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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 23
coverpic coverpic Magnus Moriarty™: Sky-Fi Beatitude
  (2005 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0023.CDR)
vs.
When: Sunshine Superhead
  (2002 Jester Records TRICK-023)

Welcome to round 23 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
Sky-Fi Beatitude is presented in the typical Metronomicon fashion - a CD-R packed in a flexible plastic sleeve with a cardboard folder and a booklet containing art, lyrics & information.
coverpic coverpic coverpic

The When release comes in a cardboard cover.
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The match

"Sky-fi Altitude" jumps into mood with samples from a radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds set to a sad piano & slide guitar, recorded and played back through old and weary devices. "Making the Train Land" is Moriarty™ in good form, and the snappy guitarplaying makes this a good example of his songwriting, although in that regard it is also very similar to other songs from his earlier releases. "Bring on the Captain" takes a step towards a purer folk melody, but combining it with Moriarty™'s trademark melodic twistsIt's a GOAL!. The short "No, the Telly Cinderelly!" is sampling the British 80's comedy series The Young Ones, set to a subdued English sounding folk instrumental theme that really should have been developed further. "Narcissistic Necktie Party" is more on the bright side. Sunny pop but the sky is not enterily cloudless. Nice, but a little lackluster. With "Pipe in Hand" the melodic fatique begins to set in, it sounds like too many other Moriarty™ tunes, with only the arrangement making a slight difference. We get more samples from The Young Ones in "The Jelly Cinderelly?", serving up a melancholy but up-tempo medieval folk tune that strays only sparsely away from melodic tradition, even adding a matching flute. Over in just 2 minutes, this little favouriteIt's a GOAL! should have been longer. The even shorter "Don't Loose Yr Kru" samples more from the dialog of The War of the Worlds, set to a rather forgettable simple violin dominated instrumental. "Lean Rafter in the Early Morning" and "Hank, the Batmobile Joyrider" are both suffering from the mentioned melodic repetitiveness, and the arrangements are not exciting enough to prevent the listener from becoming aware of thisOooops, a yellow card!. The first half of "Exit Emergency Airport" is better, more sparsely instrumented, but it shifts into an uncomfortable high speed organ rhythm box theme towards the end. Setting the background for some final dramatic The War of the Worlds samples is the synth instrumental of "Happy Plant Reactor", sounding like a scrapped Kraftwerk sketch, which of course is not the worst of thingsIt's a GOAL!.

To sum it up: Sky-fi Beatitude is arguably Magnus Moriarty™'s finest outing so far, and the cartoon-sci-fi concept works well, with both the graphics artwork and the voice samples binding the songs together. Moriarty™ and Marius Ergo utilize a lot of instruments, perhaps too many, and I like the simpler arrangements here better. Throwing in a lot of instruments into the mix can neither hide the fact that several of Moriarty™'s melodies are very alike, too much soOooops, a red card!. But this repetiveness only goes for half of the songs on Sky-fi Beatitude, making this is an adventurous album worth revisiting anyway. (Which Metronomicon Audio did in 2009, when they reissued the album, this time with remastered sound and a triple foldout Digipak case.)

The CD single release from When features the "Sunshine Superhead" track from the 2001 album The Lobster Boys, along with a new track "Sad Sunny Day". The first is a fine example of When's retro feelgood 60's psychpop, making the sun shine even on a rainy day, and the new one fitting nicely beside it. Also included is a video clip for "Sunshine Superhead", adding some low production but trippy moving imagery to the music, which couldn't possibly go wrongIt's a GOAL!. But the release is hardly worth having unless you're a When completist ... Oooops, a yellow card!

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 3 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!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
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
20 Various Artists: 2.0 Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! [unreleased] 1 0
21 Koppen: My Fashion Statement ... Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Kåre João: Sideman It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 4
22 Täppas Strepens: The Great American ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! Upland: Upland It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 4 1
23 Magnus Moriarty™: Sky-Fi Beatitude It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! When: Sunshine Superhead It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 1
Total 54 50

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the Cyrano CD I Cannot Smell It from Metronomicon Audio which is up against the Ulver Lyckantropen Themes release from Jester Records.

Copyright © 2011 Knut Tore Breivik e-mail address

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