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Doomsday Disco

People who live outside of Scandinavia think that Norwegian music is made exclusively by face-painted, axe-wielding Nazis.
Κείμενο Marty Fältman


More Itäväylä

People who live outside of Scandinavia think that Norwegian music is made exclusively by face-painted, axe-wielding Nazis or by rich homos with expensive laptops and five haircuts on one head. Wrong! Over the last couple of years, some amazing experimental music has emerged in this country. There are labels like Rune Grammofon and Smalltown Supersound but to my mind, the best stuff is by an artist called Single Unit. This one-man operation bridges computer electronics with some dark ‘oooh scary' shit that makes your genitals shrivel up. Single Unit is the Oslo-based musician and artist Are Mokkelbost, essentially a laptop artist, he utilizes the computer to restructure the abrasive sound energy and rhythmic patterns of death metal. The results, which are called "digi-metal", are actually really interesting. Something else that's giving me a big boner is Mokkelbost's debut album Family of Forces (Jester, 2001). Mokkelbost is also the electronics manhandler in Kill, a four-piece Tiger tank of an avant death metal group. So far Kill hasn't released any recordings of its sound exorcisms, but this is about change. Expect an EP soon. What else? Well, it seems that the only good electronic acts in Scandinavia are the ones who contain elements of Foghat and AC/DC among the synths. A clear case in point is Itäväylä who are named after a road in Helsinki, that leads eastward. They're a "psychedelic post-rock electro blues" group led by R. Barracuda from Imatran Voima. They take space disco and boogia rokka rolla to a whole new level of sickness and confusion and sound like too many mushrooms at a party when you've cheated on your girlfriend with a slut who's probably got STDs. With a grim sense of humour and naked contempt for all you trucker hat wearing, indie wimps with weird hair, Itäväylä are the closest thing we have to a Whitehouse you can dance to. They're "the soundtrack of the future boozers", as the propaganda office at Rikos Records would have it. I have no idea what they mean either but I think it's something to do with drinking, fighting and fucking but not in the way that GG Allin was on about. Not exactly boozers, but definitely out there in a Gandalf kind of way, Gothenburg's best kept secret Silverbullit has decided to follow up their neglected second album Citizen Bird (MNW, 2001) with a new one, in October. This is great news, believe me. To judge from what I heard a few months ago in the Silverbullit studio, the end result will be fucking amazing—like if My Bloody Valentine did Liaisons Dangereuses' Latino body number "Los Ninos Del Parque" or something like that. On the new album the Krautrock-like haze of Citizen Bird and white noise punk of the debut album are brought together with a tightness without precedence. What makes Silverbullit such a great rock band is hard to pinpoint, but they're always able to take that unexpected left turn that is a distinctive mark of only the best music. While we're at it, let's mention another Gothenburgish delight, the extraordinary moron rock unit Kid Commando. For those of you not familiar with KC, let it suffice to say this threesome is a fucking rock machine. And when it comes down to performing, they outdo all competition. How they sound? I pick up elements like the rhythmic weirdness of Captain Beefheart and Big Black but with the droll cockiness of The Fall. Currently the band resides in the studio, recording for Kid 606's label Tigerbeat6. According to singer and guitarist Jocke Nordwall it is their "magnum opus". Before the album arrives, a new 12" can be purchased this fall through Heroine Records. Harlem, the best narco rock disco outfit to come out of Stockholm for ages, is about to release the shuffle stomper Listen Up (Gramme Recordings) in October. As former members of spacerock trio Rockmonster, the sound of Johan Skugge and Martin Thomasson lies somewhere between the noisy meltdown of Throbbing Gristle and beat aesthetics of New York disco underground pioneer Arthur Russell. Send CDs, DVDs etc to VICE, St Eriksgatan 46C, 100 28 Stockohlm, Sweden.