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Combining the powerful, cutting edge Oslo rhythm section of Håvard Wiik on piano, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums -- a combination that received rave notices as the rhythm team of the Coltrane-influenced 'cult' group Element -- with the Stockholm front-line of trumpeter Magnus Broo and saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist, this group are one of the freshest acoustic ensembles to have emerged in the new millennium


In their amazing, powerhouse performance on their new CD Happy New Ears! (Jazzland, 2006), ATOMIC yet again finds themselves awarded with their second Norwegian “Grammy” (Spellemannprisen), awarded for Best Jazz Album. Following up 2005’s release of the triple-CD live set The Bikini Tapes (Jazzland, 2005), the album is filled with 65-minutes’ worth of new material in 10 tracks from the combined talents of Fredrik Ljungkvist (saxophones, clarinet), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) and Håvard Wiik (piano).

Recorded at Bugge’s Room Studios in Oslo, Norway, the album features material written by Ljungkvist and Wiik, with Broo contributing the stellar piece “St. Lureplass”. The very essence of what makes Atomic wholly recognizable in their unique style and sound can be found in the obsessive chewing tobacco tribute of “Two Boxes Left” or in the hauntingly beautiful “Closing Stages”. A listening to Happy New Ears! will reveal why the band garnered its second Best Jazz Album award after only four album releases!

Even though initially thought of as a sort of rebellion to the quaintness of the “Scandinavian Sound” which had become exemplified by Norwegian artists on labels such as ECM, Atomic found themselves becoming a new sort of unique sound on their own. After their first two studio albums Feet Music (Jazzland, 2002) and Boom Boom (Jazzland, 2003), both their growing audience and music reviewers alike began to perceive them as an original flavor with an entirely individual energy that few Scandinavian jazz groups could match. An explosive blend of American free-jazz with European characteristics is how some reviewers have described them. Or better yet, “part academic lecture, part a fun night out on the town”, is how the band describes themselves, and is what makes their sound truly Atomic.

"Debut of the year!" wrote John Fordham in The Guardian (UK), describing Atomic as "One of the most exhilarating new groups on the European circuit!" Feet Music brought together five young musicians from the adventurous jazz underground of Sweden and Norway. Formed in the spring of 1999, they quickly forged a strong group identity without sacrificing their individual freedom of expression. Taking the album title from a composition by Ornette Coleman, Haker Flaten says, “The music is groovy. In a way, it needs people, and it's searching for human contact -- it's not introverted music. We see our music as being for extroverted people and hopefully they see it that way, too”.
Atomic’s second album release, Boom Boom became a greatly anticipated follow-up by fans and critics alike, and resulted in their first Norwegian “Grammy” (Spellemannprisen) award for Best Jazz Album of 2003. Following up this success, they released the generous three-CD live set The Bikini Tapes in 2005.
The band have allready been in studio recording new material ready for their fifth release in spring –08.

While they make no secret of their admiration for leading American jazz musicians such as Archie Shepp, Charles Mingus, George Russell and Keith Jarrett, the music of Atomic is also mixed with an equal love of European free jazz from the 1960’s. They regard the American and European jazz traditions as an inspiration rather than a restriction, as a springboard to set their own direction and position within jazz music.
This also shows through their collaboration with the Chicagoans; Ken Vandermark and Jeb Bishop in the band; ”Atomic School Days” which released their first album ”nuclear assembly hall” in –03. A live recording from the acclaimed Chicago club ”Green Mill” with the same lineup is expected to be released in spring –08. Both CD´s on the Chicago label OKKA DISC.

No strangers to the touring circuit, Atomic were on the road almost as soon as they were formed, shaping and refining their sound and they have allready toured Europe, Scandinavia, US and Japan several times.

With Happy New Ears!, Atomic successfully returns yet again with a resounding successful album, and further sets the path for future conquests for those who like their jazz with both content and a sense of exhilaration. Join them in celebrating the new ear!

Jazzland Releases:
HAPPY NEW EARS! (2006; Cat. No. 987 655-4)
BIKINI TAPES (2005; Cat. No. 9871540)
BOOM BOOM (2003; Cat. No. 038 264-2)
FEET MUSIC (2002; Cat. No. 016 558-2)

For More Information:

Click for Printable Biography


Artist blog


2010-05-11 Review Read more

Happy New Ears!

2010-05-11 Review Read more

The Bikini Tapes

2009-05-13 Review Read more

Boom Boom

2009-05-13 Review Read more

Atomic - Feet Music

2010-05-11 Review Read more


25/03/2008 Box and European tour coming up! Our new release "retrograde" a new studio recording (double CD) + a bonus live CD from the concert we did in Seattle this January is soon to be released on Jazzland recordings. This will happen in connection with a european tour starting April 14th. See more details on the live site. Read more