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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 55 - 04/08/01

Various Artists
Sement # 2
Osito Records

The first release from the new record label Osito Records. The album contains tracks from the bands performing at the music festival Sement # 2. This is a good collection of some of the more exciting bands from the underground scene in Norway. There is a certain strain of melancholy running through this record, though most of the bands differ in their style.

The album starts with Cloroform (see our back issue archive) with their really hilarious mixture of cowboy surf jazz punk with elements of noise. This is also a great liveband. Some call it "jazzcore", but maybe more in a sense of the attitude than the sound. American Suitcase (see) with their guitar based (maybe a bit Teenage Fanclub inspired) poprock is doing a nice, though maybe a bit too similar, cover of the psychedelic rock band the Steppes. Master James is a great song with nice vocal harmonies and it suits American Suitcase's sound. One of my favourites on the record is Viva Revenge by Emmerhoff and the melancholy babies. A dark tale about lost love and revenge, beautifully performed with intensity and drama, with a twisting guitar not far from the sound of the Danish group Sort Sol. dB is creating a totally different atmosphere with their light poppy triphop with a dreamy floating female vocal on the top. The gypsy rock orchestra Wunderkammer is doing a remix of a track from the film Detektor. Guitarist/band leader Pål Jackman is also the director of the film. Wunderkammer got top reviews from their album which was released two years ago. With their musical ingredients from eastern European gypsy music and a touch of Jiddish folk music combined with more traditional rock they create a highly energetic firework on stage. The band contains members from a variety of different traditions. The bass player is also a member of Cloroform, while the violin player has got a band called Getrude's Gypsy Orchestra and is also (along with the cellist) a member of Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.

Track number seven is my other favourite on the album; Magnetic Tapes with their quiet, beautiful and mellow song. Me and my car is bringing back memories of Tindersticks in their best moments. I'll have to a say that Andreas Knutsen's dark voice bears a striking resemblance to Tindersticks's Stuart A. Staples, even though Stuart is a bit more eccentric. There is also a certain element of Leonard Cohen lurking in the background here. But by all means this is melancholia on it's best. Cerrato's fragile and tender Gentle Kiss is recorded live from Chateau Neuf. Spanish vocalist Maria Cerrato is weaving a mysterious bittersweet feeling with a nice but very special voice. The band will also be the second release from Osito Records. The last band I will mention is Bogus Blimp (again, archive) also called "the Spectacular Rock Orchestra". This is one of my best live experiences with a very charismatic vocalist, Christian Mona. Their stage appearance has strong elements of performance in it. The first release was described as "apocalyptic film rock" with a touch of circus and cabaret. On the last album there's more emphasis on the electronic aspect of the band and they are not looking at the past, but to the future. It's still dark and mysterious, but I think the song works best in a context; the album or on stage.

I'm just sorry that I couldn't be at the music festival.

Copyright © 2001 Mariann Skjerdal e-mail address

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