album. We`ve already had people requesting the files of stuff I never thought anybody would take an initiative to own, so I might be underrating it.

We have been presenting a new piece of elsewhere unreleased music every week since October 2020. It varies from four minute tracks and up to 90 minutes long sessions or concerts. I have already made enough to reach into mid-October this year without having to mix any more pieces.

Finally, what does the future hold for Tangle Edge ?

Well, we announced our throwing the towel in late 2019 and I can`t see any going back on that. The decision was made by Ronald and me. Nothing has been happening since rehearsals in early 2015, except of Ronald and me mixing and doing artwork. I called off the band`s activities to focus on mixing the album “Infinity Steps Back” in the spring of that year. Although when autumn came and mixing was almost over, i  suddenly found myself with a totally different perspective of my own situation and what I wanted to spend my time on.

I am not really sure exactly what brought the epiphany, it might have been triggered by the disappointment of finding out that we only had about 90 minutes of really good material to make album of after so many hours of work over a substantially long time, as opposed to the three or four hours that I initially thought was there when we started selecting material for the album. Also, at that point I had already had my first recording session with Øresund Space Collective, where I also had the opportunity to play both guitar and African drums in a functional setting.  

Maybe it just was a long time coming. The reality of huge differences within a band concerning ambition and perspectives on what it takes to be a musician and to get worthwhile results, guarantees conflict somewhere down the road and sets limits of how long it actually is going to last. I honestly think we kept going for very much longer than was reasonable. My own ambition and desire to keep it going to benefit from the results of what a band could do, was probably extended far longer than what I really thought gained my own musical outcome. So I am very satisfied with the decision of disbanding and rather got the benefits of enjoying working with mixing the archive recordings a lot more than actually playing in the band!

This means that the only Tangle Edge-activity on the table now is me being the custodian of the band`s legacy. Ronald will continue providing art work, I suppose. I still have a few projects for release left to do. Some were obvious before even starting the work. There is the Radio Stroganoff sessions from 1986, originally a promo-cassette release with the “Kama Sutra#11”-suite and the Norwegian Broadcast acoustic sessions from 1989. Both these will be albums. Also the 1992 audio recording from the Russian TV-show and a re-master of the vinyl mix of “In Search....” from 1988. But for these I first need to go to Oslo to find a good enough tape machine for the transfer, because they are all on quarter inch-tape. So these are also the only ones I haven`t transferred by now. Two projects that I discovered recently, are the U.K. and Narvik-gigs from 1990 and the Scandinavian tour of 1994. I am thinking box-sets on those two. There is some great playing to be found there. I have also discovered a lost studio album from late 2011. Anyway, all this work I will spread out over the next years, there`s no hurry and I really need to focus on composing and practising for my own musical adventures for the years to come.

I guess if there would be any Tangle Edge in the future, it would be a Pierre Moerlen`s Gong type of thing, but it would definitely be without me. But I really can`t visualise something like that happening, and hope not, but you never know.......

Interview: Simon Lewis

Editor: Phil McMullen

Gracious thanks to our dear friend HASSE HORRIGMOE