Norway - Full Moon 187 - 10/12/11
It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 30
Various Artists: 3.0
(2006 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0030.CDR)
Ulver: Svidd Neger
(2003 Jester Records TRICK-030)
Welcome to round 30 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
3.0 is presented in the typical Metronomicon fashion - a CD-R packed in a flexible plastic sleeve with a cardboard folder and paper inserts.
The Ulver release comes in a CD jewel case with a multi-folded insert with art & info.
Not many of you have probably seen the Norwegian movie Svidd Neger, and even fewer of you might want to.
Not that it hasn't got some entertainment value, but it's a well over the top bizarro road-movie portraying
outcasts of various ethnical origins roaming about in northern Norway, where every character seems either
to be crazy or suffering from severe inbred defects. Viewed ironically or with a large dose of dark humour, it's
fun, but not for everybody, that's for sure. It received rather bad reception from the national critics,
and some even said it was racist, referring perhaps mostly to the title, which means "burnt negro".
That Ulver got involved making the soundtrack for this movie, seems like a strange idea,
adding a level of "seriousness" to the movie that seems undeserved.
Ulver is not exactly known for having a lot of humour in their music, rather the opposite,
being arty in a rather highbrow way, far away from the degenerated black humour of the movie,
but the darkness is a common denominator. I was a little surprised to realize that this is
a fairly easy Ulver album to listen to, unlike most of their previous post black metal releases.
It's still mostly moody, of course.
Mixing the orchestral with a slow and spacey piano and a dash of rock aestethics,
the result almost becomes a mellow rock symphony with added elements from new age and electronica,
shifting between drama, urgency, confusion, sorrow and solemn contemplation.
To sum it up: Taking into account that this music is created as a soundtrack and as such should not
steal all the attention, it works well by itself. It is perhaps the most accessible album by Ulver so far,
and as such a noteworthy, if not central, piece of Ulver's discography.
It is also worth noting that this album was released on limited vinyl in 2008, by Aesthetic Records.
Time for another Metronomicon Audio sampler, 3.0 is here, again consisting (I think) of brand new tracks
by artists inside and around the Metronomicon environment. Some names we know, some we have never heard of,
and there's also one surprise.
Center Of The Universe's "No Room For Space" has a Cuban melancholy touch, enjoyable at first but
diverting into synthetics. Hanny's "The Birds Then" is a fragile and folky, rather nice.
The skewed guitar strumming of Ergo's "Cosmic Blues For Alice" is also rather low-key.
Meta Forever's "Mosaic Of Jerusalem" is a wacky homemade bubblegum space-prog-pop, but not quite
on par with the quality of their Astroid Antics release, still,
their vocals are fascinating.
A lazy Koppen is rapping darkly in "Chimpira". After this we get a row of synthetic enterings
that is way beyond my pleasure zone, all close to being annoying: Helene Rickhard And Thomastic's
"Down (To The Oak)", Toshybot's "The Life Of Toshybot" and Electrokursen's "Katnip, 19 Years Old".
Then the surprise inclusion of Palace of Pleasure, a nationally successful electronica act.
Their "Spine" is probably a footnote in their dicography, but in this collection it stands out
productionwise and is not surprisingly one of the better tracks included here.
Now's "Making The Stars Sway" is recorded live and sounds very inspired by Datarock's brand of
sing-a-long track-suit pop, not too interesting.
Sepukku Zephyr Dance's "Embroys On TV" is an up-tempo mellow melody with nice female vocal,
but sounds unfinished. Lower Than Lo-Fi's "Sorry" is not the lowest fi here, featuring
guitar strumming, violin, sax, clarinet and a singer with good intentions.
Tile's "Track 7" puts slow jazzy guitars and badly recorded drums to low intensity rap poetry.
The dark r&b-spiced space pop of Legs 11's "Artificial" is minimalistic but with nice floating synths
and one of the better tracks here. Honkoklubbe's "Then She Took Marvel" is a boring instrumental piece
played backwards, making it even more boring.
En's "En" is an experimental piece with one person blowing into a saxophone and another working inside a piano.
Lanzarote's "Days Of Raga" is perhaps a raga, I don't know, but I know I don't enjoy it.
Laconic Zero's "Wheeltrasher" is melodic and rhythmic noise, in a slightly abusive synthetic way.
Magnus Moriarty's instrumental "Jolly Dub" will not save the day, and ending it all is The Rough Bunnies's
short sad song "Patchouli Boy".
To sum it up: Like the previous sampler from Metronomicon Audio, this collection consists of too many uninteresting tracks or
inclusions of inferior quality, either sounding like too early demos or
leftovers that should have been left over. The handful of highlights are not enough to make this
release recommendable, at least not as a sampler representing the generally more interesting Metronomicon Audio output.
Match result: Metronomicon Audio 1 () - Jester Records 2 ()
Next head-to-head meeting is the Magnus Moriarty™ Vs. Center Of The Universe: CD Did U Order A Radar? from Metronomicon Audio which is up against
the Origami Galaktika release Horisont from Jester Records.
Copyright © 2011 Knut Tore Breivik