Norway - Full Moon 189 - 02/07/12
It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 32
Koppen: Let's Eat Crazyroom!! It's Time To Be Cool Like A Boy!!
(2006 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0032.CD)
(2004 Jester Records TRICK-032)
Welcome to round 32 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
Let's Eat Crazyroom!! It's Time To Be Cool Like A Boy!! is presented in the typical Metronomicon fashion - a CD packed in a flexible plastic sleeve with a cardboard folder and paper inserts.
The When release comes in a CD jewel case with a booklet with art & info.
Yo! Hit the buttons ... roll it out ... Koppen is back with another smurfy rap collection, following
his previous Fashion Statement which frankly didn't go very well down with
this ref. "Damn Right!!" features some of the toylike Casio synth sounds that goes straight through my
head only causing brain wave turbulence. "Chimpira" is more organic sounding and sounds much better
just because of that, but it's also a bubbling mish-mash with Arabic twists. "Bacon" is
nakedly arranged, mostly percussive with a greater focus on the vocals, and when the
sax drops in it's funky all right. "Ugh! Indians Vs. Cowboys" is trapped in an arcade game,
"It's Fishy" is rapping about food and healthy eating, suggesting fish instead of meat, as far as I can tell.
By now my headache is noticable, but I hang out through "Swedish Mud" and "Hogtie",
and the sax solo in the funnily named "Rick Out The James" is only marginally helping,
until "Oschlo Times Ten" ends this cheesy DIY hip-hop excess.
To sum it up: I'd wish the lyrics were printed, to get a better impression of what Koppen is rapping about.
I hear them as mostly humourous and quirky and only occasionally serious, which also could be said about the music.
The latter makes me long for a calm session of pan flute ,
which is not a good thing!
On Pearl-Harvest Lars Pedersen is helped by Øyvind Borgemoen Lyse, playing keyboards and accordion on some tracks,
and Nils Arne Øvergaard, who plays guitar on a few. Otherwise Pedersen is doing everything himself, singing, playing keyboards, guitars, drums, bass,
flute, xylophone and of course sampling, in addition to composing and producing. "When" is printed in pseudu-arabic looking letters on the cover,
suggesting an eastern influenced album, which is made clear when we realize that
most of the lyrics seems to be taken from One Thousand and One Nights (or Arabian Nights).
The opening "The Ebony Horse" is literally all over the place, melding western pop harmonies with both eastern and eastern european
instrumental parts, along with various samples making it very lively and imaginative. "Prince Kamar" is firmly rooted in British 60's pop psychedelia
and shows how expertly Pedersen can write and perform in that direction, colourful and hummingly. Kettledrums and xylophones dominate the instrumental "Goose, Poor Goose", along with orchestral samples that we could trace back to Pedersen's earlier
Karius and Baktus reconstructions, here still quirky, but not that dark.
The kettledrums continue through the retro-cinematic "The Night Empty Of All Stories" resembling the soundtrack of a 50's US adventure flick set in Egypt.
"Friendly Place/The Believer" is a short pop song on the calmer and lighter side, but not especially interesting.
"Cost Of Pleasure" jumps back to the eastern world, with citars and arabic sounds melding nicely with a Beatlesque melody,
while "Daughter Of Brightness" is another short harmonious pop song, somewhat forgettable.
The instrumental interplay of "Ears" is dominated by violins, building up tension before the two long finale tracks.
The seven and a half minute long title track can be described as an XTC song remixed and cut-up, arabian style,
but also utilizing Talking Heads-like white funk rhythms. The album ends with the eight minute long
"Keys", which is built around a deep deathly voice slowly reciting from The Keys of Destiny around which Pedersen
constructs soundscapes and builds collages underlining the lyrics' initial heavenly options joined by its opposites, but I have heard
much more sinister tones from When in other settings, and it all ends in equilibrium, after glimpses of what could be behind the doors:
"The Iron Key opens all doors to Happiness and Wealth,
The Lead Key to all Wisdom and all Health,
The Copper Key opens the doors of Death,
The Silver Key brings Suffering and Pain,
And Gold unlocks all Misery and Shame."
To sum it up: Another fine When release, with a nice balance of playful sound collages, constructions of samples and harmonious pop music,
with a thread of eastern influences. A couple of fillers and the fact that there is only one really catchy pop song, prevents
this from being a superb release, but it's much more than likable.
Match result: Metronomicon Audio 1 () - Jester Records 3 ()
Next head-to-head meeting is the Now We've Got Members album Then Is Just Another Kind Of Now from Metronomicon Audio which is up against
the Ulver release Blood Inside from Jester Records.
Copyright © 2012 Knut Tore Breivik