Klaus Ellerhusen Holm: b-clarinet, bass clarinet, bass amplification
Roger Arntzen: double bass
David Stackenäs: electric and acoustic guitars
At first, the Norwegian trio Ballrogg was a duo formed by reedist Klaus Ellerhusen Holm (Honest John, Large Unit) and double bassist Roger Arntzen (In the Country, Chrome Hill), then later expanded with guitarist Ivar Grydeland, who through two albums added a country & western flavor to the mix and placed Ballrogg’s music as “free chamber americana”. Now the sublimely versatile Swedish guitarist David Stackenäs (Kim Myhr You/Me, Sol Sol) has taken Grydeland's place and sounds right at home on Rolling Ball.
As Peter Margasak says in the liner notes: It’s Stackenäs’s debut recording with Ballrogg, but he’s lived with the music well before joining in 2017. Over the years Stackenäs has gamely filled in, subtly incorporating his own lyric aesthetic within arrangements crafted without him. Paradoxically, while the music on Rolling Ball registers as Ballrogg’s most compact and controlled endeavour thus far, it also feels its most liberated expression as well. The arrangements bring a contrapuntal splendor to these bucolic melodies, with each instrumental line woven into an exquisite lattice of meditative beauty. The astonishing fluidity is what makes the music of Ballrogg so special. The road ahead feels more open than ever, suggesting the titular notion of a ball moving forward according to gravity and landscape. Ballrogg create those conditions for momentum, but the magical quality is that it all feels like an act of nature.”