Jan 29, 2012

Sundaze 1205

Hello, been busy re-upping the Megaupload links, once again i underestimated how much there were, 268 to be precise. Which in the grand scheme of this blog is indeed not that much, less then 10%, but a lot of work nevertheless. I hope to finish within a few days (3/4 done already).

Today Sundaze gives way to evolutionary concept artists, from Norway, who've exaggerated and blurred the lines between every musical form they've been enveloped. As unconventional as their approach to music has always been the results have been consistently adherent and profound. In larval form they torqued the genre of black metal with folk, jazz, minimalism and soundscape offering this generally conservative design liberties it was once afraid to embrace. Ulver have altered the way form can join and function in ways rarely sought. Retaining elements of their past, they now manipulate and extend the possibilities with a comprehensive understanding of the developing aural technologies.

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Ulver took their name from the Norwegian word for wolf, snce their first, folklore-influenced black metal release entitled Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler (1993), Ulver’s musical style has been fluid and increasingly eclectic, blending genres such as avant-garde rock, trip hop, symphonic and chamber traditions, noise and experimental music, with heavy reliance on electronic recording techniques.

Led by vocalist Garm, Ulver recorded two concept albums, Bergtatt detailed a Norse legend in which maidens are abducted by denizens of the underworld to live in their mountain halls, and the following year's Kveldssanger ("Twilight Songs") was an all-acoustic collection of melancholy dirges. Ulver made their international debut in 1997 with Nattens Madrigal (Madrigal of the Night), a concept album about wolves performed in the traditional Norwegian black metal style; it was recorded for Century Black with a lineup of Garm, lead/acoustic guitarist Haavard, rhythm guitarist Aismal, bassist Skoll, and drummer AiwarikiaR.

Themes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, released in 1998, was different from what Ulver had made before. Tore Ylwizaker, a new composer and sound architect, added to Garm’s expanding artistic visions, and together they stepped over the boundaries of black metal aesthetics, creating a genre-defying work. In this album, the musicians blended electronics, industrial music elements, progressive metal and avant-garde rock, adding ambient passages. Lyrically, the album incorporates the entire text of William Blake’s poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and relies on guest vocals

The band followed up these two releases with two minimalist/ambient/glitch works Silence Teaches You How to Sing and Silencing the Singing. These works featured minimal melodies and often had subtle, weird and unnatural noises within the song structures. Due to their individual rarity, they were later amalgamated as Teachings in Silence. Having proved their proficiency at making atmospheric music, Ulver were hired to make music for cinema films like Lyckantropen (see Lyckantropen Themes), Svidd neger (see Svidd neger (soundtrack)), and Uno.

In July 2004, the band had recorded their sixth album, Blood Inside, which was released on June 6, 2005. Bringing back more traditional rock instruments like guitar and acoustic drums, combining them with classical instruments, brass horns, and their rich electronic inventory. Shadows of the Sun is the seventh studio album by Ulver. . In an interview with Music Information Centre Norway, Ulver member Tore Ylwizaker commented on the album. He said it would be downplayed and inspired by chamber music in both style and crew. Ylwizaker also took a year off to study classical composers and composition techniques. All in all, this is an enjoyable, at times hypnotic album that consolidates a lot of the different strands of Ulver's music over the previous decade. In February 2008 Shadows Of the Sun won the Oslo Awards for album of the year 2007.

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Perdition City (Music To An Interior Film) is an album of moody, atmospheric electronica, built up around basic down-tempo beats and noir-ish electronic piano harmonies, and then fleshed out with various blips and bleeps, static noises, samples, and occasional vocals. Surprising moments include the lonely soprano saxophone solo on the opener, "Lost in Moments" ; the gravel-voiced Ken Nordine-sound-alike reciting what sounds like a voiceover from a '60s detective show during "Dead City Centres"; and frontman Christophorus Rygg's slick blue-eyed soul (!) singing on "Porn Piece or the Scars of Cold Kisses." Still, the highlight is the album's closing track, "Nowhere/Catastrophe," with its climactic vocal harmonies and purring, liquid-like electronic accents. There are questionable moments, such as the arguably pretentious narration during "We Are the Dead," but, on the whole, Perdition City evokes just the sort of desolate, rainy-night-in-the-city atmosphere it sets out to create.

Ulver – Perdition City (flac 300mb)

01 Lost In Moments 7:16
02 Porn Piece Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses 7:09
Piece One 3:58
Piece Two 3:11
03 Hallways Of Always 6:35
04 Tomorrow Never Knows 7:59
05 The Future Sound Of Music 6:39
06 We Are The Dead 3:40
07 Dead City Centres 7:10
08 Catalept 2:17
09 Nowhere/Catastrophe 4:48

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Lyckantropen Themes is Ulver's first foray into film soundtrack music, although musically it picks up right where their previous two EPs, Silence Teaches You How to Sing and Silencing the Singing, left off. That makes sense, considering how those two EPs often resembled soundtracks themselves, with their ambiguous moods and lurking-in-the-shadows electronic ambiance. Once again, there are no lead vocals and no typically structured songs. Instead, the keyboards (especially the piano synth) dominate, setting the alternately suspenseful and melancholy mood of the soundtrack, with occasional down-tempo drum-machine beat, distant saxophone call, or rainstorm sample added to the mix. Unlike many soundtrack recordings, the album's tracks do flow nicely together as a whole. Lyckantropen is still a solid, respectable album of semi-dark ambient-electronic music, and at 37 minutes long, it doesn't wear out its welcome.

Ulver – Lyckantropen Themes (flac 146mb)

01 Theme 1 1:21
02 Theme 2 1:37
03 Theme 3 7:13
04 Theme 4 2:14
05 Theme 5 4:48
06 Theme 6 2:41
07 Theme 7 2:38
08 Theme 8 4:17
09 Theme 9 5:50
10 Theme 10 3:44

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The album is not something you'll grasp at first, though it's not to say you won't enjoy it right from the get-go. While the ambience it creates serves as an excellent backdrop (it is a soundtrack, after all), true appreciation for it might not come until you dive right in. With the right listening climate, Svidd Neger possesses the ability to take the listener on a twisted journey. Lending itself to the quasi-formal tone you're currently reading, the album is highly sophisticated in its presentation. Strings cascade between methodical drumming, contradicting the occasional blips, bloops and sound clips from the film. While the compositions are separated into tracks, Svidd Neger is best taken when you're hard-pressed to notice the separation. Absorbing the album as a whole ensures that the aptly titled "Waltz of King Karl" wont contrast harshly with swooping percussion found in Sadface. The melancholic strings rarely seem out of place with the electronic backdrops, and while the music is increasingly textured, it never becomes invasive.

Ulver - Svidd Neger ( O.S.T.) (flac 170mb)

01 Preface 1:41
02 Ante Andante 0:54
03 Comedown 2:19
04 Surface 3:17
05 Somnam 2:42
06 Wild Cat 2:32
07 Rock Massif Pt. I 1:42
08 Rock Massif Pt. II 2:05
09 Poltermagda 0:28
10 Mummy 1:03
11 Burn The Bitch 0:52
12 Sick Soliloquy 0:22
13 Waltz Of King Karl 3:17
14 Sadface 2:43
15 Fuck Fast 0:21
16 Wheel Of Conclusion 6:27

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Shadows of the Sun offers a new slant on the sort of electronic art pop sound that Ulver have been developing off and on since 1999‘s Metamorphosis EP. Along with 2005's return-to-form Blood Inside, it is one of their stronger efforts this decade, following several years of experimentation with instrumental electronic music. Those experiments have informed both of these albums, but they have been incorporated into more or less songlike structures. That is a good thing, given that leader Kristoffer Rygg's vocals have always been a strong point of their music. Shadows begins with a tranquil, almost ambient organ figure, followed by the entry of Rygg's close-up vocals, which later float off into the distance. Standout "All the Love" follows, beginning in similar near-ambient fashion before percussion enters for the first time on the album near the one-minute mark. This song has a fantastic arrangement that includes a dense carpet of keyboard tones along with some well-placed trumpet flourishes, electronic glitches, and piano melodies toward the end. Subsequent songs maintain this blend of electronics, intermittent (and very subdued) percussion, and other "real" instruments, including some nice cello and string-section touches. All in all, this is an enjoyable, at times hypnotic album that consolidates a lot of the different strands of Ulver's music over the previous decade.

Ulver - Shadows Of The Sun ( 180mb)

01 Eos (5:05)
02 All The Love (3:42)
03 Like Music (3:30)
04 Vigil (4:27)
05 Shadows Of The Sun (4:36)
06 Let The Children Go (3:50)
07 Solitude (3:53)
08 Funebre (4:26)
09 What Happened? (6:25)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could you please re-up Ulver? Thanks in advance.