[Microsound-announce] DEKORDER///NEWS///05.2006

marc m at dekorder.com
Sun May 21 06:05:32 EDT 2006

...now available:


CD Dekorder 015

"Ballads" ist the first collaborative album by 
two key figures of the Norwegian noise, improv, 
experimental, whatever-you-call-it music scene. 
Anyone expecting a rackety wall of distorted 
feedback guitars and voices will be gently 
surprised though by the sparse and intimate 
sketches to be found on this wonderful record. 
Songs are stripped down to their raw bones using 
only the most essential elements to reveal the 
soul behind every single sound. Superfluous 
effects seem to be  completely absent, creating 
an open space for miniscule details, always ready 
to implode into noisier tracks such as "Private 
Matter". The album culminates in "Hammock Moods", 
a quietly mesmerizing epic finale with Maja 
Ratkje humming a beautiful melody over Hegre's 
gorgeous near-psychedelic guitar playing. Let's 
all hope for a sequel to this album!

Maja Ratkje is a member of Spunk (Rune Grammofon) 
and noise duo Fe-Mail. Her solo album "Voice" 
(produced in collaboration with Jazzkammer) got 
an Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica 
in 2003. In 2001 she was the first composer ever 
to receive the Arne Nordheim distinction award. 
She has collaborated with Jaap Blonk, Ikue Mori, 
Otomo Yoshihide, Wolf Eyes, Matmos, Lasse 
Marhaug, Jason Forrest, Kim Hiortoy, Ulver and 
many others.

John Hegre is a member of Jazzkammer / Jazkamer 
(Smalltown Supersound), Kaptein Kaliber, Golden 
Serenades, New Boiling Near The Fjords (with 
members of Alog) and others. His first solo 3"CD 
came out on Dekorder in 2003. Jazkamer will 
release their aptly titled new album "Metal Music 
Machine" in spring 2006 and Hegre is working on 
an as yet untitled solo album for Dekorder.

Frans de Waard in Vital Weekly 519:

"Yeah, right, a album of ballads by these two 
renowned noise artists? Hegre, member of 
Jazzkammer and The Golden Serenades among others 
and Ratkje of Fe-Mail as-well as a bunch of 
improvised music projects, doing an album of 
ballads? Yes, it's true and it's great. They 
carefully play acoustic objects and hardly use 
any electronics. Sometimes the elements are 
looped, forming a block of repetitive sound, 
sometimes there is a far away sound of sound 
processing. But that is far away, almost hidden 
in the mix. Soft electro-acoustic music, crafted 
into songs, rather than lengthy improvisations. 
It's already beautiful material, but the best is 
saved to the end: 'Hammock Moods' has a looped 
guitar, loose sounds but every once in a while 
there is a soft melody in the background, which 
even might be called romantic. An almost epic 
piece, which alone would be the reason to get 
this album. This is noise with the big N, and 
this is the future of noise music. Excellent!"

Brian Marley in The Wire 267:

"John Hegre is one half of the Norwegian noise 
duo Jazzkammer and Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje 
is a free Improv vocalist in the Maggie Nicols 
tradition, as well as a member of both SPUNK and 
Fe-mail. That said, much of Ballads defies 
expectations. More often than not it's a quiet 
and rather delicate affair, involving acoustic 
instruments, soft loops of noise, tick tock 
rhythms and pattering percussion. Voice is rarely 
heard. Most of the tracks are brief and 
enigmatic, involving repetitive patterns and 
copious periods of silence. "Binoculars And 
Traces" glides on softly undulating waves of 
feedback and slips into mostly low key activity 
during its second half, and "Private Matter" is a 
noise cut-up involving fragments of speaking 
voice in its earliest stages. Who does what is 
left entirely to the listener's imagination. 
Though the CD's eight tracks were probably all 
improvised, I suspect there has been some 
judicious post-production shaping of the 
material. Irony plays a part too. "A Quiet Day At 
The Office" is busy but without producing 
anything concrete, and "Art Compass" gives no 
clear sense of direction. The lengthy concluding 
track, "Hammock Moods", in which Ratkje 
occasionally hums as if to herself, is 
intriguingly eventless, drifting along on 
repetitively fractured guitar phrases, chords and 
occasional pedal swells, casually moving from one 
intangible moment to the next."


on tour:

Thursday, 25th of May at 21:00
Lasse MARHAUG & John HEGRE (ex-JAZZKAMMER): solo sets
+ film screening: "skills", a documentary film 
directed by Jan VAN HASSELT (BRD, 2005, 35 min)
featuring Zgbiniew KARKOWSKI, Rudolf EB.BER and Lucas ABELA

Die Alte Buchbinderei, in Berlin-Wedding, Adolfstrasse, Ecke Schererstrasse
S+U Wedding, U Nauener Platz, U Leopoldplatz

Jazkamer/John Hegre/Lasse Marhaug + others . Musicagenera, Poland.


I will do a SonarLab at this year's Sonar 
Festival in Barcelona. This will be a one and a 
half hour DJ-Set playing Dekorder releases and 
(if time allows) music that has influenced the 
label. See you there...

Saturday 17th June @ SonarLab (Sonar by Night)
22.30-00.00 Marc Richter plays Dekorder



...still available:

[014] BLACK TO COMM - Rückwärts Backwards CD
[013] GUIDO MÖBIUS - Dishoek LP/CD
[012] TU M' - Just One Night CD
saltA (Map Lies, Border Lies...) 3"CD
[010] VOKS - Darkvaks 3"CD
[009] PXP - Nada CD
Packed Cupboard But Quite... LP/CD
[006] BLACK TO COMM - s/t 10" (last few copies)
[005] MATT WAND - Public.Exe 10"

...out soon:

[016] KUUPUU - Yökehrä  LP
[017] JOHN HEGRE - Colors Don't Clash, Don't Worry They Never Do CD



A-Musik (Germany & World), Darla (USA), Target 
(World), Lowlands (Benelux), Plop (Japan), 
Metamkine (France), Staalplaat (Germany), 
Risonanza Magnetica (Italy), Warpmart (UK)

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