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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 38 - 11/23/99

Various Artists
Songs from the loosing end v.2.0
Krank Records

Songs from the loosing end v.2.0 is another compilation from Norwegian lo-fi label Krank Records, and a sequel to last year's LP Songs from the loosing end (including Norwegians from the underground, like Astroburger, Dipsomaniacs, Slowburn, Lasse Marhaug, Echo Troopers, 10. floor Orchestra, Stuntbike, plus foreign guests June Panic and Songs:Ohia to name a couple). This year's double el-pee pretty much follows the same pattern: you'll find Krank acts like Ring (Krank-head Filip's project), Morgan Kilronan, and Magnetic Tapes, plus some Norwegian friends-of-the-label: DEL, Origami Republika, Kjertl del Brondo Group (one of the many projects of Kjetil D. Brandsdal, one of the most productive artists around Norway), plus some some less familiar names. Then there's a line of U.S. Krank friends and associates: Havergal and Brother JT, Aarktica, and Remora, to name a few, plus Reynols (chaotic noise terror!) from Argentina. 25 names all together, stuffed into a space shuttle for a way off trip to far-out space.

Musically this is a bumpy and confusing ride. Some of the songs are just very short sketches, some are indeed abstract and hard to get, while others are more of a focused nature. It's an album showing a wide spectre of experimental home-recordings (cassette decks, few-track recorders) of a more or less schizophrenic nature. It's all too much to go through this record track by track, so I'll just mention the most interesting moments I found: Homegroan's (Norwegian-American Martin Hagfors' country out-fit) Acetonia, with its echoed alternative country is a nice gem. Douglas Experiment (of Wisconsin, USA) and the quiet, mumbly, and extremely short song Space Station. Havergal sound a bit like Bonnie 'Prince' Billy on their There's a Routine. Aarktica's (a one man band from New Jersey, USA) Elena has got a certain charm in its musical waves from lunar oceans, or some cold permafrost somewhere. Coup de Foudre/Human Inferno plays naive lo-fi pop (fuzzy guitar + simple synth) on Those Were the Days. Dave Fischoff (USA, of the Secretly Canadian label) presents an interesting piece of a whispering ballad, One of us cannot be wrong, rising and diving, before fading. the Havanna Hoboes sounds like a goblin Tom Waits-clone with Mighty fine life. The Panoply Academy Glee Club (USA, another Secretly Canadian act) plays art-rock, with a slight familiarity to (early) Pere Ubu with their The Aquisition. Of course, Ring is as charming as ever with the flute-driven, folk-psychedelic Waffel Iron Toast. And, finally, Morgan Kilronan, with their When the Sunshine Hits Me, a song and a band hard to label. But they're making a good mood.

So, expect to find a lot of strange chaos on this album. It's far from being a record that could light up a party, but you might get glimpses of some beacons from Mars, or beyond.

Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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