Norway - Full Moon 174 - 11/21/10
It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 17
Center Of The Universe: Staying Up All Night With The C.O.U.
(2003 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0017.CDR)
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 goals
and giving out yellow
and red cards, soccer style -
but first of all reviewing the music. For more introductory information on this label match, see
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.
The Kåre João release comes in simple cardboard cover with no inserts.
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 enjoy.
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 releases.
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 listener.
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 solo.
Sadly the close to intolerable rhythmics again overshadow almost everything else.
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 experience.
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 Rain. "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 release, though not for Jester in general). Looking good for the upcoming album.
Match result: Metronomicon Audio 1 () - Jester Records 1 ()
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.
Copyright © 2010 Knut Tore Breivik