Bugge Wesseltoft

The Norwegian Jazz keyboard guru speaks out


You offer some of your albums in 24/48 and I expect you’ve noticed that Neil Young has been promoting his Pono system with even higher sampling rates.

I’ve been offering my stuff in up to 192, my own site has an album in 192, some of the others are in 96 and others in 48. It depends on how it’s mastered, to be honest I don’t really hear the difference between 48 and 96 kHz, but I do hear the difference between 16 and 24 bit and I hear the difference between 44 and 48 kHz. But the main difference is between 16 and 24 bit, not to mention MP3, which is awful. It’s good to offer the audience the same quality that we use in the studio, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be possible.

A real opportunity to hear what you hear in the studio. But the world seems to be heading towards streaming rather than downloading, what do you think of that?

It’s unavoidable, I think it’s a good thing . I don’t have Spotify but I have a service called Wimp [Tidal] because they have CD quality and pretty soon they’re going to start streaming in 24 bit. It’s double the payment which means the artists get some more money. The main problem with streaming is the money for the artists, but as an idea I love it, with this streaming service you can find anything it’s really incredible. It’s more how to distribute the money, how to make it viable for artists, now nobody’s making money, only big hit music makes money. On the other hand music that was released 40, 50 years ago that’s difficult to find and the money’s already earned, I think it’s super that it’s on a streaming service.

When we last spoke in 2008 you said you had a plan to start an avant garde jazz rock metal group, did that ever come to pass?

(More laughter) Did I? I do various things at least in Norway, I have a B3 organ and we do some prog rock stuff but no I haven’t done any experimental metal. But I’m working with this old fashioned modular synth system and it’s really good fun, you never know exactly what’s going to happen. I’m probably going to put a project together with that but it’s difficult for me to lose the piano thing, I really love the sound of the piano and to play little melodies. And that doesn’t always go so well with experimental music.

Your cover of Round Midnight is particulary good, is Monk a hero?

Yes and no, I’ve been working through my periods of jazz and I’m still listening to a lot of that stuff. But we’d been looking for a standard to be treated in a very special way. With standards the question is how can you play it in a fresh way, it’s been done extremely technically, extremely fast, extremely slow. I just like to go for the whole harmonic aspect and focus on the melody, I think Dan plays it extremely beautifully. It’s just an attempt to hear a standard in a fresh way.

Have you bought any good loudspeakers lately?

I have my studio monitors but I have nothing special. I use Dynaudio I think which is fine. You should speak to Henrik, he just bought some crazy loudspeakers, not necessarily studio monitors but they say it sounds incredible.

Trialogue by Wesseltoft Schwarze Berglund is available on vinyl, CD and 24/48 download.

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