Distilling order from a crushing whirlwind of chaos has been the stock in trade for Red Kite since the Norwegian jazz-rock supergroup joined forces in 2014. Apophenian Bliss, the much-anticipated follow-up to the quartet’s powerhouse 2019 self-titled debut references the tendency in the human brain to find patterns and connections even when none actually exist. While it may be a stretch to call Red Kite’s blistering alchemy of surging psychedelia, steamroller rock and fringe-dwelling jazz “benign,” it’s at least a far less harmful application of the term than the conspiracy theories warping minds across the globe.
Still, corralling the heady pandemonium of heavy prog, free jazz, combustible fusion and avant-metal into a cohesive sound is one thing; bringing that music to life in the face of the real-world chaos of a global pandemic is something else entirely.
Once the quartet – drummer Torstein Lofthus, guitarist Even Helte Hermansen, bassist Trond Frønes and keyboardist Bernt André Moen – managed to regroup from the unexpected disruption heard round the world, they decided to regroup in a recording studio in Halden, Norway and vent their frustrations the best way they knew how: by generating a throttling, visceral collection of new sounds. Hermansen set to writing a collection of new material fit to spark the combustible alchemy that the band had achieved on their acclaimed RareNoise debut.