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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 31
coverpic coverpic Center Of The Universe / Magnus Moriarty™: Did U Order A Radar?
  (2006 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0031.CDR)
vs.
Origami Galaktika: Horisont
  (2004 Jester Records TRICK-031)

Welcome to round 31 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
Did U Order A Radar? is presented in the typical Metronomicon fashion - a CD-R packed in a flexible plastic sleeve with a cardboard folder and paper inserts.
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The Origami Galaktika release comes in a CD jewel case with a booklet with art & info.
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The match

Remembering the fine Stjernevandring / Eesti Lilled Silmad Süda 2xCD, I was looking forward to another release by Origami Galaktika. I won't even try penetrating Origami Republika's organisational system, I'll just mention that Origami Galaktika here seems to be more or less one person. Benny Braaten (aka B9, aka A07), is the composer and main performer on Horisont, with Kjell Øyvind Braaten (A34) engineering and co-arranging. The album was originally released in 2001, then accompanied by a 20-page art catalogue with the paintings of Bård Solhaug, printed in 330 copies. This 2004 release by jester features a selection of these paintings in the included 12-page booklet, one for each track. Of course, you don't get the same impression of the paintings from these minimized versions, but nevertheless they are essential in setting the right mood and framing for the music. This goes for most ambient releases, the visual presentation and accompanying art is almost an essential part of the complete experience. You might say this is the same for any music, but ambient music is often about closing your eyes and imagining a scene, landscape or environment, making this a creative process for the listener too. The paintings of Solhaug are from the northern fjords of Norway, depicting desolate coastal landscapes in blue colours.

"Strandlandet" is based on three dark and grim sounding deep cello tones that are repeated throughout, with sounds of wreckage floating in the shoreline added. Like a ship gone down and pieces drifting onto a deserted shoreIt's a GOAL!. "Flukt" ("Escape") replaces the cello with softer sounds, again using a small selection of tones which are repeated over and over, combined with the sound of slow breathing, somewhat uneventfulOooops, a yellow card!. The title track ("Horizon") is even more minimal and fluctuates between two tones of wind chime quality, while sounds of distant thunder is added, like watching a battleship fight very, very far out on the horizon. Without binoculars disappointingly little information reaches the listenerOooops, a yellow card!. "Nesland" has a slightly more industrial, but non-intrusive backdrop of sounds, like the muted sounds of a large machine hall, with slow bowed string tones reverberating between the walls, and I am almost surprised when a fourth tone is introduced. "Nattevandring" ("Night Walking") has a repeating deep-pitched bassy bowed string sample, accompanied by the sound of footsteps in snow or crumbling plastic, the occasional submarine bleep and some echoing industrial noise. At least this sounds a little sinister, but you need some imagination. "Fantasi" ("Fantasy") is both tonal and harmonious, with a slow interplay between brass instruments, or samples of such, with a few other subtle sounds floating around. This one is, as oppposed to the previous, harmonically in a major mode, and has the most uplifting mood of all the tracks. But in the end it goes dark, and the finishing "Kveld" ("Night") goes back to the scene of "Horisont", adding what could be described as moaning whale sounds, until it is railroaded away into the night.

To sum it up: Dark and moody ambient that is tonal (minimal) and industrial (light). It is very repetetive and not much developes inside each track. Perhaps better experienced as an art installation to accompany the paintings of Solhaug, on its own this is a somewhat boring listening experience.

Both Center Of The Universe and certainly Magnus Moriarty™ have been among the steady goalgetters for Metronomicon Audio, so when they join forces my expectations rise. Perhaps the retro pop sensibility of Moriarty™ combined with the exotic multi-cultural influences of C.O.U.? Well, the title of Did U Order A Radar? suggests a revisit to previously recorded material, and the sparse informasion inside the folder may indicate that this is the case. "Radio Moriarty FM" opens the show with an Irish-sounding folk tune but the old radio receiver soon drops in and out of various channels with inbetween noises, a slightly used and tried trickOooops, a yellow card!. The first proper song, "Embarrassed Controller Of Elevators", is a remix/rework of "Embarrassed Controller Of Lifts" from Moriarty™'s U R On A Radar 12" EP, some kind of disco remix that doesn't improve on the original. Two other songs from that album get a similar workover. "We Blame Bergen Belsen" here comes in a rather annoying "Calypso Edit"Oooops, a yellow card!, while "Sad Surf Nr. 3" (here called "Sad Surf Nr. 0"), a favourite track off the original LP, is treated to "Kitaro-Styler New Age Meditation", a calm and pleasant version, but rather instrumental and far away from the original. "Come On Lets €-Trance" was reportedly originally released by Magnus Moriarty™ on Can You Hear The True Fidelity (listed with catalogue number MICRONO.00001.CD-R, I don't know what label this was, perhaps a predecessor to Metronomicon?). When Metronomicon release songs with the word "trance" in them, I get very suspicious, because this indicate another trip to homemade Casio-synthetics, and lo and behold, I was right, and lo-fi trance is even worse than hi-fi tranceOooops, a red card!. "Don't Loose Yr Dub" and "Hank Da Da Batmobile Blogstyler" are reworks of two tracks from Moriarty™'s Sky-Fi Beatitude album, originally called "Don't Lose Yr Kru" and "Hank, The Batmobile Joyrider", and neither of them were highlights from that album. That said, "Don't Loose Yr Dub" is by far the most successful inclusion here, with bubbling synths, nice violins, a gritty saxophone and echoing bass drumsIt's a GOAL!. "Hank Da Da Batmobile Blogstyler" on the other hand, is the opposite, a digest of things I have little appretiation for, like being inserted into a brain-damaging videogameOooops, a red card!. Ending the album is a "Hercòlubus Or Red Planet"-remix of "Santiago 68", a track from Meta Forever's Astroid Antics, that does litte more than mess up a good thingOooops, a yellow card!.

To sum it up: A rather uninteresting and unnecessary collection of reworks, remixes and reimaginations of previously released material from Metronomicon Audio. With the exception of "Don't Loose Yr Dub", I would recommend skipping this one, unless you are particularly fond of Casio-synths, rapid cheap drum-machines and other blip-bloppy sounds.

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 1 (Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!) - Jester Records 1 (It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!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 ... 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
24 Cyrano: I Cannot Smell It It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Ulver: Lyckantropen Theme It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 2
25 Hanny: Moderning Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! Ulver: 1993-2003: 1st Decade ... Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 1 1
26 C.O.U.: Bellydance Nation It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! Ulver: A Quick Fix Of Melancholy EP Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 2 2
27 Meta Forever: Astroid Antics It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! 1349 Rykkinn: Brown Ring of Fury It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 4 2
28 Cyranq & Phil Emile: [sic] It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! Kåre João: Sleepers It's a GOAL! 2 1
29 Ergo: Reclaim The Mall! It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Teachings In Silence It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 2 2
30 Various Artists: 3.0 Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card! Ulver: Svidd Neger Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 1 2
31 C.O.U./Magnus Moriarty™: Did U ... Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card! Origami Galaktika: Horisont It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
Total 70 63

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the Koppen CD Let's Eat Crazyroom!! It's Time To Be Cool Like A Boy!! from Metronomicon Audio which is up against the When release Pearl-Harvest from Jester Records.

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