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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 19
coverpic coverpic Now We've Got Members: Tiny Disasters On/Off
  (2004 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0019.CD)
vs.
Single Unit: Family of Forces
  (2001 Jester Records TRICK-019)

Welcome to round 19 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
Tiny Disasters On/Off comes in a jewel case with a folded insert with art.
coverpic coverpic coverpic

The Single Unit release comes in a jewel case and a folded insert with art and info.
coverpic coverpic coverpic

The match
Now We've Got Members arguably produce the most organic music of the various Metronomicon crew constellations, much due to the fact that their releases can easily be looked upon as band efforts. On this album (whose full title is Tiny Disasters On/Off; There is no Sound in Space, There is no Wind on the Moon) drums are played by Henrik Kamphus, Christian Stouff plays the bass, Thomas Meidell produces and plays guitar, while Dag Stiberg plays the saxophone. Other well known Metronomicons here are: Magnus Moriarty™ (fiddle & choir), Cyrano (organ, synth) and of course Sissyfus, doing vocals, guitars, piano and production.

"We Rip Scarlet Pages/Right Down From The Sun" starts with a blast, steady bass and a sturdy rock beat, and what sounds like a decent horn section. When things quickly calm down, the first thing we notice is that Sissyfus' singing has improved remarkably! It would be flattery to compare him to Chris Martin, but the overall quality of his voice is now quite enjoyableIt's a GOAL!. His English still has this funny Norwegian accent, but here it only adds to the overall unpretentious and playful feeling of the album. This 7 minutes long track is otherwise a magnificient opener for the album, bursting with creative themes and hummable parts. "You Feel Dizzy/We Feel Dizzy" has more of the eastern influences we recognize from ealier Now We've Got Members output, utilizing unison melodic movements from various instruments to great effect, switching between vivid balkan riffing and calmer, more improvised themes. Another superb trackIt's a GOAL!! After this, "The Secrets Of This City" suitably slows down, moving towards organ-fueled prog rock at first, before gliding into mellower themes when the vocals arrive. The slide guitar especially attributes to the lush and blue moments, helping to make this yet another great track.

"Inside/Outside" picks up the speed again, and although not at all a filler, it's a little more forgettable than the preceding tracks. Now, Metronomicon says: "The production and recording of this album was a tiny disaster in itself", and I don't know if we should take this literally, but there are some parts on the album, and this track, where the sound is distorted, seemingly connected to the recording or productionOooops, a red card!. Perhaps related to the vocals? "Predictions" cools down with tabla rhythms doing lazy funk while a sitar plays the eastern blues and Sissyfus adds some suitable vocals. All very nakedly arranged and very, very coolIt's a GOAL!! Perhaps my favourite Metronomicon track this far! "Before/After" is yet another example of Now We've Got Members merging pop sensibility with semi-proggy instrumental themes. Sometimes light, other times they go for it with all instruments at almost full throttle. Using the full-on approach, the band easily drags you in, but as "Predictions" showed, they now also master the sparse. The more reflective "The Stairs To..." is another example of this. Beautiful and calm, before post-rock style distorted guitars comes tumbling down. Another surprise moveIt's a GOAL!! But it's back to another dose of the balkans on the long ending track titled "?/?", using melody lines similar to other tracks here. At times they sound like a circus orchestra, and the build-ups and -downs arrives predictably, which can not be said of the rap vocals in the midst of it all. It kind of drags on and on ... but they haul this one in too, setting a fine end to a fine album.

To sum it up: I'm happy to report that Now We've Got Members continue to grow, this being not only the best Now We've Got Members album so far, but also the best Metronomicon Audio release yetIt's a GOAL!! Too bad about the (perceived) distortion, which mars parts of some tracks, but doesn't prevent the album from being overall highly enjoyable.

Are Mokkelbost is a member of improvisational/experimental bands and collaborations Killl (live-only band), Arm (trio), Juv (solo & duo with Marius von der Fehr) and Dausteg (DJ duo with Tony F. Wilson). Single Unit is a solo venture into experimental electronica/noise, using electric guitars, synths and various electronic sound-manipulation tools. Familiy of Forces consists of 16 tracks, most clocking in well below 2 minutes. Some tracks are more noisy and chaotic ("Sugar Diet Dynamics"), others are more cheesy-quirky ("Fluktrute", "Orgel Alene"). Some tracks have repeating themes, while others have a more random structure, but even the noisier ones have some level of tonality to them, even traces of melancholy. A few tracks are all over the place. "Antlers! Antlers! ANTLERS!" for instance, starts out intensely, noisy, but calms down halfway, shifting into a more soulful, but digitally blurred theme.

Listening to this album is an entertaining journey, there is great variation both within the tracks, and from one track to another, and you never know what to expect the next secondIt's a GOAL!. In parts it's also a demanding album, but as for the noisier bits, this is not harsh mayhem noise, but rather bubbling synthetic or guitar-like skewed metallic ("Passion Pirates And Parasites"). There is also an eerieness to some tracks that makes a reference to the darker, more experimental side of When (another Jester artist ) seem appropriate ("P, P & P Intro"). Another highlight is "Memory Edit", where we hear traces of 80's King CrimsonIt's a GOAL! in the clean and crispy guitar, but quirkier and more far out. All in all, an album bursting with creativity from beginning to end, seemingly chaotic, but well organizedIt's a GOAL!.

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 5 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!) - Jester Records 3 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!)

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
18 Magnus Moriarty™: U R On A Radar It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Head Control System: Murder Nature It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 2 2
19 Now We've Got Members: Tiny Disasters It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Single Unit: Family of Forces It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 5 3
Total 45 44

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the compilation release 2.0 from Metronomicon Audio which is up against ... well, nothing from Jester Records, as they have no release for catalogue number 20 yet (reasons unknown, but if Jester decides to fill this one in later, we will include it.)

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