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futurekingofnorwaypic flag Norway - Full Moon 65 - 01/28/02

NORwaves 2001
...ear-aces? Rewind.

2001 went off, hastily, and 2002's here. Since Luna Kafé opened in 1996 we've reached 66 menues/issues. Not bad for some no-budget, idealistic e-zine, aye!? Anyway, 2001 was the year Norway suddenly got heard outside Norway. For the first time a Norwegian artist and their album appeared on NME's end of year album list: Kings of Convenience and their balls-to-the-wall-album (...eeh, kidding!) Quiet Is The New Loud. What else; St. Thomas signed a deal with big indie label City Slang, and Röyksopp caused a fuss with their club album (not that Norwegian house and techno were invisible before this one...), the Rune Grammofon label catching more and more attention, Tellé Records were on everybody's lips. The English, the French, the Danish, yes even the ignorant Swedish looked to Norway. Hmmm. Of course we don't cover all the Norwegian releases, so let's have a brief name'n'title-dropping through some 2001ers we didn't mention.

In the jazz/experimental (and related) bag we find: the hard-working (live as well as contributing to a lot of bands and artists; Motorpsycho, BigBang, +++) 10(?)-piece Jaga Jazzist's A Livingroom Hush (WEA), Anja Garbarek's critically acclaimed third album Smiling and Waving (Virgin), trumpetist Arve Henriksen's spheric Sakuteiki (Rune Grammofon), and When's (a.k.a. Lars Pedersen) playful The Lobster Boys (Jester/VME).

Among the hip-hoppers, with hoods and baggy trousers Klovner i Kamp released Bjølsen Hospital, veterans Warlocks returned with Afterlife (Tee Productions), and Opaque presented a dish called Gourmet Garbage (Tee Productions).

From the Tromsø dominated (even though most of them have relocated to Bergen) house'n'chill'n'dub and related stuff dept., in hip-clubs (now also on daytime radio) the aforementioned Röyksopp twosome launched the massively hailed (Europe-wide) electronic and funky Melody A.M. (Wall of Sound/Virgin) (the elegant video of single "Eple" is a 'must see'), Rune Lindbæk (known from projects like Alanïa, Those Norwegians, Volcano) put out Søndag (Repap/Tuba!), while dub-head Bjørn Torske entitled his second album Trøbbel (Tellé/Tuba!).

Among the rockers and the poppers Motorpsycho (the 'nestors' in Norwegian rock) surfed through the pop'n'roll history books with Phanerothyme (Stickman/Sony), while fellow Trondheim-ians Cadillac's debut-album Cure (Progress/MNW) is vintage heavy-blues-rock. Peel's Peel (Edel) presents melodic pop-rock which could be able to sell across the Atlantic, while powerpoppers Whopper and their Takes & mistakes (Tim) is catchy melodies for heart (they're charming live) and legs. Tweeterfriendly Music's (including song-writer HP Gundersen, guitarist Kjartan Kristiansen of DumDum Boys and multi-producer Yngve Sætre, ex-Barbie Bones) Enjoy Tweeterfriendly Music Vol. 2 is catchy, charming pop-rock topped with the sweet'n'lovely voice of Leslie Ahern (San Francisco, USA, ...Bergen) (check the fine single "Inviting the Dying (Doo Doo Doo)"). Also from 'base-camp' Bergen...Kaizers Orchestra popped out with Ompa til du dør (Broiler Farm), namedropping Brecht and Waits. Finally Sondre Lerche (Bergen...) made his album debut with Faces down (Virgin) and 'the new pop crownprince' was hailed (literally at Øyafestivalen, when the weather gods went rampage full-on!), while the 'grand, old man' of pop (20 years in the biz) Morten Abel gained more success than ever (critics and sales) with I'll Come Back And Love You Forever (Virgin). Doing it with style. And humor. Quirky.

Come 2002, and we'll get to hear from Delaware, Team Spirit, Margarets, Peru You, plus a bunch of others. See'ya 'round.

Copyright © 2002 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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