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Im Nebel
Mutasjon 83-84
Solid Goal!

Im Nebel (German for In The Mist) was a young band from Haugesund on the western coast of Norway. They got together in 1982, still in their mid-teens, and were inspired by punk and most notably the depressive post punk by Joy Division, New Order (of the early era), The Cure (their second and third album) and the likes that were hip among the chosen few (at least in Norway) back then. The recordings on this new digital album stems from two cassettes released by the band in, yes, 1983 and 1984. The first of them, called Ut av Tåkeheimen (Out Of The Mist), was a split cassette with the punk band Mausoleum. The second, Mutasjon 7 (Mutation 7), was a more well-produced offering. Most of the tracks here are taken from the latter, also the two songs that were included in different versions on both cassettes. You might learn more about the history of Im Nebel in our review of the relaunch of The Colors Turned Red's self-titled debut album a few years further down the road, when the band's music had brightened up so much a name change was needed.

The inspiration from Joy Division can be heard in the first song of the new album, called "Still". The title might stem from the compilation of the same name by Joy Division, the first to be released after the death of Ian Curtis, or the single "Atmosphere" where we're urged not to 'walk away in silence'. Here's also the combination of rhythm box and real drums, frequently used during this era. And the mood is pretty gloomy. But the song is also graced with an underlying organ and melancholic piano, a steady Im Nebel characteristic. The mood is the same during "Playing Patience", "?" and "Delicious". The latter includes a prolific trumpet, another Im Nebel characteristic. "Ville Visjonar" (Wild Visions) is more sad than gloomy, but things brighten up to some extent in the more upbeat and quick "Blind Ekstase" (Blind Ecstasy).

"Spurv I Tranedans" (a Norwegian expression, hard to translate, a sparrow among hawks, though directly translated it's a small grey sparrow among the graceful dancing cranes) is probably based on personal experiences in Im Nebel's home town. The lyrics deal with the majority claiming that the ones of the minority that want to do something new don't belong here and don't stand a chance if they don't resign. The members of Im Nebel and their punk oriented friends were harassed by the rough kinda teddy boys in Haugesund back then... "Monkanes Song" (The Song Of The Monks) is also pretty sad, but includes a short segment of real monk chanting, recorded several years before Enigma utilized the concept for a smash hit.

The songs of Im Nebel don't hit me quite as hard as they did 32 or 33 years ago, but it was still great to reencounter these songs for the first time in several years. The production seems a bit dull and grey nowadays, but it suits the moods of the songs. The album documents an era long gone and also the starting point of the band that at one point was believed to be the next big thing in Norwegian pop and rock. And there are some songs here that stand firm on their own feet. The fog was thick the morning this album was launched a few days ago. Hardly a coincidence. Definitely something for those of us who have fond memories of the band back then, definitely for those curious to find out more about the independent era of the first half of the 1980s or the origins of The Colors Turned Red, too, and probably quite a few others.

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