Feb 24, 2007

Stage 26, Norway.no

In the ninth century CE, Norway consisted of a number of petty clan/kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair gathered the small kingdoms into one in 872 with the Battle of Hafrsfjord. He became the first king of a united Norway.
The Viking age (eighth to eleventh centuries) was one of unification and expansion. The Norwegians established settlements on Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of Britain and Ireland, and attempted to settle at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada (the "Vinland" of the Saga of Eric the Red). Norwegians founded the modern-day Irish cities of Limerick and Waterford and established trading communities near the Celtic settlements of Cork and Dublin which later became Ireland's two most important cities. Meanwhile their Kings were busy christianising their pagan peoples, that papal god didnt help much because during the black death plague of 1349 half the population died..including the royalty..should have stuck with Odin and the Aesir.

Well Norway ended up into a union with demark and Sweden, latter moved out of that in 1500 but the union with Danmark lasted till 1814, After Denmark-Norway was attacked by Britain, it had entered into an alliance with Napoleon, and in 1814 found itself on the losing side in the Napoleonic Wars and in dire conditions and mass starvation in 1812. Norway took this opportunity to declare independence, adopted a constitution based on American and French models but the Countries without Kings were unacceptable in those days, the Swedish King lay claim but basicly let the norwegions do on the condition they accept him , the Bernadotte dynasty as rulers of Norway. In 1905 they had enough and parlement elected a new king a danish prince who took the name Haakon 7 who ruled for 52 years, his son Olav 5 was chosen man of the century by the Norwegians and as it happens Norways current king Harald 5 is having a big 70th birthday party this week. Royalty..but then the norse and danish versions are so 'common' they ride bicycles and Crownprince Haakon has married a single mother, now there's one for those snobby royal watchers.

Norway at the moment is per capita the richest country in the world(Luxemburg is not a country but a bankjob ), all that oilmoney..which defacto had the Norwegians vote against joining the EU..which i think is a black spot on their morality.

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Flunk - For Sleepyheads Only
Biosphere - Shenzhou
Arve Henriksen - Chiaroscuro
Röyksopp - Melody AM
Jaga Jazzist - The Stix
VA - dBut Royal

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Flunk - For Sleepyheads Only ( 02 * 92mb)

Stuff happens, and Flunk emerged out of the studio jam sessions of a trio of Oslo musicians: producer Ulf Nygaard sidestepping his usual and succesful work as Folk and Rovere, guitarist Jo Bakke (formerly with the Happy Campers, who's frontman produced the first two Folk and Rovere albums), and drummer Erik Ruud (a member of the Guidance-label act Antenna).The band started as a project between Ulf, and Jo in Oslo, Norway in winter 2000/2001. Beginning as an instrumental and sampled vocal project, a track for a compilation by Beatservice Records got the unnamed band signed for a full album.

In spring 2002, the band was known as Flunk and they released their first single, a completely restyled cover of New Order's Blue Monday in April. The track was well received in the UK and was included on numerous compilations in North America and Europe. Later in April, this, their debut album For Sleepyheads Only was released which got great reviews in Norway, as well in some UK muzik mags. During the next 12 months the album was rolled out world wide, Their label beatservice released a remix version in the summer of 2003 to fill the gap until Flunks next album "Morning Star" in 2004, which is slightly less electronic as their debut but still drifts along the same lines, with singer Anja Øyen Vister's creamy, dreamy vocals over a hushed base of samples, keys, and softly strummed guitars, creating an ethereal, past-midnight chill out vibe.Flunks new album Personal Stereo is out this spring, check out their MySpace for some tracks.

01 - I Love Music (5:36)
02 - Blue Monday (4:15)
03 - Miss World (5:03)
04 - Honey's In Love (3:55)
05 - Magic Potion (3:51)
06 - Your Koolest Smile (5:15)
07 - Kebab Shop 3 AM (4:23)
08 - See Through You (4:56)
09 - Sunday People (Don't Bang The Drum) (5:18)
10 - Indian Rope Trick (5:22)
11 - Syrupsniph (6:06)
12 - Distortion (4:32)

Flunk @ Base
Flunk @ MySpace
Flunk @ Amazon

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Biosphere - Shenzhou ( ^ 110mb)

Geir Jensen, aka Biosphere, was born in 1962 in Tromsø, a city within the Arctic Circle in the northernmost portion of Norway, no real surprise then this "arctic sound" label stuck. In 1983, he composed his first piece of music. In 1985, Jenssen was part of the newly-created Norwegian moody synth trio Bel Canto. They released their first two albums together. In 1989, he left the band in order to pursue a different music style altogether.

Following the release of The North Pole By Submarine (90), Jenssen chose a new musical direction and began releasing his music as Biosphere. Getting his first Biosphere album, Microgravity a wider release wasnt easy, however when it did, it got rave reviews. The follow up Patashnik, saw Jenssen continue to explore his ambient-house beatless style. The uptempo track "Novelty Waves" was picked by Levis to support an add campaign and a single with 5 remixes was released.
In 97 Geir released Substrata a classic amongst ambient albums, it really established him as an ambient giant. In 2000 he released Cirque, which unsurprisingly wasnt as impressive as its predecessor.

Shenzhou, Jenssen's fifth full length album , is a more abstract work, the material draws from elongated, pitch-shifted loops taken from classical composer Claude Debussy. He sampled a variety of Debussy's orchestral works and used them to build completely new and original pieces of his own. No beat in sight for more than 50 minutes. Classical melodies, but not in a classical way. Icy and desolate, yet warm and cozy. Melody and drone go hand in hand. Shenzou sounds like one big trip into the depths of Biosphere's extremely carefully assembled archives.

Released in 2004, Autour de la Lune stands as the most minimal and austere Biosphere album to date, his latest album, Dropsonde, is a half beatless, half rhythmic album comprised of jazz rhythms. Geir is still chasing the beatless rhythm when he's not mountaineering..

01 - Shenzhou (5:04)
02 - Spindrift (4:37)
03 - Ancient Campfire (7:45)
04 - Heat Leak (4:57)
05 - Houses On The Hill (5:43)
06 - Two Ocean Plateau (3:10)
07 - Thermal Motion (4:27)
08 - Path Leading To The High Grass (3:55)
09 - Fast Atoms Escape (3:29)
10 - Green Reflections (3:32)
11 - Bose-Einstein Condensation (2:47)
12 - Gravity Assist (7:04)

diet version
Biosphere - Shenzhou ( * 76mb)

Novelty Waves (49mb)

1 - Novelty Waves (Original) (6:22)
2 - Novelty Waves (Biosphere Arctic Mix) (8:38)
3 - Novelty Waves (Biosphere Darkroom Mix) (6:59)
4 - Novelty Waves (Mark Bell Remix) (5:56)
5 - Novelty Waves (Higher Intelligence Agency Remix) (6:21)

Biosphere @ Base

Biosphere @ Amazon

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Arve Henriksen - Chiaroscuro (04 ^=upgraded 83mb)

Born in 1968, Arve Henriksen studied at the Trondheim Conservatory from 1987-1991, and has worked as a freelance musician since 1989, with many musicians from the ECM stables, he has been a part of the European Jazz scene since. He's been inspired by all sorts of folk music, specially the meditative and minimalistic expressive quality of Japanese music and it's instruments inspired him. ”Chiaroscuro” is the follow-up to the acclaimed ”Sakuteiki” ( 2001) ”a thing of rare and compelling beauty...musicmaking as natural and essential as breathing”. Arve is joined by drummer Audun Kleive and sound artist Jan Bang to create some very beautiful musical soundscapes where the trumpet is the natural focal point. There´s also more room for Arve´s wordless singing. Arve Henriksen's new album "Stron" will be released this week

01 - Opening Image ( 4:16)
02 - Bird's-Eye-View ( 4:07)
03 - Chiaro ( 3:28)
04 - Holography ( 3:02)
05 - Blue Silk ( 6:30)
06 - Parallel Action ( 4:38)
07 - Circled Take ( 3:24)
08 - Scuro ( 5:08)
09 - Time Lapse ( 5:07)
10 - Ending Image ( 2:27)

Arve Henriksen @ Base

Arve Henriksen @ Amazon

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Röyksopp - Melody AM ( 01 ^ 150mb)

The name Röyksopp, derived from Norwegian "røyksopp", translates into English as "puffball". This type of mushroom is notable for the misty cloud created when it releases its spores (with hindsight an aptly chosen name) . There is also an obvious hallucinogenic double meaning to the name. Despite the fact that Brundtland and Berge were schoolmates in their hometown of Tromsø and experimented with electronic instruments in the early 90's, Röyksopp only appeared years later when they met again in Bergen where they met a lively music scene and worked with bands such as Frost and Kings of Convenience. There first singles drew enough interest from Wall of Sound to sign them and release Melody AM. Good thing they did, it sold a million copies half of it in the UK alone.

From the album a number of succesfull singles accompanied by great video's were released. Eple , apple in english drew the attention of Apple who licensed it to use as opening music sequence for mac OS X, So Easy used for a T mobile commercial, Remind me won best video of 2002 MTV award... Those poor guys were the new Norwegian golden boys, all they did was make some fine unpretentious music.

No wonder then that the followup "the Understanding" took 4 years to see the light of day, they tried hard not to repeat themselves, maybe a bit too hard, still it got decent reviews and they werent shot down as one album hit wonders.Last year they released a 40 min live ep "Night Out" Meanwhile its 2007 and the boys just produced a compilation album no 25 in the Back to Mine series, to be released in april.

01 - So Easy (3:44)
02 - Eple (3:36)
03 - Sparks voc.Anneli Drecker (5:23)
04 - In Space (3:30)
05 - Poor Leno voc. Erlend Øye (3:57)
06 - A Higher Place (4:31)
07 - Röyksopp's Night Out (7:30)
08 - Remind Me voc. Erlend Øye (3:39)
09 - She's So (5:23)
10 - 40 Years Back\Come (4:45)
11 - Your Hands
12 - Fusions Alright
13 - Eple (Black Strobe Remix) (6:10)
14 - Poor Leno (Silicone Soul's Hypno House Dub) (8:05)
15 - Remind Me (James Zabiela Eighties Ingeborg Mix) (8:35)
Röyksopp @ base
Röyksopp MySpace
Röyksopp @ Amazon

Pick one @ YouTube

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Jaga Jazzist - The Stix (03 * 127mb)

Jaga Jazzist has become something of a musical phenomenon in Norway since they started 9 years ago. Not only is this 10 piece instrumental band regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative in Norway, the members are all involved in other musical projects and have in one way or another contributed to almost every significant recording to come out of that part of the world in the last few years. It has been this strong involvement with different projects, and different musical styles and sounds which is the key to the unique sound of Jaga Jazzist. With no boundaries and an arsenal that includes trumpets, trombone, electric guitar, bass, tuba, two bass clarinets, Fender Rhodes, vibraphone and a rack of electronics, Jaga Jazzist create timeless music. Melodic, hypnotizing, delicate and subtle.

Jaga Jazzist started out in Tonsberg (a small town outside Oslo) in 1994 at which time Lars Horntveth (the main songwriter in Jaga) was only 14 years old! "Jævla Jazzist Grete Stitz" was there first testing of the waters in 96, with the ”Magazine EP” from 1998 (re-issued with bonus material by Smalltown Supersound in 2004), the band came even closer to the formula that today is the basis in the Jaga Jazzist sound. But it was first with ”A Livingroom Hush” in 2001, that Jaga Jazzist fully blossomed with an album that put Jaga Jazzist on the map and defined their unique sound world. "A Livingroom Hush" got them massive critical acclaim and great sales in Norway. Throughout 2002 the band shocked fans and critics alike with their blistering live shows and the buzz resulted in sold out dates all over Europe and the band soon came to the attention of Ninja Tune who did a license/collaboration deal with Smalltown Supersound.

With 10 members, you also gets 10 different opinions, feelings and taste. With a result that the band never stands still. Instead of sucking on the successful formula of ”A Livingroom Hush”, they wanted to take their sound even further with the next album. To the extreme one might say. The result was 2003`s ”The Stix” album. This was Jaga Jazzist`s take on electronic music, an album characterized by its intricate drum patters and rolling beats. After heavily touring, the time came for the next chapter in the Jaga Jazzist history, ”What We Must”. After months with writing new material, the band went into studio in Spydeberg out in the Norwegian woods, to record the demo now known as the Spydeberg Session. Something came they percieve as their rock album (Jaga style), released in 2005.

01 - Kitty Wü (4:36)
02 - Day (3:08)
03 - Another Day (3:30)
04 - Reminders (6:45)
05 - Suomi Finland (7:28)
06 - Toxic Dart (5:21)
07 - I Could Have Killed Him In The Sauna (5:34)
08 - Aerial Bright Dark Round (5:08)
09 - Doppelganger (4:47)
10 - The Stix (6:57

Jaga Jazzist @ Base
Jaga Jazzist @ MySpace
Jaga Jazzist @ Amazon
Pic a JJ vid @YouTube

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VA - dBut Royal ( 01 * 78mb)

One of the longest running Norwegian undergroud labels, dBut Recordings was founded in 1989 by Per Platou (also a member of Nood). It had a very eclectic profile, encompassing rock, avantgarde and electronic music. In 1997 Per Platou didn't want to run the label anymore and handed over the whole operation (old back catalogue included) to Andreas Gilhuus, Jon Birger Wormdahl and Rolf Even Evensen. dBut Records is one of Norway's most exiting and fastest developing independent labels. With a wide profile spanning from nu-jazz and latin inspired sounds to pure pop and genre-pushing electronica, dBut´s aim is to broaden the mind.
Over the last couple of years, dBut Records has established itself as an important musical anchor in an ever growing and pulsating Norwegian flora of bands and producers. Home of bands Sternklang, Perculator, Boy, Nood, Professor Anarad and Moon Orchestra, this label has proved to be the staging ground for a wide spectrum of musical experimentation. From the classic, timeless pure pop of Boy to state-of-the-art nu-jazz, instrumental hip-hop and urban grooves courtesy of Perculator and Moon Orchestra to Sternklang's structural damaging breakdowns there is one word which sums it all up: humanity. A warm human touch, often coupled with a healthy dose of humour is present in all of dBut´s releases. No matter how quantizised the samples are, there's always a pulsating vibe lurking underneath it all, one which only can be achieved through sheer passion and a deep, profound love of music.

01 - Perculator - Eternity
02 - Sternklang - Liebling
03 - Palace Of Pleasure - Summertime
04 - Nood - Walk In 2 Me
05 - Moon Orchestra - Hummingbird
06 - Dub Club Oslo - Yes, With Cheese
07 - Sternklang - A Sunday Kind Of Thrill
08 - Tøyen - ABC Of Love
09 - Briskeby - Propaganda (Rmx-Moon Orchestra)
10 - Stellan - Jaquelin
11 - Frost - Damian
12 - Boy - Sure

DBut @ Base
Buy Dbut Releases

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


This comment has been removed by the author.

Great blog! Just a little something on what you said on Norway not joining the EU; quote:

"all that oilmoney..which defacto had the Norwegians vote against joining the EU..which i think is a black spot on their morality."

Right... well, close - but we'll have to refine this a bit. It is strange that Norway decided NOT for membership; consequently shutting themself off a lucrative export market... Why?

Well, in 1994, 52% were against and 48% were in favour. A pretty close race. A couple of incidents prior to the EU-election boosted the Norwegians bloated nationalism further. The Norwegians (with prime minister Brundtland in front) had just shown their autonomity by continuing the killing of whales. In the late 80s Mrs Brundtland and lobbyists even made a "documentary" showing how "humane" the killings were. Special "grenades" that sent shockwaves through the blubber - making the killing instant and painless - was regular news. Even hard-core urbanists felt the call of the wild - when Norway's God-given right to digest sea-mammals was threatened by foreign infidel biologists... The concensus among Norwegians to stick together and fight for sea-meat was in one word - silly. Everybody agreed - hunting is what's makes them Norwegian. "We are Norwegians - proud of killing whales" was a typically t-shirt print. The vast majority believed it! Even the press had little or no interest in this strange polarization, and they printed little or nothing of foreign views, unless intended to ridicule them. No, the Norwegians stuck together - a small country with happypeople surrounded by people not like them.

The Olympic Games in Lillehammer, just months ahead of the EU-election, didn't make it any better. The Norwegian organizing committee’s slogan was: “They said we couldn’t do it, so we did” Now, think about that slogan for a minute. Who said "we couldn't do it"? Who didn't believe in the brave Norwegians? Who could be so silly as to have doubts about the magnitude of what The Norwegians, sons of vikings could achieve...(sic). Nobody of course - the slogan is propaganda in it's purest form - a lie. If you don't have an antagonist, well go and make it up, if you need it to get your views across.

Norwegians celebrate their national independence every 17th of May. Not with armed personnell and tanks in the street or fireworks - but with children parading with flags, thousands of them - compulsory, but fun fun fun. Sodas and hot-dogs, ice-creams and sweets. It is all good stuff, or is it? Look at the flag - have some soda. Wave it and holler "hooray" - eat some hot-dogs. Wave to the royal family standing on the palace balcony - stuff your head with sweets. If you do this every year in may from the age of 1 - it does have a Pavlovian impact.

So, take for granted that Norwegians have undergone serious brain washing (or brainfreeze) while growing up. They stand by the flag, and believe any national authority (as long as it is theirs). It is not a country, but a tribe. But they don't do ritual dances around the oil wells - which are far out on the seas. But they do jitter with joy, everytime they can assure themself that they live in the richest country in the world, based on statistical figures. And they do ejaculate spontaneously whenever a blood-doped tribesman with skies sheds a tear while receiving a gold medal accompanied by the Norwegian national anthem (Ja, elsker dette landet - Yes, we love this land).

All of the above relates to at least 4% of the Norwegian population. That is why they're not in the European Union (but are free to make business with some of the great democracies in the world; like China)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dimmu,

I didnt research which arguments were used to convince the norwegians to vote against, annd im sure nobody said out loud we want all the oilmoney ourselves. Alas its a fact that there's always lots of items concerning the EU that opponents can blow up to blot out the basic principles behind it. One is living together peacefully, so we didnt take away that northsea oil, which would have been easy enough, say demanding a per capita share for all northsea borders. As for whaling, the EU citizens are against it, because these are intelligent mammals and we've killed way too many already. I find it hard to believe that Norwegians lack this insight, sure some jobs are lost, so ? The ocean belongs to all or none same goes for what lives in it, personally i would have every fishing trawler on the planet chained, make it illegal. I consider the ocean fishing industry piracy.

As for national pride and flagwaving im afraid thats the politics of power seen everywhere. I did wonder however why Norwegians chose another Danish king instead of becoming a republic in 1905. Follow the leader..lalalala