Pixie Ninja - Ultrasound

Pixie Ninja Ultrasound cover
Pixie Ninja
Apollon Records
I really find it both hard and easy at the same time to describe these Norwegian band’s debut album. It seems to mix electronica, beats and prog, as it whims to produce some instrumental soundscapes that defy categorization by strict bounds, but might appeal to the open-minded progster.
“Auditory Hallucinations” is half minimalist, half heavily electronic and pretty psychedelic, ehm electronica.
“Elusive the Wind Vane” with the aid of one Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (Weserbergeland, White Willow, Wobbler, Motorpsycho) is a lot more trad prog rock, with the very occasional external intervention a lot like Camel interrupted by a bit of Hawk-something...
“Une Promenade” is basically minimalist piano. Quite sad, not to the point of say sounding like Satie, but at times getting close in terms of melancholy.
“Polysomnographic” (ie the test used to diagnose sleep disorders) is very subdued, almost drone-y for a while, until it develops a pretty electronic, almost 70s/80s soundtrack middle that could bring to mind Goblin or even Vangelis, but is fairly pleasant.
“Personal Improvement Cult” starts with small bells (but no whistles ;p) to develop into a smooth, slightly jazzy workout, with a “jingle bell” going on throughout its first part?! Go figure... It also turns into something a lot more nocturnal, lo-fi and noisy, soon to reach an acid conclusion and exit with a lamenting piano outro piece, effortlessly clocking at more than eleven minutes.
Lastly, the title track is decidedly lo-fi, simple and all-encompassing of what works on previous numbers, if only condensed in a little less than three minutes.
Definitely an interesting if not – somewhat difficult “listen” that might not appeal to everyone’s tastes.