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It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 43
coverpic coverpic Koppen: Strømmen Gamelan City
  (2009 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0043.CD)
vs.
Upland: Monochrome Adventures
  (2009 Jester Records TRICK-043)

Welcome to round 43 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
Strømmen Gamelan City is presented in a double fold-out digipack.
coverpic coverpic

The Upland release comes in a CD jewel case with a folded insert with art & info.
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The match

Metronomicon's main rapper Koppen is back with a new album called Strømmen Gamelan City, in fact a double CD, with a second CD of special remixes titled Strømmen Cosylan City. Koppen is helped out by a lot of people on this release: Sissyfus, Håvard Ese Eliassen, Thomas Meidell, Viviana Vega, Ergo, Øystein Sandsdalen, Bjarne Larsen, Daniel Meyer Grønvold, Dag Stiberg, Zingone and finally Hagi. The album opens with spoken a sample of unknown origin: "It is our hope and intention that this recording become a living memory and permanent record of history in the making during our lifetime and an inspiration to future generations", which I was only able to trace back to Puerto Rican rap artist Carlos 'Solrac' Mena, who used a similar sample opening his Do You Know the Way? album. "Ethiopian Juice" then fires off into a funky fury with lots of organic instrument samples, including a brass section. A rather frisky opening, and the funk continues with the funnily titled and slightly slower "Phd In Vhs", with a certain 70's feel to it, coolIt's a GOAL!! "Corncob" is a little more synthetic and keyboard-based, and rhythmically more of a quick shuffle. "Get In The Van" gets back to the funk, but the naked and Casio-like arrangement makes it less infectous than the two opening tracks. "Free Willy Nelson Mandela" is another funny title, a very dry and somewhat synthetic piece, with some nice bubbling synths. "90210" is also synthetic, but the blippy-blops have a rounded humorous quality that makes it rather enjoyableIt's a GOAL!. "Pachinko" is another snappy one in the same vein. "We Salute You!" sounds like a Prince-inspired piece played on toy instruments. By "Bendit! (Like Uri!)" it feels like Koppen is starting to run out of ideas, the formula is getting familiar, but "Xxxmas" builds up a funk again with some nicely fitted guitar and wind instrument samplesIt's a GOAL!. "Sittin' On A Bucket" is equally catchy, with a fine banjo break. The album ends with a hidden track, "Robbers", a cartoony wave at Tom Waits. The remixes on the Strømmen Cosylan City CD offers on the whole more forgettable versions of eight of these tracks, but worth mentioning is Satanicpornocultshop's treatment of four tracks, which have a slightly slicker feeling to them, at times almost lounge jazzy.

To sum it up: Koppen's brand of rap-singing and Casio-funk may be an acquired taste, but it holds up well through this album because of the fine diversity of the songs. Perhaps too much of a good thing, but without doubt Koppen's best release so far.

The two previous outings from Upland (Knut Andresas Ruud) matched here (Upland from 2002 and Obliterated from 2004) consisted of partly rhythmic electronic glitch/noise combined with some melodics, in a rather uninteresting mix. On Monochrome Adventures Ruud has refined his formula, making it more digestible, and there seems to be greater variation both between the tracks and within each of them. Still this is gritty stuff, not directly menacing, but it feels like wayward machines dancing in a post-industrial setting, mechanical and cold. "The Chaos Engine" sounds like it's built on a automated and distorted didgeridooIt's a GOAL!, while both "61 Cygni" and "Celestials" are stone cold funky with plenty of rhythm but no sweatIt's a GOAL!. There is probably a relation to a certain ratio of British industrial bands a couple of decades backIt's a GOAL! in all this, but I'm not well enough versed in that regard to drop any names.

To sum it up: Monochrome Adventures still has some of these rapid synthetic rhythms that I find somewhat tiresomeOooops, a yellow card!, but this is the album to start with if you want to check out Upland's brand of funky industrial grit.

Match result: Metronomicon Audio 3 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!) - Jester Records 3 (It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!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
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
43 Koppen: Strømmen Gamelan CityIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL! Upland: Monochrome AdventuresIt's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!It's a GOAL!Oooops, a yellow card! 3 3
Total 105 95

Next match
Next head-to-head meeting is the Pilemil release If You Make A Lot Of Ceramics; Ceramics Will Make A Lot Of You As Well from Metronomicon Audio which is up against the When release Homage Series Vol. 1: Sun Ra from Jester Records.

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