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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 42
coverpic coverpic Center of the Universe: Remixes/Remixed - Ether Force Unit Seven
  (2009 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0042.CDR)
vs.
When: You Are Silent
  (2007 Jester Records TRICK-042)

Welcome to round 42 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
Remixes/Remixed - Ether Force Unit Seven is presented in a double fold-out digipack with a booklet with lyrics and art.
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The When release comes in a CD jewel case with a folded insert with art & info.
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The match

The first eleven tracks on this release are Center of the Universe tracks being remixed by others, a couple of people from within the Metronomicon circle, most from the outside. The last four are CoU tracks remixed by CoU, aka Sissyfus, himself. Given the extensive back catalogue of CoU releases, counting at least eight, with the first dating back to 2000, a remix project like this seems like a good idea. I have to admit that beside Metronomicers Ergo and Koppen, most remixers are unknown names to me.

Starting off is Vicelords' swell wobbling dub-funk remix of "This Love Will Last 4 Ever" from 2005's Bellydance Nation, with a nice eastern mystiqueIt's a GOAL!. The Boutros Boutrous Boutros remix of "Drawn Inwards" taken from the 2007 album Simulacra also has this eastern feel to it, although it is not as excitingly executed. The trouble starts with the Ost remix of "Darklow", the title track from CoU's first release from 2000. Vocals sounding like Smurfs in puberty, over synthetic hip-hop beats quickly reaches annoyance level orangeOooops, a yellow card!. Enter Koppen, and the level rises to redOooops, a red card! with his blip-blop Casio-rap cut-up "Pasukon Bonus Level" remix of "Bonus Track", which I believe is from 2003's Promotional Copy. Next up is another just as frantic track from Bellydance Nation, "Doppelgänger", which Captain Credible can't save from becoming another attack on the brain neutrons. Andrè Borgen's remix of the title track from the 2007 release Simulacra slows things down, perhaps too much, as not much is happening. "The Seed" is the third track from Bellydance Nation getting a rehash, here by Mogens Operandi, keeping the original's mellowness, while looping and flanging it. A second track from Simulacra, "Ah! You're Safer With Me Here" is remixed by Orangebox, but its arrangement is still cemented in CasiolandOooops, a yellow card!. "Sim Simulacrum", also off Simulacra perhaps, but in that case renamed here, is a Tr-Ond And The Suburban Savages product. A rather organic mix, almost sounding like a band playing, closing in on repetetive krautrock and even spacerockIt's a GOAL!, certainly one of the better tracks in this collection. The synthetic "Wannabe Soul" from 2003's Staying Up All Night With The C.O.U. is marginally more interesting in the Brugata Blostyle Crew mix, while Ergo's remix of "The Object Is Lost" from the same album, is tranquil and spacey, quite nice, but has little resemblance with the original, as far as I can tell.

Ending the album is four tracks remixed by Sissyfus, his take on "Doppelgänger" being the only CoU track, Of the others, I find the Salvatore tune most interesting, "E Is For Egyptian Field Reversal", Salvatore are (were?) a fantastic kraut/post-rock band, and Sissyfus joined in on their 2004 album Luxus. Although this is probably a left-over track, it's a high point on this albumIt's a GOAL!, if not in the Salvatore catalogue. Serafina Steer's "Motion Pictures" and André Borgen's "Next Universe" are both fine and mellow, but seem rather synthetic and spacially closed-in. Especially "Next Universe" would have scored here were it not for the relentless and dominating synthetic drums.

To sum it up: This collection of remixes is not at all representative of the previous CoU output, but at least half of the tracks are interesting enough. Except for a couple of obnoxious inclusions on the frantic-synthetic side, which also is kind of representative of CoU, this is not a bad introdution to CoU.

Seeing that You Are Silent is produced by Lars Pedersen along with Tore Ylvisaker from Ulver, and judging from the black and white cover art depicting people in various degrees of sickness, leaves you in no doubt that we are in for a dark-When treatment, as opposed to a happy pop-psych experience. The song-titles are dark as hell too. The opening "Lost Cure" has similarities with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' magnificent "The Carny"It's a GOAL!, although it's a slow marching and not a slow waltzing parade. Still, it has the same eerie gloomyness. "The Virus" features a sacral choir, eventually mixed with a light kind of melodic progrock, slowing down, grinding into a halt. The shorter "Stirred" has bleak lyrics croaked to us by a freezing soul, accompanied by spooky clock bells, perhaps a little overstated in effect. This glides into the mellow psych-pop of "Strange Rituals", featuring straight vocals, sparsely instrumented at first, but drums, bass, etc. joins halfway in. Ending the album is the twenty minute long opus of "False Alarm", starting off perhaps a little Pink Floyd inspired, with a ticking clock, bells & beeps, voice cut-ups, enter deep, slow, metallic hammering, animal screams, shots, sawing, clock ticking, alarm going off, and ... churning, industrial and metallic rock with distorted vocals. Well, I didn't expect this. I'm not sure this is a territory where When has the best chances of impressing, but ... objectively, it's repetetive, noisy and relentless enough to make it difficult to fault it on its own, but it's not very original, which also could be said about the album as a wholeOooops, a red card!. Well, things calm down again before the last bleak message is delivered and it all fades away:

I see from the hall window
today as every year
my long delayed last day
at last arriving here.

And clearing a way,
downhill through horrible
decaying yellow leaves
winter stares at my skull.

To sum it up: Hmm. As much as I'd like to give thumbs up for a Lars Pedersen release, I've come to realize that the volume of his output means that he's also letting some less interesting stuff get out there, and this is one you could easily skip. Besides lacking in originality, it also funnily enough feels more outdated than any of When's retro pop-psych releases, and certainly pales next to for instance When's thematically related The Black Death from 1992.

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 4 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!) - Jester Records 3 (It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red 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
32 Koppen: Let's Eat Crazyroom ... It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! When: Pearl-Harvest It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 1 3
33 Now We've Got Members: Then Is ... It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Blood Inside It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 6 3
34 Truls & The Trees: AilanthusOooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a red card! Kåre João: 2 It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 3 3
35 Lower Than Lo-Fi: No Need For Ladders Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Bogus Blimp: RdtrIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 4
36 C.O.U.: SimulacraIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! When: WheneverOooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a yellow card! 1 1
37 Hanny: SceneityIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Upland: ObliteratedOooops, a red card!It's a GOAL! 3 1
38 Magnus Moriarty™: Perhaps Interior ...It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card! Anthony Curtis: Book Of The KeyOooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 2 2
39 Ergo: MountaineeringIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Espen Jørgensen: On the Great ...It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! 3 5
40 Various Artists: 4.0It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! When: Trippy HappyIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! 3 3
41 Center of the Universe: ApokryfaIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Ulver: Shadows Of The SunIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 4 3
42 Center of the Universe: Remixes/RemixedIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card!Oooops, a red card!Oooops, a yellow card!It's a GOAL! When: You Are SilentIt's a GOAL!Oooops, a red card! 3 1
Total 102 92

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the Koppen release Strømmen Gamelan City from Metronomicon Audio which is up against the Upland release Monochrome Adventures from Jester Records.

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