Category Archives: News

Nordic Music Prize Nominations Announced

The long-list for the Nordic Music Prize (the scandi-equivalent of the UK’s Mercury bash) has been unveiled, and whichever of the Norwegian nominees makes it through to the pared down shortlist stage will have to compete with such big names as Sigur Ros, Efterklang, Neneh Cherry and Kent. And a couple of them are definitely capable of that, especially given that thus far in the prize’s short life the judges have shown an admirable disinterest in honouring the Big Names for the sake of it. Fifty acts have been long-listed – ten from each of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, and the cast will be chopped to a final twelve nominees on December 3rd. The winner will be crowned at Oslo new band showcase by:Larm on February 14th.

The chosen Norwegians are:

Susanne Sundfør – The Silicone Veil
Motorpsycho – The Death Defying Unicorn
Lindstrøm – Smalhans
I Was A King – You Love It Here
John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen – Den Eneste Veien Ut
Tønes – Sån Av Salve
Highasakite – All That Floats Will Rain
Enslaved – Riitiir
Ida Jenshus – Someone To Love
Hanne Kolstø – Flashblack

Some big names by Norwegian standards, but few of them can really be said to be at the top of their game. Surely Susanne Sundfør’s formidable third effort will be a genuine contender, though.

See the full list of nominees and find out more about the prize here.

Tagged ,

Nordic Music Prize 2011 Nominations

The Nordic Music Prize, an initiative affiliated with Oslo’s by:Larm showcase, handed its inaugural gong to Iceland’s Jonsi last year, and the nominations for its second incarnation have just been wittled down to a final shortlist.

Including the pick of the year’s records from Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark the award was modelled on the UK’s Mercury Music Prize. This year’s final shortlist includes:

Ane Brun – It all starts with one
Lykke Li – Wounded rhymes
Rubik – Solar
Gus Gus – Arabian horse
Malk De Koijn – Toback to the fromtime
Siinai – Olympic game
Björk – Biophilia
Iceage – New brigade
Montée – Renditions of you
Anna Järvinen – Anna själv tredje
Goran Kajfes – X/Y
The Field – Looping state of mind

The Norwegian albums in the longlist had been:

Razika – Program ’91
Lars Vaular – Du betyr meg
Jonas Alaska – Jonas Alaska
Team Me – To The Treetops!
Ane Brun – It All Starts With One
Stein Torleif Bjella – Vonde Visu
120 Days – 120 Days II
Montée – Renditions Of You
John Olav Nilsen og Gjengen – Det nærmeste du kommer
Martin Hagfors – I like you

Overall the Norwegian contingent looks a fair bit weaker than last year, where hit albums from Shining, Casiokids, Susanne Sundfør, Kvelertak and Lindstrøm & Christabelle were among those in the running. This time it is country-tinged songstress Ane Brun, who has enjoyed a considerable rise in popularity recently, even touring with Peter Gabriel, and kitsch pop revivalists Montée who are holding up the Norwegian end. They might not seem unduly likely to walk away with the winnings, but then the big names on the bill have hardly produced their best work this time around. Critical reception to Bjork’s multimedia effort Biophilia has been mixed, Lykke Li’s sophomore record has hardly sparked the interest of her debut, and some of the albums on show (sorry GusGus) are just plain crap. Let’s hope the jury are at least willing to throw a curveball.

Tagged , ,

by:Larm 2012 taking shape

The first raft of artists have been announced for by:Larm, Oslo’s annual showcase of new Scandinavian music. Fifty-seven acts have been confirmed so far, including such Norwegian hopes as Lemaitre and Machine Birds, more established bands like Pirate Love and Maribel, and hyped contributions from the neighbours numbering Swedes Korallreven and Danes WhoMadeWho among their ranks.

The first by:Larm was held in 1998 and for ten years the festival rotated between the major cities of Norway, although for financial reasons by:Larm settled permanently in Oslo in 2008. Part industry conference and part musical showcase by:Larm combines a string of meetings, debates and lectures with performances from a whole host of the country’s best new bands in a range of venues across the capital.

This year’s by:Larm will invade Oslo from the 16-18th of February 2012, check out the lineup so far here.

Tagged ,

Morgenbladet poll top Norwegian albums

Norwegian daily Morgenbladet have consulted 100 celebrated Norwegian musicians in a bid to generate an insider’s take on the country’s greatest ever albums. Figures including Sivert Høyem of Madrugada, Stavanger crooner Thomas Dybdahl and Kaizers Orchestra frontman Janove Ottesen contributed to the list, which is, fittingly, 100 strong.

Some of the records will be familiar to an international audience, whilst others have a firmly Norwegian-only appeal.

The top 20:

20. Holy Toy – Warszawa
19. Sidsel Endresen – So I write
18. Turbonegro – Apocalypse Dudes
17. Åge Aleksandersen og Sambandet – Levva livet!
16. Arne Nordheim – Electric
15. Susanne Sundfør – The Brothel
14. Torleiv H. Bjørgum og Hallvard T. Bjørgum – Skjoldmøyslaget
13. Motorpsycho – Timothy’s Monster
12. Kåre & The Cavemen/Euroboys – A Long Day’s Flight ‘Till Tomorrow
11. DumDum Boys – Splitter pine
10. De Press – Block to block
09. Röyksopp – Melody AM
08. Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett, Palle Danielsson, Jon Christensen – Belonging
07. deLillos – Suser avgårde
06. The Aller Værste – Materialtretthet
05. Knutsen & Ludvigsen – Juba Juba
04. Kjøtt – 12″
03. A-ha – Hunting high and low
02. A-ha – Scoundrel days
01. Radka Toneff/Steve Dobrogosz – Fairytales

It’s hardly definitive (i.e. there’s some shit on there), but in its entirety the list does pretty much cover all the bases.

Check out the full countdown (and some of the contributors’ personal Top Tens) here.

Tagged ,

Long-awaited 120 Days album gets release date

120 Days burst into the Norwegian public consciousness back in 2006 with their self-titled debut record. A whirling indie electro-kraut fusion, 120 Days managed to be both immersively danceable and catchy, and it understandably got the group noticed abroad. It’s taken far too long, but finally details are emerging about the group’s imaginatively-titled sophomore effort. 120 Days II will be released internationally on March 5th of next year on fledgling Norwegian label Splendour Recordings, and two pulsing cuts have already made it out onto the blogoshpere: the intense instrumental ‘Dale Disco’, and a sleazy neon number, flagship single ‘Osaka’.

120 Days haven’t been resting on their laurels, however, with members honing their craft on such diverse recent Norwegian musical projects as Bygdin, Serena Maneesh and a recent instrumental Susanne Sundfor experiment, so (especially given the waiting time) it seems fair to expect some exciting sonic leaps.

Out worldwide on Splendour on March 5th, 2012, 120 Days II‘s tracklist looks like this:

1. Spacedoubt
2. Dahle Disco
3. Lucid Dreams Part 1
4. Lucid Dreams Part 2
5. Lucid Dreams Part 3
6. Sleepless Nights #4
7. Sunkissed
8. SF
9. Osaka

120 Days – ‘Osaka’


Goodbye Norskmusikk, Hello Nö Music

Well, after a brief but enjoyable life Norskmusikk is winding down. Isn’t that sad. Well, no, it isn’t actually. Because Norskmusikk is joining forces with a much bigger, more comprehensive, more frequently updated, better looking, more easily accessible, and just all-round cooler Norwegian Music website: ladies and gentlemen, we give you Nö Music.

All the latest news, all the best reviews, all the best live photos, all the best new videos and all the best interviews on the web’s foremost Norwegian music bonanza.

Want to know all about Röyksopp’s soon-to-be-released third album? Dying to learn more about Annie’s forthcoming Don’t Stop? It’s all there, and you should be too.

 And thanks for reading.


Tagged ,

Fame And Fortune? Lionheart Brothers Too Poor To Do British Tour

It seems that having a universally acclaimed album on both sides of the North Sea, being upheld as a shoegazing Beach Boys and being handpicked to join the Drowned In Sound Tour doesn’t necessarily translate into monetary success. Oslo’s The Lionheart Brothers have recently suffered a double blow as far as UK summer music festivals are concerned; first they had band_lionheart[1]to cancel their trip to Scotland’s Rock Ness festival because the helpful types at (budget) airline Ryanair wouldn’t let them take their equipment on the plane, and now the remainder of their British Festival dates have also been called off because The Lionheart Brothers simply don’t have enough wonga. ‘When we looked in our wallets we couldn’t find any money’ the band explain in an update, going on to reveal that this unfortunate situation is partly down to events closer to home:  ‘as you all know we lost a BIG income when the Quart-festival was washed down the drain..( not blaming anyone)’.

The cancelled dates are:

08 Aug: Leicester – Summer Sundae

10 Aug: Bristol – Bloom Festival

30 Aug: Stradbally Estate – Electric Picnic Festival

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as the band now have a lot more time on their hands to develop new material: ‘don’t wanna say too much but we are working on new sounds..’ they tentatively offer, ‘we’ve individually went(sic) underground, writing,thinking.loooking, fighting.. it’s been a long time since dizzy- and I don’t know quite where we’ll end up with this album yet, but there are some amazing wibez(sic) in the hood’.

Maybe they can find a minute to work on their grammar too…

Tagged ,

Diskjokke In A Town Near You, Offers Free Live Recording

Diskjokke, or Joachim Dyrdahl as this Oslo-based music-maker is more prosaically monikered before he changes into his dj-ing supersuit in a nearby phonebox, has been steadily garnering enthusiastic reviews and an ever swelling fanbase after the release of his debut longplayer Staying In on Smalltown Supersound earlier this year. British and American journos have been desperately trying to outdo each other in praising the man who is at the forefront of the so called Oslo-disco scene. Staying In is a ‘mini-masterpiece’, gushed the UK’s The Guardian. ‘Technically impressive and effortlessly appealing’ Pitchfork countered, before the good old BBC triumphantly trumpeted that ‘Staying In just might be the new going out if it’[1] as much fun as this.’

Still not convinced? Then let the man himself win you over. Fresh from flogging his wares at the Molde Jazz Festival Diskjokke, clearly not a guy to rest on his laurels, is trekking across Europe and the US in various guises bringing his bubbly blend of Italo-disco and glacial Scandinavian electronica to a club near you:

29 Jul: Glasgow – the Buff Club (as Diskjokke Laptop Live)
01 Aug: Strømstad – Sunset Vibes Festival (as Diskjokke Laptop Live)
02 Aug: Eastnor Castle – Big Chill Festival (dj set with VinnyVillbass)
08 Aug: Oslo – Oya Festival (as Diskjokke Band)
09 Aug: Oslo – Sunkissed Boat Trip (dj set with Vinny Villbass)
18 Aug: Oslo – Cosmo (dj set)
22 Aug: Stockholm – Debaser Medis (as Diskjokke Laptop Live)
29 Aug: Copenhagen – Karrierebar (dj set)
05 Sep: Stavanger – NuMusicFestival (as Diskjokke Band)
06 Sep: Oslo – The Villa (dj set with VinnyVillbass & Style of Eye)
10 Sep: US tour Sept 10-15 Venues TBA (as Diskjokke Laptop Live)
20 Sep: Barcelona – The Loft (as Diskjokke Laptop Live)

If you don’t live near one of those towns, or just want a taste of the Diskjokke live experience then Joachim has an answer to that as well, as he’s offered up a free download of a recent live show. Is there anything Diskjokke can’t do?

Tagged ,

Ralph Myerz Make It On GTA IV Soundtrack, But Miss Kiss

Yes, the world’s most popular computer game is united with possibly the world’s most entertaining live band: Bergen Kiss-lovers and purveyors of finest rocktronica(?) Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren band have found their way onto the in-game radio soundtrack of the recently released Grand Theft Auto IV. ‘The Teacher’ from the 2006 album Sharp Knives and Loaded Guns is the track in question, which surely exposes the trio to a far wider audience than their music has ever met with before. Are the band unhappy that their tune will be the 104401-article-vtlpk[1]accompaniment to millions of kids dealing drugs and shooting hookers? Um… no. ‘We are soundtracking the sweet sweet violence in the worlds most KICK ASS game!!’ they trumpet on a recent blog update.

Meanwhile drummer Tarjei Strøm was recently forced to make a difficult choice. Strøm had dreamed for years of seeing heroes Kiss perform in his home town, but the irresistible opportunity to tour in the US with pals Datarock reared its head at the same time as the glam-metal legends confirmed a first concert in Bergen in June. Let’s hope for his sake (if nobody else’s) that Kiss return one day.

Tagged , ,

Annie Briefly Offers Album Sampler, Wants You In Next Video!

Bergen pop-princess Annie has launched her new website as she prepares to unleash sophomore release Don’t Stop in September. Alongside the usual offering of videos, bio, gig dates etc, the site briefly let impatient Annie fans have a listen to a snippet of each track off the new album, although this function has since frustratingly been disabled. While you wait for annie_dont_stop-717237[1]this mouthwatering medley option to be reinstated the dancers among you have a once in a lifetime chance to get far closer to Annie and her new material than any tantalising album taster ever could: she wants you in her video! As Annie outlines, all you have to do is send in a clip of you throwing shapes to Don’t Stop‘s flagship single ‘I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me’ and the winner will end up in the singer’s next promo, gracing tv’s across the world. And Annie’s own best dance-move? ‘I don’t really have one’, she begins in the video, ‘but I guess it goes something like this (cue drunken ninja impression)… that wasn’t too good was it’. You know what Annie, no it wasn’t, but we still love you.

Tagged , , ,