“Nedi Myra was one of the first house albums I bought, or at least thatÂ´s what I THOUGHT it was. Weird futuro-bossa and foggy disco-not-really-disco was more like it. And for years I actually thought that was BjĂ¸rn on the cover, and that he lived out in the woods with his guitar… tsk tsk.â – Todd Terje
Smalltown Supersound is proud to announce that it is re-issuing the Holy Grail of Norwegian dance music, the first two albums, Nedi MyraÂ and TrĂ¸bbel, by reclusive cult innovator from beyond the Arctic Circle BjĂ¸rn Torske.Â With the Norwegian disco movement having given birth to many international dance stars, now is a perfect time to go back and re-evaluate these brilliant records that provided the inspiration for a wave of producers in their wake. Debut albumÂ Nedi MyraÂ was first released on UK label Ferox in 1998 and his second album,Â TrĂ¸bbel, originally came out on Telle Records in 2001. They have been out of print for many yearsÂ and have not been distributed on any digital streaming sites. Now lovingly re-mastered by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering, for the first time BjĂ¸rn feels that they sound as he intended them to sound.Â With all of Torske’s album discography now with their natural home,Â Smalltown Supersound, the label can finally feel complete.
Together with the late Tore âErotâ Kroknes, BjĂ¸rn laid the foundation for the disco scene in Norway that gave birth to Prins Thomas, LindstrĂ¸m, Andre Bratten and Todd Terje. Inspired by DJ Harvey, Ron Hardy and Idjut Boys, Bjorn Torske and Erot broughtÂ underground disco and house/techno (Chicago/Detroit style) to the country, developing their very own style ofÂ tripped out dubby disco with their characteristic weird, humorous and psychedelic twists along the way.Â With Torske as with many auteurs,Â he hasnât always gotten the attention and credit he deserved. He is known for being reclusive, and an outsider, making music on his own terms and not playing by the rulesÂ of the record business. All of which has made him the musicianâs musician.
Get to know the production genius of Norwegian discoâs original Wilderness man.
We have made a limited edition 7″ that will be out the 10th of February. But now you can hear both side A and side B here. Read more about it at Dummy Magazine
A Smalltown Supersound Japan exclusive! We have just released a Idjut Boys 7″ in Japan with two exclusive tracks: Le Wasuk (version) and Drum Hunter (version). Check it out if you`re in Japan (or on the internet somewhere..)
Carmen Villain is back! She is presenting her new songs at Eurosonic, if you`re at the festival make sure to check out her concert on Friday, detailsÂ here
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On his previous output, Kim HiorthĂ¸y has mixed everything from folk, free-jazz, lo-fi electronics, acid, instrumental hip-hop and field recordings. On his third full-length album, Dogs, out September 23rd via Smalltown Supersound, HiorthĂ¸y has stripped everything down to a minimum, and gone to the core of his characteristic sound. The album consists of mostly just piano and ambience with some beats, and on some tracks the occasional synth. Dogs is his purest and most beautiful album. HiorthĂ¸y cites Jan Johansson as an inspiration, but says the music is still anchored in early hip-hop, sample-based music (though there are no samples on Dogs), and even the simple, cheesy melodies of some 90s rave tracks. That said, Dogs probably owes just as much to the roots of ambient music — the minimalist beauty of Harold Budd or even Eric Satie.
Extraordinarily talented and expressive, HiorthĂ¸y operates in many different fields in addition to music. A monograph of his graphic design work, Tree Weekend, was published by Die Gestalten Verlag in 2001. Since then, he has designed countless record covers for Smalltown Supersound and Rune Grammofon, as well as posters, books and book jackets. He is also a visual artist (check out www.standardoslo.no for more information about his art) and has worked as a cinematographer for documentaries and feature films. In addition to his albums, singles and EPs, HiorthĂ¸y has written music for contemporary dance work in Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.
July 21, 2014Comments Off
You can listen to the entire album by DJ Harvey’s Wildest Dreams over at NPRÂ described by Edwin Pouncey in The Wire as “a wild ride” and “rabid acid spiked jams”, check it out!
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You can buy Brian Reitzell’s wonderful debut album “Auto Music” here:
May 23, 2014Comments Off
We`re pleased to present our new subsidiary label Brown Rice to the world! The label has its HQ in London and is run by our crew there. The name is a homage to the late Don Cherry’s great album with the same name, and Don is both the link and the connection between all of us involved in the label. And not least is he also a big inspiration!
Thank you for listening!
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What better place to create the ultimate driving album than Los Angeles, where Brian Reitzell lives and works? You might not immediately recognize his name, but youâll certainly have stumbled across at least one corner of his massive portfolio, whether as the drummer in Redd Kross and Air, or as one of Hollywoodâs most sought-after music supervisors and composers. In the past couple of years, heâs worked on Sofia Coppolaâs The Bling Ring, Gus Van Santâs Promised Land, the television series Hannibal and Boss, the mind blowing new video game Watch Dogs; heâs scored Elizabeth Priceâs video installation West Hinder, and has collaborated with Oneohtrix Point Never on various scores. Brian has turned music supervision into a creative practice (he thinks of himself as a âmusic conceptualistâ), not only using his impeccable music taste to select more eclectic and adventurous cuts than you normally hear on screen, but also commissioning and producing new music from some of rock and popâs most reticent geniuses. He persuaded My Bloody Valentineâs Kevin Shields out of obscurity for Lost In Translation and secretly commissioned new music from Mark Hollis, the reclusive former singer of Talk Talk, for a snippet of which was used on Boss.
Auto Music â Reitzellâs first solo release â began as a series of private recordings made at his studio to test out techniques and explore textures and sounds. He screened DVDs in his studio while making the album, so each track has a specific visual key, such as Spanish 70s art film Spirit Of The Beehive or the early pre-Fantasia animations of Oskar Fischinger. âI wasnât making a pop record,â Brian says, âI was experimenting with sounds to further my knowledge for creating music for my film projects and exploring new ways to make music.â
The end results are far from dry experimentalism â instead theyâre a marvelous evocation of coasting along Californiaâs freeways, reveling in the blissful sensation of forward motion. âI wanted to make music that felt like my drive from my house to my studio â roughly six miles. I liked the structure of the drive: never repeating, unless I forgot something at home and had to go back! It was sort of like âevent musicâ where little things come into view and then another one takes its place as you drive past.â
Brian Reitzellâs Auto Music is out June 10th on Smalltown Supersound. Listen below to âLast Summer,â the albumâs opening track inspired by a conversation with Kevin Shields, who also plays organ on the track.
Personnel on Auto Music:
Roger J. Manning Jr.
Auto Music Tracklisting:
1. Last Summer
2. Ozu Choral
5. Auto Music 1
9. Auto Music 2
March 25, 2014Comments Off
We are very happy to announce the collaborative album of Todd Rudgren, Hans-Peter LindstrĂ¸m and Emil Nikolaisen. You can read more about it on Pitchfork here.
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You can read more at Pitchfork here, or listen to our Soundcloud below
Last fall, Neneh Cherry made an exciting announcement – she was returning with her first album of solo material in more than 16 years. A collaboration with RocketNumberNine, and produced by Four Tet, the ten-track album, titled Blank Project, was recorded and mixed in five days. Today, Neneh reveals the lead single, “Out of the Black” featuring kindred spiritRobyn.
“Out of the Black” features Neneh and Robyn harmonizing together and throwing lines back and forth. Production by Four Tet and minimal synth and drum work by RocketNumberNine underpin the sweet vocal work of the two iconic Swedish artists. Before now, the two have been vocal about inspiring each other, with Robyn covering Neneh’s songs in her live shows. One need only check the history of Neneh putting a subversive foot forward and letting popular music catch up. Growing up around father Don Cherry’s friends Miles Davis and Allen Ginsburg, she launched her solo career with a Falkland’s protest song called “Stop The War.” In the early 80s, she was in the pioneering multi-ethnic, anarchic, post-punk group, Rip Rig + Panic; she brought hip-hop culture to a British audience with “Buffalo Stance” (redefining cool by performing pregnant on “Top of the Pops”) and had the first global hit to feature the Senegalese language, Wolof, “7 Seconds.” With “Out of the Black” featuring Robyn and a remix by dance floor maven Joe Goddard (Hot Chip, 2Bears) still to come, Neneh is emerging out of the black with another vital blast of buzzing cold music.
January 28, 2014Comments Off
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Ricahrdo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer have done 2 remixes of Neneh Cherry’s track Everything. Now we are premiering their wonderful Low Blood Pressure remix.
You can buy the original and the 2 remixes on iTunes now!
January 16, 2014Comments Off
You can buy our brand new slipmats from our Superstore mailorder here.
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Check out this great interview that Pitchfork did with Neneh Cherry here: Pitchfork
December 10, 2013Comments Off
Introducing Smalltown Sessions!
Kicking off with Carmen Villain performing a stripped down version of her song Lifeissin. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one!
December 9, 2013Comments Off
You can buy these cool slipmats for your recordplayer at our Superstore here now.
November 25, 2013Comments Off
Carmen Villian (aka the newly Norwegian-based Carmen Hillestad) released her tempestuous debut album, Sleeper, earlier this year via Smalltown Supersound. Throughout, Carmen showed her creative range and distinctive production style as she plastered dreamlike vocals over loose, abrasive instrumental tracks on which she played guitar, bass, drum machines, keyboards and percussion. Following an initial 12â featuring album single âLifeissinâ and Prins Thomasâ excellent remix, Smalltown Supersound is now releasing a follow-up 12â featuring psychedelic and epic remixes of other standout album tracks by labelmate BjĂ¸rn Torske, Peaking Lights and the previously shared remix by Optimoâs JD Twitch. Listen to all below.
November 18, 2013Comments Off
Following last monthâs announcement that Neneh Cherry will release her first solo album in 16 years â a collaboration with RocketNumberNine, produced by Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn â Neneh is now ready to share further details of this forthcoming record with the world. The 10-track album, recorded and mixed over a 5-day period, will be titled Blank Project, and it will be out February 25th, 2014 on Smalltown Supersound. It follows 2012âs The Cherry Thing, a collaborative record with free jazz, noise collective The Thing, which featured new versions of songs by The Stooges, MF Doom, Ornette Coleman, amongst others.
While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, musically, Blank Project is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done, initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the albumâs sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Nenehâs wildly poetic, sometimes-spoken, sometimes-screeching, soul-flooded and raw vocals. The space created by this minimal aesthetic leaves room for occasional pistes and flurries of rapid, yetÂ throbbing and thunderous instrumentation. Featuring combined elements of beat poetry, avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies, itâs a record that uses simple ideas to create something entirely original. And despite the personal struggles, Neneh was working through in writing this new material, the songs are far from introverted.
As many are aware, the stories from Nenehâs early years are astonishing. She spent her childhood living 50/50 between a loft in New York and in the South of Sweden with her mother and stepfather, the legendary jazz musician Don Cherry. She’s been lifted onto Miles Davisâ lap, Allen Ginsberg regularly passed through their home in an evening and as she got older, she could pop in on Arthur Russell, Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers who all lived in the same loft complex in Long Island City New York. At 14, she started taking trips to Harlem with Ari Up of the Slits at a time when few would venture so far uptown. Soon after, she left home and moved to London, and spent the next 20 years inside the crucial developments in British subculture. As post-punk became the site of 80s Britainâs artistic and political resistance, she helped form the anarchic multi-ethnic, multi-genre Rip, Rig + Panic, and she was one of the first to bring hip-hop culture to a British audience with âBuffalo Stanceâ and Raw Like Sushi. Although at points her career had brushes with the mainstream, Neneh remained staunchly counter-culture.
Through post-punkâs adherence to mixed-race line-ups and anti-government stance, to UK rapâs refusal of the conventions of pop, trip-hopâs connection with the politicized elements of rave culture and, through 1996âs Man, where Neneh introduced elements of Senegalese language to mainstream audiences for the first time via the mammoth â7 Secondsâ single featuring Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, and now, with Blank Project, Neneh continues to arrive at moments in musical history when there is an opportunity to subvert ideas of popular culture. She is subverting once again, only this time, although this record is musically bold, Neneh sees the stasis sheâs challenging isnât musical or societal, but her own.
Blank Project Tracklisting:
01. Across The Water
02. Blank Project
04. Spit Three Times
08. Out Of The Black (featuring Robyn)
November 16, 2013Comments Off
BjĂ¸rn Torskeâs âKokâ EP, available digitally and on LP December 10th on Smalltown Supersound, marks the final release in Torkseâs Kok (âto boilâ) trilogy. It began with the beautiful album, Kokning [Nov. 2010], was followed by the âOppkokâ 12â [Jan. 2012], featuring remixes by DJ Harvey and Todd Terje, and ends here with the âKokâ EP, which finds Torske in a more experimental mood; his love for The Residents, Count Ossie, Moondog and This Heat is more audible. Recorded around the same time as Kokning through a series of experimental studio sessions, the tracks are built on a more organic and acoustic foundation with less programmed patterns than Torskeâs previous albums. The result is a darker and more psychedelic sound, yet still very much Torskeâs own.
October 26, 2013Comments Off
Here you can download another one of the fantastic Arp mixes! Go to Root Strata
GARY SHEARSTON â Faded Streets, Windy Weather
JAACO GARNDER â The End of August
GUY BOYER & GUY PEDERSEN â Courant Ascentionnel
WOLFGANG DAUNER â Mellodrama Nr. 2A
GEORGES DELERUE â Brouillard (Version 2)
DUNCAN BROWNE -Here and Now
JANKO NILOVIC & CAMILLE SAUVAGE â Shepherdâs Song
McDONALD & GILES â Flight Of The Ibis
IKE MATHEWS â So Quiet
KEVIN AYERS â Margaret
GEORGES DELERUE â King of Hearts Le Repos
KAY GARDNER â Prayer to Aphrodite
AMAZING BLONDEL â Celestial Light
MARCOS VALLE â Bodas de Sangue
GEORGES DELERUE â Ballade pour flĂťte et harpe
INCREDIBLE STRING BAND â First Girl I Loved
JEAN BOSCO MWENDA â Massanga
THE WHO â Tattoo
MARGO GURYAN â Thoughts
LAURENT PETITREGARD â Ballade Pour Cathy
BROSELMASCHINE â GitarrenstĂźck
CAETANO VELOS â London, London
PHILIP CATHERINE â Nairam
STEFFEN BASHO-JUNGHANS â Smiling Penguins
JOHN & BEVERLY MARTYN -Tomorrow Time
QUIET SUN R.F.D.EMMANUELLE PARRENIN â Lâharpe do Soie
October 18, 2013Comments Off
We are very happy to announce that we will release Neneh Cherry’s first soloalbum in 16 years, produced by our friend Four Tet and featuring a guestapperance by Robyn. Read more details over at Pitchfork here
October 15, 2013Comments Off
Check out Peaking Lights’ great remix of ARP in NY Times’ T-Magazine here
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You can read an interview that Smalltown Supersound founder Joakim Haugland did with Vice Magazine’s Thump site here.
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“an album of painstakingly produced, walking-paced pop songs that one might easily mistake for a lost collaborative album between the likes of Brian Eno, Kevin Ayers and any number of long-haired, arty prog-rockers who made music out Canterbury, England, in the late â60s”. Read and listen on Fader Â here.
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Check out this cool mixtape that Carmen Villain made for Self-Titled Magazine, plus read her travel essay.
June 12, 2013Comments Off
“Grace,” the poet Frank O’Hara once wrote, “to be born and live as variously as possible.” Though early in his musical career, this ambitious but certainly worthy aspiration toward “variousness” might be said to be the defining characteristic behind the artistic output of Alexis Georgopoulos, aka Arp.
After all, not many people can claim to have curated and performed at New York’s downtown bastion of the avantâgarde, The Kitchen (where Laurie Anderson, Glenn Branca and Philip Glass cut their teeth), to have been DJ’ed by NY underground disco pioneer David Mancuso (at his legendary party The Loft), to have soundtracked a Chanel runway show per Karl Lagerfeld’s request and to have released an album of minimalistic classical music (Arp & Anthony MooreâsFRKWYS 3 [RVNG Intl]).
Perhaps best described as a pop album by an avantâgarde musician, MORE is an album that begins in one place and ends in another, melding bedroom artâpop with avant-garde composition to create a world of heady atmospherics and melodic song craft over its concentrated 46 minute arc. Played almost entirely by Georgopoulos, MORE reveals an impressive grasp of style and vision, following a distinct narrative, dipping into 70s art rock, autumnal baroque pop, musique concrĂŠte, minimalistic piano epics, narcotic gospel, sound library atmospheres, and delicate space folk.
After touring The Soft Wave, Georgopoulos took a break from performing live, choosing instead to work on projects in the worlds of art and modern dance, creating sound installations at the Walker Art Centerfor hotly-tipped architect/designers ROLU, making a conceptual Flexi-Disc 7″ for White Zinfandelmagazine, contributing a track for a Sol Lewitt tribute album, scoring a dance piece for Merce Cunninghamdancer Jonah Bokaer, and most recently, performing a site-specific collaboration with visual artist Tauba Auerbach at Philip Johnson’s Glass House.
Although 2010âs The Soft Wave (a New York TimesâNotable Album of 2010â) may be his mostâheard album so far, Georgopoulos’ 2010 collaboration with Englishman Anthony Moore may provide more appropriate background for MORE. Not merely content to espouse the voguish sounds of the day, Georgopoulos decided early in 2012 that he’d abandon his analog synthesizerâcentric abstractions in favor of something he’d never done, write songs. The better to challenge himself. As such, with MORE, he has made his first albumâlength foray into song.
The 12 pieces that make up MORE might best be heard as distinct scenes in a single film. And this being his first New York album, the city figures in significantly, both in scale and in character. âHighâHeeled Clouds” locates its protagonist amongst the wellâheeled, boutiqued mirages of Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, a lilting waltz and a tale of delusional souls and refracting mirrors. “Judy Nylon” is all highbrow primitivism, chugging forward on an adrenaline rush of Phil Manzaneraâlike fuzz guitars and locomotive rhythm, picking up speed as it builds. The otherworldly, baroque atmospheres of “A Tiger In The Hall at Versailles” are a tale in contrast, with the tension of the harpsichordâled verses giving way to a lush, doeâeyed chorus, akin to a shaft of light breaking through a sinister scene. “E2 Octopus” is the first of three candyâcoated morsels of musique concrĂŠte onMORE, revealing a love of innovators like BBC’s Delia Derbyshire and Bernard Parmegiani and tactile field recordings. Moved by the premature passing of Broadcast chanteuse Trish Keenan, “Light+Sound”is a delicate, moving ballad awash in Mellotron and harpsichord, calling to mind the kind of softly psychedelic, autumnal atmospheres Robert Wyatt has specialized in. “17th Daydream” begins in the open air of the country and travels, by air and rail, to the rising steam of the city. The very New Yorkâinspired, minimalist miniâepic “Gravity (for Charlemagne Palestine)â is an alternate Empire State theme, an ecstatic pull portrayed by an alwaysâascending pillar of sound chugging on piano, cello and spiraling guitars. “More (Blues)” suggests a stoned choirboy fronting a gospel church group, Georgopoulos’ delicate delivery melding with the song’s narcotic sway. The misty mix of astral folk and beachâinfluenced atmospherics of “Daphne & Chloe” is, simply, epic. Finally, closer “Persuasion” rides into the sun, a bookend in the form of overdriven fuzz guitars and Moog synthesizer.
MORE establishes Georgopoulos not as a stylistic shapeshifter but rather as a restless artist not content to stay put. Like a visual artist who works on a particular body of work within a larger body of work, he makes albums as complete wholes. And then he makes another. If MORE seems like quite a different beast from The Soft Wave or FRKWYS 3, as the dust settles, they will reveal an artist who follows his own trajectory, regardless of trend. If MORE proves we do not know what Georgopoulos might do next, his work is all the more compelling for it.
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Finally our new Superstore mailorder shop is up an running, thanks to our friends Robotstore in Bergen who handles the orders and maintains the shop. We have some new cool things in there, among others the coffee mugs designed by Kim HiorthĂ¸y on the photo above. Anyway, check it all out here.