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coverpic flag Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 18 - 04/12/98

Various Artists
Greatest SHiTs From Silicon City, Volume 3
SHiT Tapes

The first compilation of great SHiTs from Silicon City was released in 1980 and are by now only recommended to madhat collectors, the saying goes. The second volume hit the backstreets in 1982. Now finally, some 15 or 16 years later, here's volume 3!

SHiT Tapes is one of Norway's oldest and by far longest lasting cassette entities. The three original directors of the SHiT corporation - Brt, Lumpy Davy and Cool Kat - have been involved since the beginning in 1979. Chrisph, Zetlitz and Ernie Chung came along a few years later, and at least one or two of them are heavily involved in almost each track on this sampler. The 22 recordings span from 1978 to 1996. The earliest are simple and home-made, marked to some extent by tape hiss and distortion. I guess there was some turning point around 1984/85 when the people involved gathered their savings and invested in eight track recording equipment. The most well-known bands in this bag are probably the psychedelic The Smell of Incense, and the experimental/noise chums of Famlende Forsøk. The two offerings by The Smell of Incense are taken from their first demo recording from 1991. We get a pleasant early version of Christopher's Journey (the mate of Winnie The Pooh, that is) which was later recorded anew for the band's first album All Mimsy Were The Borogoves. (I Wanna Live In The) Golden State is a sort of longing for California with some dubious vocal harmonies and probably their weakest song to this day.

The Headcleaners (1980-83) were a kind of new wave and neo synth band and a predecessor to the Smelly Innocents. Five old and previously unreleased recordings from the Headcleaner vaults have found their way to this compilation. I'm especially impressed by Et Blankt Farvel which starts with some haunting bass- and guitar-lines somewhere in between Siouxsie And The Banshees and Tuxedomoon at their best. Unfortunately the sound gets blurred when the keyboards and vocals come along (which go for most of the Headcleaners songs here, alas!). A re-recording please!

Famlende Forsøk also offers five tracks. Gruppereisen Til Etnia is a spooky electro-etno mellotron something and easily one of the best efforts here. While Famlende Forsøk often imply spoken Norwegian words with lots of electric and electronic experimental backing, Coalmine: 5 are usually spoken Norwegian words with acoustic experimental backing. Of their three recordings here, Klovn På Panser is an out of the blue harsh anti-fascist message with electric hard-rocking guitar. Chrisph of Famlende Forsøk has made Groovin' At The B Moovie on his own, a blend of heavy techno, free jazz and some Robert Fripp sounding guitar thrown in for good measure. Great! It's a long way from the folky vibrations of Alfses' Back From Somewhere. Light and airy, the Byrds are not far away. Almost the same line-up as Alfses constitutes Ernie Chung's Plotution. Their Truck is experimental funk with light truck-distortion. Very funny! It even includes the metal-rap-guitar-hero Bård Torstensen of Clawfinger, on bass.

Døve Munker (Deaf Monks) treat old traditional Norwegian folk and religious songs their own way, dominated by harmonium, viola and great vocal harmonies. Both Jeg Arme Synder and Lyut Lyut Låvamand have been available on CD-compilations earlier. Anyway, those monks ought to reach a much wider audience and their two songs alone make sense to invest in this cassette.

Anyway, 90 minutes in company of this bucketfull of Norwegian weirdoes and wide span of musical styles might be too much at a time. There are rumours of a limited and edited 75 minute CD version of this cassette, which seems to be a very good idea.

The tape (C-90) will cost you about 50 Norwegian kroner/8 USD/5 British pounds from:
The Crawling Chaos, Boks 5, N-4810 Eydehavn, Norway.

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