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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 17
coverpic coverpic Center Of The Universe: Staying Up All Night With The C.O.U.
  (2003 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0017.CDR)
vs.
Kåre João: Captain Trips
  (2001 Jester Records TRICK-017)

Welcome to round 17 in the label showdown series between Metronomicon Audio and Jester Records! Since we've more or less totally missed out on reviewing the output of these two great labels, we are going through their entire catalogues, matching the releases from each label consecutively against each other. Humorously counting goalsIt's a GOAL! and giving out yellowOooops, a yellow card! and redOooops, a red card! cards, soccer style - but first of all reviewing the music. For more introductory information on this label match, see round 1.

Match preview
Staying Up All Night With The C.O.U. is presented in the typical Metronomicon fashion - a CD-R packed in a flexible plastic sleeve with a cardboard folder and folded insert containing art & information.
coverpic coverpic coverpic

The Kåre João release comes in simple cardboard cover with no inserts.
coverpic coverpic

The match

The opening title track of Staying Up All Night With The C.O.U. is a Casio/computer game instrumental whose blip-bloppy rapidness is hard to enjoyOooops, a yellow card!. The following tracks, "Only Alterations?" and "The Object Is Lost", sound so alike that I had to go back a couple of times to check the CD player display, and they are both filled with the excessive synthetic rhythmics and cheesy sounds that we know from earlier Center Of The Universe releasesOooops, a yellow card!. This, along with the many short sounds continually dropping in and out distracts attention from the songs' core. "Wannabe-Soul" starts in the same vein, and in a similar pace, but leaves a little air for the rhythms to breathe. But the keyboards trade the toylike qualities for something more 70's cheesy greasy, and it all feels a little better. The drum machine rhythms are still rather frantic though, but by now the brain starts to get adjusted to it, enough to welcome the free jazz saxophone solo played by Dag Stiberg. Eastern sounding instruments add some occasional lushness both here and to the next track, "Night & Day", but its seven minutes feel lenghty.

Again I had to recheck the CD display, because this track also glides almost unnoticably over into the next, "...And Even More". By now, the brain is not only adjusted, it's starting to ignore large parts of the sounds that are fired rapidly and continually at the listenerOooops, a yellow card!. Slightly better in that regard is the eight minute long "Double Entendre", with even more Eastern melodic influences. Its mildly disharmonic keyboards sets a fitting scene for another free jazz sax soloIt's a GOAL!. Sadly the close to intolerable rhythmics again overshadow almost everything elseOooops, a red card!. This also goes for the remaining three songs of the album.

To sum it up: This Center Of The Universe album is hard to enjoy. Its arrangements are saturated, it feels like on average 10 different things happen every second. The beat, speed and rhythmix of every song are almost the same throughout the album, with only minor variations. The saxophone solos lifts the album, but otherwise this is a repetetive and stroboscopic listening experienceOooops, a red card!. Now I'll put on some Jazkamer to soothe my soul.

Kåre João's release Captain Trips is a CD single consisting of only two tracks. The title track seems rooted in 60's psychedelic garage rock, with swirling acid & backwards guitars, reminding me of fellow Norwegians Sister RainIt's a GOAL!. "Frank Furius" moves slightly into the 70's and combines the detached coolness of Velvet Underground combined with the glam rock sensibility of T. Rex. Two nice tunes, perhaps not that original, but well executed. (At gunpoint?? The blood-splattered cover image of a naked man pointing a gun at you seems like a strange choice for this releaseOooops, a yellow card!, though not for Jester in general). Looking good for the upcoming album.

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 1 (Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card!) - Jester Records 1 (It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!)

THE LABEL TABLE
# Metronomicon Audio (MA) Jester Records (JR) MA JR
01 C.O.U.: Darklow Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Themes From William ... Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 1 4
02 C.O.U.: Sellout EP It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! Esperanza: Esperanza Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! 2 1
03 C.O.U.: Bestboy Electric Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Arcturus: Disguised Masters It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
04 Cyrano & C.O.U.: s/t It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! When: Psychedelic Wunderbaum Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 2 1
05 Täppas Strepens: Beans, Bacon ... Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Bogus Blimp: Men-Mic It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 2 4
06 Center of the Universe: Curious .. It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! Ulver: Metamorphosis It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 2 1
07 C.O.U.: Taking a Nap With It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Perdition City It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 2 4
08 Täppas Strepens: The Future ... Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Bogus Blimp: cords. wires Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
09 Magnus Moriarty™: Drive Fast ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! When: WriterCakeBox It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 5
10 Various Artists: 1.0 It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! Star of Ash: iter.viator. It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! 3 1
11 Now We've Got Members: Le Jardin It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Virus: Carheart It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
12 C.O.U.: Promotional Copy Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Silences Teaches You ... It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 1
13 Magnus Moriarty™: ...And The Hippos... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! Origami Galaktika: Stjernevandring It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 3 4
14 Cyrano: You Sensualize My Soul Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! When: The Lobster Boys It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
15 Koppen: Truckdriving Songs Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! Rotoscope: Great Curves Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
16 Täppas Strepens: Dance, Dance ... It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! Ulver: Silencing the Singing It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 1
17 C.O.U.: Staying Up All Night ... Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Kåre João: Captain Trips It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
Total 38 39

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the Magnus Moriarty™ LP U R On A Radar from Metronomicon Audio which is up against the Head Control System release Murder Nature from Jester Records.

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