"With walls of distortion and a pummeling rhythmic backbone that fluctuates between krautrock`s repetition and free-rock calamity, bassist Zai, guitarist Ma-Chan and drummer Hime have formed an unassuming juggernaut.” -- Stephen Christian, Dazed & Confused
“I am in love with them.” -- Prefuse 73
Sayaka Himeno (drums)
Yuri Zaikawa (bass)
Masako Takada (guitar)
Smalltown Supersound is extremely proud to introduce Nisennenmondai to audiences outside of Japan for the first time. Nisennenmondai, which means “Year 2000 Problem,'' is an instrumental trio of girls from Tokyo who have been playing together for ten years.
Visits to Tokyo by Lightning Bolt, Battles, and No Age, to name a few, have discovered these three girls and their colossal sound. Prefuse 73 said in an interview with Dazed & Confused, “John Stanier from Battles had told me they were sick. . . They started to play and the drummer was as big as my hand. She started to play 16th notes on her hi-hat for about 15 minutes. Next thing you know, these three tiny diminutive women were making us look like idiots because they were so incredible.” Also adored by Hella, the band appears in “Concentration Face,” Hella’s tour DVD that was shot in Japan.
Neji/Tori is Nisennenmondai’s first release outside of Japan. It is an album comprised of their two Eps, “Neji” and “Tori,” and it features a cover designed by Kim Hiorthoy. Song titles including “This Heat,” “Sonic Youth” and “Pop Group,” grant insight into the realm of the band’s musical influences. Add in Black Flag, DNA, Neu! and Pere Ubu, and you are pretty close to reaching the Nisennenmondai sound. They play raw and repetitive post-punk instrumentals that are simultaneously wild and groovy with a no-wave/disco vibe.
“Emotion-rich electronic disco epic” -- IDJ Magazine
Following Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, diskJokke, also known as Joachim Dyrdahl, is the third artist out of the innovative Oslo scene to release a full-length album.
diskjokke was recently discovered by Prins Thomas who signed three tunes to his Full Pupp label (released on two 12” singles). Almost simultaneously in Germany, M.A.N.D.Y, DJ T and the Get Physical gang signed diskJokke for five other tunes (spread on two 12” singles) to their new Get Physical sub label, Kindish. Upon hearing his 12”s, word quickly spread about diskJokke’s quirky, spaced-out and dubby mixture of house, Italo and disco, and he was soon asked to remix tunes for a number of artists, including Lindstrom, Spektrum and Bloc Party (his 11 minutes remix of "Sunday" is to be released on Vice Records later in the year).
For years diskJokke has been closely connected to Norway’s premiere club night, Sunkissed, where he is resident DJ with G-HA, Olanskii and VinnyVillbass. He is part of the Oslo scene that has revolved around Sunkissed, as well as the Nomaden and The Villa clubs in Oslo, with Rune Lindbaek, Linstrom, Prins Thomas and Todd Terje. Smalltown Supersound discovered diskJokke when he appeared on the Sunkissed compilation earlier this year, and after hearing more of his material, they immediately knew that his music was a perfect match for the label. Now it is finally time for Smalltown Supersound to release his debut album!
Staying In, diskJokke’s debut release, is a tripped out mastodon of an album. This is the sound of Norwegian disco taken to its farthest, futuristic limits. It's epic, groovy, cinematic, poppy and most of all melodic. But at the same time, it is melancholic, and as the title suggests, staying inside the dark winter and autumn nights to make music certainly reflects the mood of the album.
Joachim is 28 years old. He comes from Svelvik, a small town southwest of Oslo with 5,000 inhabitants, but presently lives in Oslo. Joachim is a classically trained violinist and has played since he was 5 years old. Classical music has always been and continues to be an important part of his life. He became interested in electronic music at the age of 15 when he discovered Norwegian DJ legend Olle Abstract`s radio show, and he’s been hooked ever since. Joachim is just about to finish his 8 years of studies in mathematics, however now that he has a record contact he will now focus on his music for a while and leave the math behind for the disco.
SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN
Sunburned started as a 4 piece group by John Moloney, Robert Thomas, Chad Cooper and Rich Thomas. They played social music. Informal music, unshaped, unstructured, but completely shaped by modern culture, the cultural after-effects of world war 2, and our socio-religious backgrounds. The band spent an equal amount of time, if not more, making films with Rich behind the camera's eye. These were unscripted, absurd interpretations based on surreal urban dialogue and scenery. The name of the band was born from one of Rob's film monologues. That was 1996. From then up until May 2006 Sunburned has been based at their Charlestown, Massachusetts Loft. The building served as a meeting place for open ideas and open music. Shortly after the band's inception more people joined the group giving what time they could. Everything got recorded, everything.
Sunburned never really had an official membership, the band were mainly centred around John Moloney and Rob Thomas. Like the Moon, Sunburned has phases. Like the Sun, Sunburned generates energy and life. Life generates connections. Sunburned supported Four Tet for a 2 week tour in the spring of 2004. They became friends. Fast forward to March 2006. Kieran “Four Tet” Hebden asks the band if they would like him to record them in a London studio with the idea that he would take the recordings and construct his vision of a Sunburned record. And here it is.
As a leader and original gangster in the 'new weird movement' Sunburned has been at the forefront of a constantly growing and interesting music & art scene. Sunburned has been passed the torch of tradition through exploration and expression and have shared the stage with heavyweights such as Sonic Youth, John Fahey, Sun City Girls, Michael Hurley, Michael Chapman, Julian Cope, Dinosaur Jr., Mission of Burma.
If the foundation of the 'new building' were composed of bricks, the load bearing stones would be Sunburned, No Neck Blues Band, Vibracathedral Orchestra, MV-EE, Six Organs of Admittance, Charalambides, Double Leopards, Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Comets on Fire, Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, Dredd Foole, Joshua, Black Dice, Lightning Bolt, Jackie O' Motherfucker, Acid Mother's Temple, Jack Rose, Sunn O))), Sunroof!, Magik Markers, Hush Arbors, Wooden Wand and Four Tet. All of whom Sunburned has shared the stage with and have shared members on occasion.
Sunburned has been putting out a regular stream of recordings mostly on their own label - Manhand / Sunburned Records. From time to time, Sunburned has teamed up with like- minded labels to release records such as Smalltown Supersound and Thurston Moore`s Ecstatic Peace.
Sunburned, as an 'entity', is an artist and its medium is recorded music and to a lesser degree, film. Sunburned records are like paintings of sound, mostly hand-packaged and sometimes limited to the interest in that particular 'piece' would demand. In 2005/2006 Sunburned members branched out, John Moloney joining Six Organs of Admittance and Howlin Rain. Paul Labrecque & Valerie Webb releasing an LP for Eclipse, Athyr Myth'd (Ron Schneiderman, Paul Labrecque & Joshua Burkett) toured the Benelux. The Michael Flower Band with Sunburned members john Moloney and Chris Corsano (also known for his work with Bjork, both live and on her new album) hit the stage, and United Light was formed with John Moloney, Mick Flower from VCO, and Jackie O' Motherfucker's Tom Greenwood. Also in 2006 Taylor Richardson, Hush Arbor's Keith Wood, and VCO's Michael Flower and Bridget Hayden joined the group and toured extensively through the US, Canada and Europe. Sunburned also teamed up with poet/filmmaker, and photographer Ira Cohen for the recording of an alternate soundtrack to Cohen's psychedelic film masterpiece, "The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda" which was released on Arthur Magazine's Bastet label.
On Fire Escape Sunburned consists of an all star line up, all of whom are members of the movement which is Sunburned Hand of the Man. Sunburned is not a band in the traditional sense, Sunburned is a collection of like minded artists and musicians gathered together for the purposes of group exploration and an undying search for the 'ecstatic truth' which fuels us all. Led these days by John Moloney, Sunburned is whoever you see on stage, whoever you think about when you listen and the sound of that feeling you get that is closer to the bone and closest to the truth whether you want to believe in it or not.
Sunburned Hand Of The Man on Fire Escape are:
Kieran Hebden (Fourtet) - Piano, Production & Mix
Robert Thomas - Bass
John Moloney - Drums, Beats & Vocals
Ron Schneiderman - Guitar, percussion & winds
Marc Orleans - Guitar, Casio, Winds
Michael Flower (Vibracathedral Orchestra) - Trumpet, Guitar, Percussion
Bridget Hayden (Vibracathedral Orchestra) - Voice, Viola, Piano
Keith Wood - Guitar, Percussion, Winds
Inspired by the psychedelic utopianism/dystopic architecture of SUPERSTUDIO, ARCHIGRAM, PETER PEARCE and BUCKMINSTER FULLER, the films of WERNER HERZOG (“…The Sculptor Steiner” is a reference to Alexis’ favourite Herzog film), OSCAR FISCHINGER and TACITA DEAN, and 70s modular analog experimentation, "In Light" is a luminous album of warm, pulsing music that contrasts sharply with the clinical sound of so much contemporary electronic music. Rather, it is a mezmerizing, widescreen experience that bridges the natural and (post)modern worlds with warmth, sophistication, modesty and elegance. But first, a bit of background.
Arp is the most recent project of Alexis Georgopoulos, a San Francisco-based artist, writer and musician brought up in France, Greece and the United States. As a founding member of rhythmic experimentalists TUSSLE and OutFolk collective THE ALPS, Alexis has toured the world and released critically acclaimed work. He has performed in gallery spaces such as DEITCH PROJECTS (NYC), MoMA (SF) and the FRIEZE ART FAIR (UK) and shared stages with GANG GANG DANCE, DEERHOOF, EYE (BOREDOMS), ZONGAMIN, ANDREW WEATHERALL, MUM, and YEAH YEAH YEAHS. Alexis has composed music for sound installations; curated art programs which have included artists such as SIMON EVANS, JO JACKSON and CHRIS JOHANSON; written on Visual Art, Design and Music for international Arts & Culture publications such as i-D, THE BLOW UP, TOKION and THE GUARDIAN (SF); taken part in various avant-garde workshops; and had numerous deejay residencies.
In Spring 2006, after acting as primary songwriter & arranger of Tussle’s Telescope Mind, Alexis left the group. Soon after, world-renowned ARTFORUM critic & WHITE COLUMNS curator MATTHEW HIGGS selected Alexis to take part in an exhibit he was curating at New Langton Center for the Arts. Inspired to try something new, Alexis put away the bass and drums and spent a few months improvising with analog synthesizers, pulse machines, flute, piano, pedals and an old 4track cassette recorder. As an emblem of Alexis’ commitment to "natural electronic music” (bridging the natural and electronic worlds), nearly all of "In Light" was recorded live. Very few loops were used - in fact, only one. This gesture was meant to bring back some of the rough (re: natural) edges Alexis feels have been lost in so much "Electronic Music” today. The result, much of which was initially presented in that exhibition in collaboration with architect Kyu Che, is a vivid world of enchanted, elevated psychedelia that touches upon his love of everything from the 4th World explorations of Alice Coltrane to the kosmische side of 70s Germany, from Soundtrack music to 20th Century Minimalist composition.
One may detect traces, in the elegant, rippling “St Tropez” for example, of vintage CLUSTER or RALF & FLORIAN. In the propulsive arpeggios of “…The Sculptor Steiner,” one may hear traces of the overlooked Italian Futurist FRANCO BATTIATO, French spacerock group HELDON or Taj Mahal Traveler TAKEHISA KOSUGI. The first part of the "Potentialities” suite recalls the suspended motorik pulse of HARMONIA while the latter recalls the metaphysical, hypnopompic trance of early Terry Riley. A shiny monolith of reflective sound, the epic Homerian/Kubrick-ian “Odyssey (For Bas Jan Ader)” puts forth the album’s only mildly paranoid vision of the known & unknown. “Fireflies On The Water” meanwhile, nods to the instrumental forays on BRIAN ENO’s “rock” albums, not his too-oft cited “ambient” music. While drawing on these touchstones, the music of Arp is always committed to originality in sensibility and vision. Though neither drum machine nor bass can be found, the music is nevertheless characterized by a propulsive, chugging forward-motion, always displaying a mezmerizing display of light & color. "In Light" is pastoral and imagistic, ecstatic and elevated, glowing in white and orange and blue light, like an early morning sunrise on the French Riviera. Through a unique approach to recording, "In Light" is also characterized by an occasionally warbly, slightly degraded analog warmth that, while calling to mind old washed-out photographs, suggests the faded but still poignant strains of memory.
The stunning cover features the artwork of Turner Prize nominated artist/filmaker/writer TACITA DEAN (represented by MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY) and original cover typography by TAUBA AUERBACH (represented by DEITCH PROJECTS).
“Their songs sound like the trippy bit at the end of the Roses’ “I Am The Resurrection” played by Kevin Shields-era Primal Scream with added Doctor Who- style synth buffoonery" (NME)
"Come Out" is a marvel of ethereal precision, immaculate pacing, Teutonic austerity, trance-inducing miasma, and dark euphoria" (PITCHFORK)
120 Days is a four piece band consisting of 3 synths, a bass, one cymbal and (sometimes) a guitar, something which places them somewhere inbetween electronic and rock. The bands obsession with German kraut rock of the 70`s, experimental artists such as Steve Reich and Arne Nordheim as well as 60`s rock group Stooges shines through in their monumental, dark and hypnotic sound. The album was produced by the band and recorded in Oslo in the winter 2006. The artwork for the album was made by Kim Hiorthoy.
120 Days had its first rehersal autumn 2001 in their small hometown, Kristiansund, on the north-westcoast of Norway. The band consisted of the four 19 year old friends Jonas Dahl, Arne Kvalvik, Kjetil Ovesen and Ådne Meisfjord. They called themselves The Beautiful People. Due to complications with the name been taken by somebody else, the band changed their name to 120 Days. In 2002 the band moved to Oslo, to be closer to the music-center of Norway and to focus 100% on their music. In Oslo the whole band moved together in a caravan-trailer. Here they lived for 4 months. In these intense months the only things they did were rehearse. But by living in the caravan trailer they had to instantly struggle with junkies breaking in etc, so in the end they had to give up and move out. But by the time the 120 Days sound was created. Early in 2004 the band released their critically acclaimed first EP titled “Sedated Times” on the small Oslo label Public Demand Records (see AMG review under). Late 2004 they released their second EP, this time a selftitled 5 track EP. This EP caused quite a stir in Norway. And after the band`s gig at By:Larm in Norway (the Norwegian equivalent to South By Southwest) the band sent shockwaves through the music industry, and the gig resulted in the band being booked to both the Reading and Leeds Festival as well as Spain`s Sonar Festival. And this after two Norway only releases. Also the New York label Vice Records (Block Party, The Streets, Death From Above 1979) was deeply impressed by the gig and started chasing the band. Meanwhile the band continued to prepare for their debut album. By the time the band had found their home with the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound (Jaga Jazzist, Lindstrom, Kim Hiorthøy, Bjorn Torske).
Their debut album was produced by the band themselves and was recorded in Oslo`s Crystal Canyon studios in January and February 2006. The album was mixed by Jørgen “Sir Dupermann” Træen and the band in Duper Studio, Bergen, in April, and was mastered by Alan Douches, West Westside Music, New Windsor, NY in May. In June 2006 the band signed with Vice Records that will release the album in collaboration with Smalltown Supersound the 10th of October 2006. Early in 2007 their second EP will be released through the same labels internationally for the first time.
Raised on country and western music in the outskirts of the Norwegian oil town Stavanger, Lindstrom now lives in Oslo where he is making contemporary disco and running his Feedelity label. Claiming that "Hans-Peter Lindstrosm is closing in on Henrik Ibsen and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as being Norway's poster boy of choice" (quoting an article on Piccadilly Records website) is obviously quite an overstatement, but nonetheless his original approach to dance music is currently causing quite a stir.
Following a consistent flow of highly acclaimed EPs and remixes for names like Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem and The Juan Maclean, expectations were rocketing to the Lindstrom & Prins Thomas album, which also marks Eskimo Recordings long player debut. Judging from the press and record buyers alike, the album - which might be described as downbeat space disco with a singer/songwriter feel - more than lived up to its expectations. Whether it was that specialist dance music website or the broadsheet critic, they all seemed to pick up on the fact that these boys are not your average electronic music makers. (To avoid confusion: Lindstrom works both as a solo artist and in collaboration with Prins Thomas).
Hans-Peter never listened to dance music growing up, and the first time he really listened to it, was a few years back figuring out how to make it. He prefers quiet nights in with his family, and Hans Peter never really goes clubbing unless he's Lindstrom. As for artistic background, he used to play the piano in a gospel choir and the Hammond organ in a Deep Purple tribute band in his early twenties, before getting into Bob Dylan and folk/country music. Around 99' he got all fed up with music, sold his instruments, and moved from Stavanger to study literature at the University of Oslo. As retirement often proves unbearable to music lovers, he soon found himself busking the main street of Oslo with his guitar. One thing led to the other: he bought a sampler, borrowed a few 12"s to study the structure of dance music, and had a go at it.
It's quite impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of his musical originality, although traces might be found in the aforementioned background. Coming from gospel choirs, country and rock bands without any knowledge of dance music whatsoever, he entered the scene rather freed from any preconceived notions of style and trend parameters. He hung on to the habit of making music by playing melodies on real instruments, and the fact that he plays all the instruments on his recordings - guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion- enables him to make music inspired by whatever his influences are at the moment Last time we spoke to him he was mostly listening to 60s and 70s rock and pop, and he reckons that music from that era is much more interesting, both in terms of song writing and production values.
His first success was the jazzy "Granada", being championed by the likes of Giles Peterson and Francois Kevorkian and signed to numerous compilations. Wanting to take charge of his own career, he set up Feedelity Recordings - referring to the contrast between feedback and high fidelity - in 2003, and released "the untitled EP" which at first sold the massive amount of 150 copies. The track being included on the Chicken Lips DJ-Kicks compilation did the job though, and the recent club monster "I feel Space" shifting more than 17.000 twelve inches tells of a tale that went quite well in the end.
Lindstrom today enjoys a cult-like status within dance music circles, and although the humble guy himself seems quite happy doing what he loves on an underground scale, it will be an interesting watch to see what the future holds for the Norwegian talent.
(written by Marius Jøntvedt, may 2006)
SUNKISSED DJs: g-HA & OLANSKII
Smalltown Supersound release their first mix compilation: ‘Sunkissed’ mixed by g-HA and Olankskii. Sunkissed is Oslo’s most popular club-concept and has been running since 2000 with resident DJs g-HA and Olanskii inviting friends and artists such as Optimo, Isolee, Richie Hawtin, Glimmers, LCD Soundsystem and more, into their musical world.
Olanskii stumbled into the club world after leaving Norway in ’96, and needing a distraction from his sub-urban dump in Kent, started illegal parties. On later moving to London he took the party with him and gigs at 333, Mass and Dogstar (but mostly seedy bars in East London) followed. In the spring of ’99 he started working on the musical programming for West London’s Notting Hill Arts Club and the following year started the Sunkissed night at club Blå back in his hometown of Oslo. Remaining as freelancer at NHAC and promoting nights like Horny Pony (with Rob Mello & Zak Frost), he also continued his love affair with Sunkissed, which has resulted in regular appearances at London’s Fabric and a collaboration with the Øya Festival.
After fourteen years of DJing, Geir 'g- HA' Aspenes has long been established as a leading house jock on the Scandinavian club circuit. Brought up in Holmlia (a multicultural Oslo suburb), which has deservedly earned a reputation as a breeding ground for DJs and musicians, he was inspired by some older boys in the neighbourhood and joined a disco-group. His passion for DJing and house music got him expelled from High School, but also launched his DJing career and he later found a home at clubs like Pure, Friday Society and the renowned Skansen. Geir was appointed booking manager and resident DJ there, and together with Olle Abstract’s Superreal, his concept Footfood has played a crucial role in establishing ‘real house' as one of Norway’s most popular club genres.
This mix presents a selection of tracks and remixes from their Norwegian friends. In many ways the perfect document of the current Norwegian electronic music scene. It features the Norwegian electronic pioneers who started the scene back in the late 80s, like Mental Overdrive and Rune Lindbaek; the guys who took it further - Erot (RIP) and Bjorn Torske; the new breed of stars like Lindstrom and Prins Thomas who are known for their space disco (or cosmic disco), as well as tomorrow’s stars like Todd Terje, Disk Jokke, Blackbelt Anderson and Magnus Internasjonal. The mix also features the new wave of cosmic rock coming out of Norway with 120 Days and Serena-Maneesh.
Bjørn Torske comes from the capital of electronic music in Norway, Tromsø, a small town far north over the artic circle. This town has bred great artists such as Mental Overdrive, Biosphere and Royksopp. Through Geir Jenssen, Torske got in touch with SSR/Crammed Discs in Belgium, and in 1991 he appeared on two separate 12" singles on the label. Dutch label Djax-Up-Beats picked up on the talented young Norwegian, and the following years Torske released a string of underground 12" singles on Djax-Up-Beats and other labels, such as Reinforced Records, run by Mark & Dego of 4Hero. Still early 90’s, Torske soon moved to Bergen. At this time he played synthesizer on Biosphere’s live shows, and toured around the world with Geir Jenssen. After releasing an album on Djax-Up-Beats in 1995 Torske concentrated on DJing for a couple of years, releasing only one single on Per Martinsen’s Love OD label. It did have a noticeable impact, though. «Fleet» became a club hit in Amsterdam, and was pumped regularly by DJs like Dimitri and Derrick May. Eventually Ferox-boss Russ Gabriel got to hear Torske’s music. He immediately phoned Torske, led to the release the album «Nedi Myra». The album caused quite a stir around the world. Back in Norway some of Bjørn’s fellow Tromsø-dwellers, like Röyksopp’s Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland moved to Bergen. New acts, clubs and labels were emerging in town, transforming the otherwise sleepy university town on Norway’s west coast to the hippest place to be. Meanwhile, Bjørn had started releasing singles through prestigious house label SVEK. In 1998 his friend Mikal Telle founded Tellé Records, and invited Bjørn to join in on the fun. Bjørn released «Disco Members» on Tellé in 2000 as well as taking take time off to release the brilliant «Aerosoles» on SVEK. In the same period Torske also produced his next album, Trøbbel on Telle Records, as well as remixing his friends and studiopartners Røyksopp`s first hit single “Eple”. Torske also toured Europe with Royksopp in the spring of 2002.
For full discograpgy go here
"Writhing junkyard disco so limber your spine may spontaneously dissolve." (Vice Magazine)
"Tussle taps the fractal noise vein Dom spotted in recent Brooklyn noise records such as Black Dice's Creature Comforts and Excepter's KA, but Tussle beat both out with four-four on top and more noise to boot." (Pitchfork)
Sprung from SF’s active underground Mission district scene, Tussle has been causing a stir for some time with their unique combination of dance rhythms, elastic basslines, metallic textures, and processed electronic experimentation. Kling Klang is their debut album and was preceded by two 12" singles and a CD EP all released by Troubleman Unlimited in the United States. The Smalltown Supersound edition collects the bulk of Kling Klang and also includes highlights from their first two singles and their own extended Neu!-inspired remix of "Here It Comes" from their White Label DJ single of the song. Tussle have picked up support from Trevor Jackson (Output/Playgroup), John Peel, Scott "Prefuse 73" Herren. Feature pieces appeared in i-D (UK), Tokion, XLR8R, Anthem, Rockpile, Punk Planet, even Entertainment Weekly and Jane. Very positive reviews appeared in The Wire, Vice, Magnet, Skyscraper, and Dusted Magazine. The ever hard-to-impress scribes at Pitchfork hailed the group one of the top 5 artists to look out for in the coming year(s). See detailed press under. Tussle has toured Europe, Japan and the East Coast of the United States. In Europe, they supported friends and labelmates Erase Errata, as well playing alongside Andrew Weatherall, Zongamin and Sunburned Hand of The Man. In the UK, they played Hot Shit! (formerly Sonic Mook Experiment), the Frieze Art Fair Afterhours and Trash. Their brief tour in Japan found them supporting Eye of Boredoms. In shows in SF and NYC, they've shared stages with a diverse international cast that mirrors the group's uniquely genre-free approach including Mu, Deerhof, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ariel Pink, Add N To (X) to name a few. An album of remixes of Kling Klang material is also in the works, including contributions from Munk, Soft Pink Truth, Gang Gang Dance and many others to be confirmed.
“Prozac-flavoured glory” (BBC Radio 3)
Toy is an electronic duo formed by UK composer Alisdair Stirling and producer Jorgen Traeen from Bergen, Norway. Toy's playful tunes mix kids TV (Pingu, Radiophonic Workshop) and Japanese style electronica (YMO and Cornelius) with a touch of Scandinavian electro weirdness. They also manage to combine a flavour of incidental/elevator music with beats and grooves to create infectious pop. Stirling is behind the Bergen pop workshop/collective 'House of Hiss', working with Bergen producers The Sensible Twins (Hans Petter Gundersen and Kato Adland) which released 'Holland Park/Sugar Shoop' seven inch vinyl on New Records last year. Traeen is a well know producer who among others has produced Sondre Lerche, Magnet and Jaga Jazzist.He also has his own solo project Sir Dupermann on Smalltown Supersound. The band released 'Rabbit Pushing Mower/Valley Cars' as a vinyl seven inch on Telle Records described by the BBC as “an amusing cream puff of a tune”. Their second vinyl single 'Sedan Through Tunnel/Decorama' is about to be released on Smalltown Supersound. The same label will later on in 2005 also release the debut album by Toy.
“A warm and welcoming record ripe with dippy melodies and celestial disco that anyone can get into” (Vice Magazine)
"This is a welcome return for the daddy of Norwegian electronic music, aka Per Martinsen. Incredibly infectious. Inspect." (DJ Magazine)
Per Martinsen and his Mental Overdrive project is a Norwegian electronica legend. Since his early days at the seminal R&S Records Martinsen has been one of the big innovators in electronic music. He is the mentor and the godfather for the whole Norwegian electronic underground. His first release “083” (out in January 2005) is his first album since “Ad Absurdium” on Virgin Records in 1998. Martinsen has managed to get out of his contract with Virgin, and has now signed a deal with Smalltown Supersound. We will release his future releases in collaboration with his own Love OD Communication label. Martinsen himself describes the background for the album and the Mental Overdrive sound like this: ” With a background of growing up in the early 80’s, the influences of British new-wave and sub-pop, the European electronic underground and the odd American beatbox pattern, the material was captured with a strong urge to re-evoke the rather vague memories of the euphoria caused by hearing electronic music for the first time. In this sense, “083” is truly a “roots” album – albeit an “electronic roots” album.” “083” offers classic Mental Overdrive, where Martinsen goes back to his roots and finds inspiration in Kraftwerk, New Order/Joy Division and the Factory Records scene, the house and techno scenes in Detroit and Chicago in the 80`s, as well as WARP`s bleep/headphone music from the early nineties. But first of all is Mental Overdrive classic and timeless electronic music independent of both time and trends.
"Unbelievably graceful instrumental” (NME)
“Gorgeous, cinematic and brilliant” (DJ Magazine)
"An electro-acoustic wonder” (The Independent)
Lars Horntveth is the songwriter and musical leader of Norwegian 10 piece Jaga Jazzist who are signed to Ninja Tune/Smalltown Supersound. Horntveth released his solo debut album Pooka in 2004, and album that was met with massive acclaim from music critics all over the world. Pooka is an instrumental pop album, and although it might have things in common with the electronica genre, all the music was recorded live in the studio and, with the exception of the programmed beats, nothing is played on computers. The music was scored on paper. Most instruments are played by Horntveth himself, except for the string parts which are played by a 9 piece string orchestran and conducted by Horntveth. The album was recorded in Duper Studios in Bergen, and is produced by Jørgen Træen (aka Sir Dupermann). Træen is also known for superb productions for Magnet (Ultimate Dilemma), Jaga Jazzist, Ralph Meyers and the Jack Herren Band (Emperor Norton) and Sondre Lerche (Source). With Pooka Horntveth has created his own unique sound universe, and the Pooka universe doesn`t sound like anything else, although one might trace Horntveth`s fascination for the soundworld of artists such as Charles Mingus, Robert Wyatt, Radiohead, Gil Evans, Bjørk, Cornelius, Kronos Quartet and early Tom Waits. There is something cinematic, nostalgic, mysterious and dreamy about Pooka, and its not without reason the album has borrowed its title from the pooka character from 1950`s “Harvey” film (directed by Henry Koster), starring James Stewart. Horntveth is something of a musical genious, his musical skills are self taught. And although he is only 23 years old, he has released 4 albums with Jaga Jazzist (the first was released when he was only 15 years old). He has also written music for many of Norways most popular bands such as Turbonegro (among others the strings on “Fuck The World”) and Motorpsycho.
"A genius of near spiritual proportions" (Undercover)
Komorebi is the stunning debut album of Yuichiro Fujimoto. This young Japanese artist was discovered by designer and Smalltown Supersound recording artist Kim Hiorthøy and Smalltown Supersound label manager Joakim Haugland after sending the label a demo. To accompany the music there were lots of beautiful drawings and photos, and both Hiorthøy and Haugland understood right away that this was a very special talent and special artist operating in his very own and unique world of both sound and visuals. The artwork for the album is created by Kim Hiorthøy based on the drawings and photos of Fujimoto. It might also be worth mentioning that Fujimotos photos were used on the artwork for Kim Hiorthøy`s own Japan only release “Fantasin Finns I Värkligheten (Japan Selector)” released on P-Vine Records. Yuichiro Fujimoto`s music leans on Japan`s old and rich musical tradition, as well as modern Japanese electronic music with artists such as Nobukazu Takemura, Aki Tsuyuko and Susumu Yokota. One might also find influences from the powerbook pop of Fennesz and Jim O`Rourke, but there is a also a warm human touch to the music that makes you think of the melancholic atmospheres of the old masters John Fahey, Nick Drake and Eric Satie. Yuichiro Fujimoto`s music hides small treasures of quiet and minimalistic beauty, both melodic and truly original.
”Norwegian super-producer Jorgen Traeen aka Sir Dupermann has drawn on the influences of buddies Röyksopp and Kim Hiorthøy to create a mind-blowing debut album of hi-NRG free-jazz click-pop. Speaker-shredding!” (Uncut)
Jørgen Traen aka Sir Dupermann is known as the Norwegian super producer (producer for among others Jaga Jazzist, Magnet and Sondre Lerche) and and the man behind the Duper Studio (home of Røyksopp, Kings of Convenience, Jaga Jazzist et. al.). After years with hard production work he deceided to finally concentrate on his own music, and finish the longtime work with his debut album. Smalltown Supersound heard 2 tracks of his pre-production recordings, and was blown away! The label signed a deal right away. Traen moved to London where he stayed for 6 months producing his self-titeled debut album. The album has become a masterpiece. Out of the wildest chaos of sounds and rythms, Træen has created a pop album. Very compromiseless pop though. But even though his soundworld may sound chaotic, it is also very structured, detailed and complex. Træen has managed to turn chaos into beauty. With his fantastic production skills and his arsenal of machines, he has created an organic and warm sound, and a soundworld all of his own. ”Sir Dupermann” is a mastodon of an album; mindblowing, different, timeless and truly orginal.Træen`s rich and diverse sound is a result of his involvement with lots of different projects and scenes, both as a producer and as an artist. He has worked with everything from harsh noise, contemporary music and grim black metal to pure pop and electronic music.The album mixes elements from Cornelius`s and Plaid`s electropop, Fennesz` and Jim O`Rourke`s abstract electronics, the European free-jazz tradition of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, sound effects from cartoons and movies, Aphex Twin, Lou Reed`s “Metal Machine Music”, the avantgarde sound of Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, Q-Berts turntableism, Luc Ferrari`s musique concrete, Kid 606s electronic punk, Merzbow`s digital noise and the micro/click-scene around Mille Plateaux. Everything performed with the unpretentious attitude of punk rock. ”Sir Dupermann” is wild, beautiful and obsessive!
“One hundred miles-per-hour Herbert for real “future jazz” heads” (Straight No Chaser)
“Constellations of incredibly structured beats combined with wistful melodies” (The Wire)
Martin Horntveth is a busy young man, not only is he the drummer and leader of Jaga Jazzist, he is also busy with his own solo project. So far he has released the two EPs ”Fast Motion” and "Skull EP", both hailed by the critics everywhere. The last couple of years he has toured the world extensively, with gigs in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Roma, Berlin (to name a few). His live shows are jaw dropping; wild, spontaneous and very physical. Horntveth mixes electronica (both abstract and melodic), dark electro, punk rock, cut-up, free jazz and even metal. But always twisting and turning things in unexpected ways. Dark, elegant and beautiful.
"Weird fun, Scandinavian style - clean, convival and utterly wonderful" (Mojo)
On his records Kim Hiorthøy combine weird beats, lo-fi/leftfield electronics, field recordings, electro-acoustic sounds and samples, resulting in a sound all his own. His debut album "Hei" was released in 2000 to rave reviews around the world. His second record, "Melke", a collection of remixes, 7 inches, rejected tracks and tracks for compilations, was released in 2002. His live sets differ somewhat from the records; with faster speeds and louder beats they sometimes end up as tiny techno raves, if perhaps weird ones at that. Hiorthøy is also a graphic designer, mostly recognized for his work for the Rune Grammofon label and rock group Motorpsycho. A book, "Tree Weekend", was published by Die Gestalten Verlag in 2000.
“Like Charles Mingus with Aphex Twin up his ass. Detectable” (Sleazenation)
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! In 2001 they released their debut album “A Livingroom Hush” on Warner in Scandinavia to massive critical acclaim and great sales (the album sold over 20000 copies in Norway alone..). The band then signed a deal for the rest of the world through Oslo`s Smalltown Supersound. 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. At the same time as their debut album gained more and more international success, Jaga recorded the follow up titled “The Stix”. As with their first album this was produced by Norwegian superproducer Jørgen Træen the man behind Duper Studios in Bergen (home of Røyksopp, Kings of Convenience, Sondre Lerche et.al.) but this time Jaga wanted to push their musical limits even further and really create a sound they could genuinely call “Jaga Jazzist “. The proof of their efforts is in the record “The Stix”, the perfect balance between (hu)man and machine it never looses the organic nature of a live 10 piece. Genuinely original music.
Mathias Eick – trumpet, upright bass, keyboards + vibraphone
Harald Frøland – guitars + effects
Even Ormestad – bass + keyboards
Andreas Mjøs – vibraphone, drums, percussion + electronics
Line Horntveth – tuba, melodica + percussion
Martin Horntveth – drums + drum-machines
Lars Horntveth – tenor sax, bass-clarinet + electric guitar
Andreas Schei – Keyboards
Ketil Einarsen– flute, bass-clarinet, percussion + keyboards
Lars Wabø - Trombone