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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 62 - 11/01/01

Safariari
Save New York
Automatic Kiss Records (JP) / Café 2001 (N)

The release of Safariari's debut album was probably one of the most unlucky in the history of popular music. Just weeks before Save New York (with a cover sleeve showing Manhattan's rather well-known skyline behind the outskirts of a jungle, with a butterfly and a zebra's "bottoms") was to be released disaster hit lower Manhattan. Even if the cover art is somehow bringing peace to mind, everything seemed a bit wrong. Especially presenting a cover painting showing the twin towers. Even if it's a safari, without any weapons (well, one song is called A taste of killing...). Bad luck.

Well, let's skip the pre-history. Safariari is 22-year-old John Kristian Furuheim, who has recorded most of Save New York on his PC on location in Norway and in Singapore(!) over a period of two years, using guitar, samples and computer equipment. The musical content spans electronica (big surprise...) or slightly fuzzy pop, a dash house, as well as Japanese club music (since Furuheim is a student in Tokyo, he must be picking up inspiration in the big city). Additional musician Magnus Abelsen (of Remington Super 60) lends his voice (backing vocals) on 4 songs. 'Catchy pop music' the press sheet states, and yes I agree. 3 feet hi & rising sets a perfectly warm electronic mood. It's sparkling and lively, not only machines spitting out sound. Honey making money is a quick-step, break-beat-rhythmed tale, while Solar turns into an epic piece with an Eastern atmoshere. I was awaiting Lunar with curiosity. The opposite to Solar? Well, maybe not, but it sounds like, yes, an expedition up there.

One of the highlights is Hoshi no ongaku, a bouncy, fuzzy pop song, with an east-meets-west attitude. Nice. Another ace is All about love, a real pop song with lovely vocal harmonies and all, while the up-tempo guitar-driven A taste of killing is for sure the noisiest track. Despite a few fillers Save New York is intelligent (artificial...?) feel-good pop music. And the album is toned down at the end with the sound of birds and nature. And cars passing by. It's a jungle out there... Conclusion: Safariari has got an OK computer!

Copyright © 2001 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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