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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 35 - 08/26/99

EPA
EPA
Microscope

It's a peculiar record this one. EPA is Rune Østhagen, who's written and 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, sampled 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 arrangement sounding like something from the hands of Nick Drake), as well as Husong, 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 them.

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, and to agree on this being decent debut. If you're in the mood for a freaky low-fi chill-out.

Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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