Norway - Full Moon 35 - 08/26/99
It's a peculiar record this one. EPA is Rune Østhagen, who's written
performed 13 songs of fragility and intimacy. Everything's been arranged and
produced by Jonas and Stian of the Norwegian rap-hop group
Pen Jakke (Nice Jacket), which means there's been added a lot of cool,
but yet discreet, hip low-noise, scratches and rhythms. The liner notes
recommends listening by using headphones. "This is porn. This is high low-fi."
Acoustic guitars, piano, zither, sheep and birds(!), various electronics,
beats, Leslie's, bongo drums, a lot of tape hiss (on purpose?), and vocals.
Lyrics a bit on the private far side, like, think Syd Barrett or, well,
maybe someone a bit saner. Fragmented, with some strange turns.
Of the songs I like the quiet Naked, (with its piano and the
sounding like something from the hands of Nick Drake), as well as
Theend, and the more "up-beat" Cherubs. Some of the other
songs sort of sound
the same, and a bit too anonymous, I think. Or maybe it's the way of arranging
To be a bit harsh I might say that over one hour of music is a bit to much.
Anyway, you'll find enough fascinating moments on EPA to be pleased,
agree on this being decent debut. If you're in the mood for a freaky low-fi chill-out.
Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen