Album Appreciation: Tellus by Action & Tension & Space

Action & Tension & Space are an onomatopoeically named band who nail their sound even further when they describe it as:

…a spaced out, instrumental loungerock outfit, with added vibes of folk music, jazzy surf, psychedelia, free improvised chill-out, jangly post-rock and travelling bass.

They are a band that are new to me in name, although their membership is familiar to me through other Norwegian acts such as Electric Eye and Lumen Drones. They are furthermore joined on this, their fourth, album by Sigbjørn Apeland… whose music I know through his releases on the Hubro label. These facts alone are enough to peak my interest… so when I actually got to listen to the LP I was already well on the way (further encouraged by the great cover).

The album gets off at a cracking pace with ’Chromosomes’, a beautifully clean and atmospheric motorik track which immediately gets under your skin in a warming and vigorous manner… within minutes you feel totally stretched out and relaxed as the guitar and flute take it in turns to add layers of wonder to the tight beat…

This is followed by the title track of the album… which takes it down a notch. You’re off the sonic spaceway and into a slightly off-kilter seventies service area. Here’s where the ’loungerock’ comes in as you imagine yourself in a concept drawing for a rest stop that has long become worn down by capitalism and over-use… but originally was pristine and out there.

Then with ’Trinity and the Holy Ghost’ the house band strikes up and you are in the middle of a krauty-jazz scene as the track takes you away from your meanderings and draws you down an altogether more sinister path, being beckoned by the dark guitar and increasingly eccentric synths which lock them selves on to you like the creature in alien… held in place by the ever taut rhythm section.

‘Schweppes and Koskenkorva’ takes us further down the Kraut-route with it’s slow and considered beat… which again is a terrific launch pad for some great improv… this is one that you can just sink into… one that you need to really get inside of and then really see something different each time… it’s a great track to just sit and visualise to with it’s dreamy sections, all of which are supported by that solid and unrelenting, yet unassuming, beat.

Which brings us to the final number… ’The Last Petrol Station Before Hardangervidda’. The longest track here at nearly fifteen minutes, this starts suitably slowly with the band settling in for what you hope (and on the evidence so far are pretty sure) will be a great improvisational ride. I really like the way that nothing feels rushed here… with the band locking into a groove at 3’33” and from there really start to take off. Gradually as additional layers are added the sound becomes even more fuller… on this listen I am particularly taken with the roundedness of the keys and the understated guitar work. At around ten minute the music is stepped up further as the band move towards the denouement… everything gets that bit more intense taking you with it in a cosmic and spacey manner… before dropping back again and setting you back into the real world…

This, then, is an album which takes you to all sorts of different musical places, some of which are certainly off my usual beaten track… I really like the improvised eclecticism of it, and I has certainly encouraged me to explore the collective’s back catalogue… if you like to feel a range of emotions, yet also be challenged, then you are going to enjoy this… you don’t need to strap yourself in for a rough ride… so loosen up and feel the action, tension and space!

‘Tellus’ is out now on Rune Grammofon



Thanks very much for reading my blog, I really appreciate this. I write it as a labour of love to help me enjoy music, and to give something back to the many talented people who put out these incredible sounds.

To make it as enjoyable as possible for others I do pay extra so there are, for instance, no ads on these pages; but it would be great if the blog could pay for itself.

So, if you’ve really enjoyed your visit here and have found some music that you think is amazing, why not buy me a coffee (I write in independent cafés a lot) by clicking either below, or the “make a donation” button on the sidebar or footer depending on your device.


Follow The Fragmented Flâneur on Facebook, Instagram (@fragmentedflaneur), Twitter (@fragmentflaneur) and bandcamp


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s