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coverpic flag Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 20 - 06/10/98

The Del Trio
If You've Got To Fight ... Fight Dirty!
Apartment Records

The Del Trio, or simply Del, is seated in Trondheim, from where they release this "improv-rock-holocaust" debut album (after releasing a split 7" with Green Monkey containing Sonic Youth cover songs - with linernotes by number one fan Thurston Moore! - earlier this year). Actually the release party was to take place under the full moon on May 11th (at SoWhat, Oslo), but it was postponed till May 25th. Del is: Lasse Marhaug on guitar, electronic noise, etc. (who has been releasing lots of home-recorded tapes and records over the last years, on his kitchen-sink label Jazzassin, as a solo artist, with Origami Replika, but also collaborating with other noise-mongers from around the world), Per G. Galaaen on gitar (one of the men behind the Apartment Records label, with experience from various bands over the years, such as Jellikit/Noodle and Slowburn), and "bikercinemaniac" Kjell R. Jenssen on drums (who has been skin&stick-man for bands such as Motorpsycho and Swamiis plus others). And, just so that you're warned; this record isn't un-progged.

This LP is a two-part album. Side one ("play dirty at 33.3 rpm"), the studio side, is called Improv (or improv-rock-holocaust), and side two ("play safely at 33.3 rpm") bears the title Live At LoFi-café . (A secret club, or dare I say "speak-easy", at the Lademoen area of Trondheim, also known as Svartlamon.) Del are working inside the experimental, improvisational (and, of course, instrumental) territories of free-rock (as in free-jazz). They seem to like jumping in at the deep end of the pool. The whirling-noise-pool, that is. An they're not drowning, but rather droning.

Improv (yes, it's one piece, 20-something minutes long, improvised onto a DAT on March 7th last year) starts almost being conventional, with a sort of straight beat underneath the guitar-patterns. It feels like jumping onboard a slowly running underground-train. Soon Del start their journey, going from smoother parts to somewhat being sheer noise terror. They seem to drift through various phases, entering different levels, but most of all they cultivate the monotonous and the repetitive. I really don't hang on to their track all the way. Some parts I do like, others I've got big problems to follow. 23 minutes of Del really challenge your stamina and interest. Fragments of their music could have been taken from the soundtrack of a film by, say, David Lynch back in his student days. Or maybe this music is the real elevator music? Might be.

After the turnover we get presented to the live side, which was performed in front of a small (hence the applause at the end) audience, and taped to a DAT-recorder during last summer's Eat The Rich "festival". Live at LoFi... isn't exactly Last Night of the Proms, well, maybe "Last Night of the Progs"? With its noisy "pomp" and drony circumstance. The whole show is pretty low-toned and lo-fi, being sort of eccentric prog-ambience. They're not thundering, but rather constructing discreet layers of feedback and distortion. In some parts Del sounds like being Capt. Beefheart's sick and twisted cousin. Towards the end of the 25-minute (ca) piece, there is suddenly "vocals" from a choir of dolphins and other sea-creatures. The whirlpool in the sea of green slows down and turns peaceful at last? To finally make a conclusion, I'll simply repeat what I said earlier: Del sure know how to challenge your patience. But if you're kool with the pro-noise-dronery, you can just hop inside. If you're quick enough to grab one copy of this strictly limited edition (210 only!).

The evening when the live-side was recorded wasn't in lack of action: during Del's concert a guy from the audience freaked-out (maybe not to keen on the musical performance, eh?), jumped the stage, and physically attacked, threatning to kill Mr. Jenssen! Listen closely and you might notice this event.

Copyright © 1998 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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