themilkman on Aug 26th 2009 12:49 am

Susanna & The Magical Orchestra: 3

Rune Grammofon 2009
10 Tracks. 47mins02secs

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The first noticeable thing about the latest opus from Norwegian duo Susanna And The Magical Orchestra is the bright, colourful image which ornates its cover, replacing the bleak funeral pictures created by Kim Hiorthøy for their two previous albums and the similar ones he did for Susanna Wallumrød’s two solo records. This is however not the most significant change. Indeed, while the pair’s first two albums, List Of Lights And Buoys (2004) and Melody Mountain (2006) made use of little else than sombre pianos and discreet electronics, Susanna Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild have opted here for a much bolder and richer sound, and have invited a host of contributors, including Susanna’s partner Helge Sten, who, beside co-producing the album, also plays guitars on a handful of tracks, while Mariam Wallentin, of Wildbirds & Peacedrums fame, and Wallumrød’s drummer brother Fredrik, both provide additional vocals along the way, Jaga Jazzist’s Andreas Mjøs adds vibraphone on Game and Erland Dahlen, drummer with Norwegian rock formation Madrugada, can be heard on drums and percussions on two tracks. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Money Will Ruin Everything: Second Edition (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Apr 16th 2009 12:25 am

Various Artists: Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition

Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition
Rune Grammofon 2009
25 Tracks. 152mins42secs

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‘It’s hard work to sell Rune CD outside of a small group of freaks’. To celebrate its first five years of activity, Norwegian label Rune Grammofon issued Money Will Ruin Everything, a beautiful limited collection documenting the label’s first few years spent charting the outer reaches of the music industry, spread over two CDs and presented with a book designed by Kim Hiorthøy. Fast forward five years and a few months, and it is time for label owner Rune Kristoffersen to look back once again and take stock of one of the most eclectic and forward-thinking catalogue around. And once again, Kim Hiorthøy, who is still single-handedly responsible for the visual identity of the label, including its occasional advertising, has designed a beautiful artefact, which collects not only the two CDs of this second edition of Money Will Ruin Everything, introduced by Geoff Travis and Robert Fricke, but also essays by Wire collaborator Rob Young and design consultant Adrian Shaughnessy, photographs and artwork reproductions. Continue Reading »

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SUSANNA AND THE MAGICAL ORCHESTRA: Melody Mountain (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Aug 29th 2006 01:06 pm

Susanna & The Magical Orchestra: Melody Mountain

Melody Mountain
Rune Grammofon 2006
10 Tracks. 42mins35secs

Two years on from their wonderful debut, List Of Lights And Buoys, Susanna Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild return with this sophomore effort, once again produced by Deathprod. While their debut featured mostly tracks written by themselves, with the exception of the two opening tracks, Leonard Bernstein’s Who Am I and Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Melody Mountain sees the pair applying their delicately textured sound onto a variety of classic songs taken from the repertoires or artists as far apart as Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, Prince, AC/DC, Scott Walker or Fairport Convention to name but a few. Continue Reading »

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