Jul 12, 2015

Sundaze 1528

Hello,

Today Helge Tømmervåg from Kristiansund on the north-east coast of Norway, whohas been working with electronic music since the beginning of the 80's. First as a member of synth-pop band ToC, and later with his solo-project Mind over MIDI. He has previous released "Trancesurfer" on a CD with norwegian music mag Rock Furore no 8 '94, and "Mindworks" on the norwegian techno compilation XS II in '95.   .... N'joy

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Mind over MIDI a.k.a. Helge Tømmervåg is from Kristiansund on the north-east coast of Norway, and he has been working with electronic music since the beginning of the 80's. First as a member of synth-pop band ToC, and later with his solo-project Mind over MIDI. He has previous released "Trancesurfer" on a CD with norwegian music mag Rock Furore no 8 '94, and "Mindworks" on the norwegian techno compilation XS II in '95.

His early works was in the british experimental style, drawing inspiration from µ-ziq, Autechre and Aphex Twin. His first releases on Beatservice was a series of three vinyl EP's called "Elektrical Aktivity" 1-3. The series showcased both sides of Mind over MIDI, with a "dance" side with acid trance and hardtrance tracks, and a "listen" side with noise-rhythmic and melodic ambient tracks. The best from the EP's an new stuff was compiled to the Elektrical Aktivity CD.

Helge Tømmervåg is now heavy influenced by the mimilal soundscapes of a.o. Hawtin/Plastikman and Mauritzio/Basic Channel, and his current output is mixing this minimalistic approach with an "arctic" ambience and feel. He calls this style "ICE Acoustik", also the title of his latest album release in the spring of 1998. On the cover of this release, Helge also appear as a comic hero, click on the cover and read the full story!

1999 and 2000 was a quiet period for Mind over MIDI, with only a contribution on the Arctic Circles 2 compilation and two 7" releases, Stay With Me and Mind over MIDI re-works.
 
In 2001 the Project 3 album was released. Stylewise it's an evolution of the trademark ICE Acoustic style. But this time, over half of the tracks feature vocals from Sidsel Endresen, Anneli Drecker (of Bel Canto), Oddman and Sten Bjercke (of Lorenzo). Others who are contributing is jazz musicians Bugge Wesseltoft (piano) and Nils Petter Molvær (trumpet). The Sidsel Endresen and Bugge Wesseltoft contribution is an ambient dub of Mind over MIDI's remix of the Bugge Wesseltoft track You Might Say. The Anneli Drecker track and one of the Lorenzo contributions also originates from remixes. You'll find sound samples here.

Helge also remixed the track Dead Indeed for jazz artist Nils Petter Molvær's remix album Recoloured. From Muzik: "...The highlights of a lovely jubbly set are Herbert's beatyful, syncopated 'mercyful' and Mind over MIDI's 'dead indeed', which is the best slow-burning doombient head-nodder since Biospere's 'mir' Brains and beauty inna ya area." Duncan Bell

Early 2002, a double LP version of Project 3 was released. The first LP contained tracks from the Project 3 CD, while the second LP contained tracks from a so far unreleased album Statement.

In the summer of 2002, after a long delay at the pressing plant, one of Helge Tømmervågs dreams came true:

He has been a long time fan of the dub-vocalist Tikiman from the Caribbeans (now living in Germany), specially his collaboration with the Berlin-minimalists Rhythm and Sound. When they met at the Fløyen-festival in Bergen in 2001, Tikiman joined Mind over MIDI on stage and jammed on a couple of tracks.

Helge sent some tracks down to Tikiman, who picked two tracks that he added his familiar far-out dubby vocals to. The result is the two track 10" Champion / Revelation.

2001, Project 3 is his awaited third album, and he continues with the style from the previous ICE Acoustik album; that is dark arctic ambient mixed with Berlin-minimalism with a wide range of atmospheric sounds, echoes and rhythms. An album filled with reflective moods, ambient frequencies, hypnotic rhythms, and introducing a new element in Mind over MIDI's sound; vocals. Various guest vocalists are contributing: Norwegian jazz-singer Sidsel Endresen, Anneli Drecker from Bel Canto, Stein Bjercke from indie-rock band Lorenzo, Hilde Drange from Slowpho and Oddman who also participated on one track on ICE Acoustik. Other Norwegian jazz musicians contributing are Nils Petter Molvær (trumpet) and Bugge Wesseltoft (piano).

2003 a new album release, Statement was recorded in parallell with his last album Project 3, and can be characterised as the creepy big brother to this album. While Project 3 was "softened" by a host of guest musicians and vocalists, Statement is pure an instrumental, strict minimalistic and dark album. But at the same time an album filled with depth and emotions.

27. feb 2006, the album Monopoly was released. This was the fifth Mind over MIDI album, and it picked up the threads from the Project 3 album (2002), with its combination of arctic ambient and Berlin-minimalism. This time focused more on ambient soundscapes

In 2009 Helge released his first album through the renowned label Silent Season, Habitat, ‎5 years later he released Polyphony there. Inbetween Helge released through diametric Components (11) and Monolog (12)

Since 2010 Helge has also been releasing his work through his own label Berserk Fabrik using the internet for distribution think Bandcamp, SoundCloud. Listing here 2010, Ambient Selection, Monochrome EP ‎, Steps (Album), Demo (Album), Thru (Album) , this week his latest album is released Subsolar it will set you back at least 1 euro.

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This compilation of tracks from recent EPs, new tracks and remixes, from Norway's Mind Over MIDI, is very much an album of two halves, Brian. The first five tracks, all icy ambience, ghostly drums, and liquid melodies (probably inspired by MOM maim man Helge Tømmervåg's dark past in an early 80s electro pop duo), are very reminiscent of fellow Arctic circle compatriots Biosphere, and Dub Tractor, and at their heights are stunning. Second track, 'Relaxed', in particular overcomes its rather naff title, by marrying shuffling rhythms and a mesmeric piano riff to maximum hypnotic effect, and is worth the price of admission alone. Elsewhere, 'E-Scape's dreamlike qualities also have the desired impact, and only the odd ill-advised indulgence on the analogue swiggle front sits at odds with the horizontal status quo. The ambient techno of title track 'Elektrical Aktivity', however, signals a change of gear, with the thus far restrained drum corps coming to the fore, the whole caboodle dashing headlong into what I believe you youngsters would call a 'frenzy beat fest'. Which, while highly attractive to some, signals those 'bpmc' (beats per minute challenged) fogeys such as myself to cower behind the sofa and dream of more calming climes.



Mind Over MIDI - Elektrical Aktivity (flac 397mb)

01 Bakterial Soup 8:55
02 Relaxed 7:00
03 Soundscape 4:35
04 E. Scape 5:01
05 Elektrical Utility 3:55
06 Elektrical Aktivity 6:59
07 Puzzling Cubes 5:51
08 Worms Are Boring 4:49
09 Carbon Cycle 4:35
10 Dark Life Cycle 5:04
11 Receptor 7:10
12 Fry A Fly 9:58

Mind Over MIDI - Elektrical Aktivity (ogg  161mb)

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 Strip the suffocating surface-noise from the Basic Channel records; the underlay is revealed as a lattice of glittering ice-sculpted synth and palpitating 4/4 rhythms.  Liberal breakbeats enliven the otherwise frigid "Emotional Consequences." Tømmervåg toys tentatively with rhythmic interference, varying the programming beneath a monotonously looped synth figure ("Psychic Evaluation"). He also inverts the process, underscoring an unfolding melody with repetitive drum sequences ("Listen And You'll See"). MOM's music, while accessible and pleasant, would benefit greatly from a touch of the raw Funk energy which catalyzed Detroit techno. An animated closer, "Words Come Later," comes close.  Unforgettably beautiful, magically sincere music from the most undercovered depths of the Norwegian mountains. Classic underground Dub Techno Art.



Mind Over MIDI - Ice Acoustik (flac 303mb)

01 Can I Believe ? 6:19
02 It's Gonna Be Alright 6:36
03 Always With You 6:19
04 Emotional Consequences 3:48
05 A Cool Dry Place 5:09
06 This Island Earth 6:15
07 Our Invisible Sun 6:53
08 Psychic Evaluation 7:16
09 Listen And You'll See 7:10
10 Words Come Later 5:15

Mind Over MIDI - Ice Acoustik  (ogg 136mb)

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Mind Over Mid delivers an interesting but above all a surprisingly diverse dose of self-consious electronics. The album is dark arctic ambient mixed with Berlin-minimalism, and offers a wide range of atmospheric sounds, echoes and rhythms. Guest vocalists are Norwegian jazz-singer Sidsel Endresen, Anneli M. Drecker -Official from Bel Canto, Stein Bjercke from indie-rock band Lorenzo, Hilde Drange from Slowpho and Oddman, plus Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet) and Bugge Wesseltoft (piano).

The opening "Fall.in" wastes no time in establishing a framework of fairly murky minimal techno with a touch of dub on the side, however the next couple of tracks, due to the addition of vocals, lighten the mood slighlty but at the same time draw dangerously close to being, well, cheesy, for a lack of a better word. This perhaps is most evident on "Echo", where on most days I'd probably would do well without the vocals (distant and sensual as they may be), but then on some random listen I get suckered in by them and feel as they belong. Yet it's the arrival of "Still Low" that signaled a clear change in the mood and made me say "excuse me, what's all this please?", as the driving rhythm was deliberatelly abandoned and I was immersed in swashes of static and white noise in the backgroud. This modus operandi would be employed for the rest of the album, with some additions and tweeks here and there in the form of some spoken word, occasional beat in the distance, or those hauntingly beautiful piano keys on "But I Say". All in all, while quite clearly being a part of Helge's overall ongoing search for a clear identity as far as sound is concerned, it's a more than decent release comprising of two highly distinguashable parts with some distinctive high points



Mind Over MIDI - Project 3  (flac 364mb)

01 Fall.In 3:40
02 Walkman 4:24
03 Shadow (Feat Anneli Drecker) 5:14
04 Echo (Feat Hilde Drange) 6:28
05 Change 5:37
06 Sunday Out 2:28
07 Still Low ? (Voc Stein Bjercke) 6:06
08 Snakeskin Shoes  (Voc Stein Bjercke) 5:03
09 Stay 4:05
10 Head Odyssey 5:40
11 But I Say 5:37
12 Momentum 4:40
13 Fall.Off 3:41

Mind Over MIDI - Project 3  (ogg 130mb)

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His fifth album Monopoly picks up the threads from the Project 3 album (2002), with its combination of arctic ambient and Berlin-minimalism. This time focused more on ambient soundscapes, with hints of the “classic” elektronica of early Aphex Twin. The compositions are shorter and more focused, and the feel of the album is somewhat lighter. He is also continuing his collaboration with the Berlin-based Dominican Paul St. Hilaire (The Artist Previously Know As Tikiman) on the track Ital Swing, and his buddy Stein Bjercke from local rock combo Lorenzo contributes on two tracks. Jazz trumpet player Nils Petter Molvær also contributes on Breathing Thru Me. Enjoy!



Mind Over MIDI - Monopoly  (flac 425mb)

01 Lake Air 3:58
02 Set Deeply 4:20
03 Ital Swing (Voc Paul St. Hilaire) 3:19
04 Across The Void 5:14
05 Musik From Afar 2:45
06 Search & Replace 4:21
07 Breathing Thru Me 2:38
08 Into The White Light (Voc Stein Bjercke) 4:05
09 Home 3:34
10 Tube Culture 3:29
11 More Wrong Than Right 1:09
12 The Café 2:20
13 Pathfinder 2:25
14 Spiritual Void 4:12
15 Until You Try 2:57
16 Ventana 4:58
17 Falling In Love At Airports (Voc Stein Bjercke) 3:58
18 Right Direction 4:14
19 Against The Sky 2:09
20 Improvise Horizon 2:32

Mind Over MIDI - Monopoly  (ogg 147mb)

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