Folk

MMx095 Duelling Ants – Fauna

‘Fauna’ is a collection of some lovely new electroacoustic pieces from Duelling Ants (aka Hans Marius T. Jacobsen). It features the same lush sound as on ‘Phones’ from a couple of years back – electronic and acoustic instruments and samples interwoven in minimal jazzy sort of compositions – Raster Notion-style. Artwork made by Hans himself.

On this project I’ve been interested in the idea of melodies and grooves that force themselves out through thick layers of sound, reach the surface, and fade out.
Tracks were made with Ableton live, guitars, field recordings and the Grendel Drone Commander. The album is dedicated to my father, Stein Jacobsen.

Tracklist
01. Scuba
02. Two Doves
03. Atouba
04. Rat / Snake
05. Fauna
06. Olke Bire of The Highland

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MMx083 Trixie Marmalade – s/t

Trixie Marmalade lives in a caravan following the Harvey Steel travelling medicine show, where she practices as a fortune teller, a burlesque dancer, fish whisperer and a spiritual medium, as well as a backing singer for the Harvey Steel’s tribute band. She’s the poker queen of the carnies, and has a daily benzedrine intake that would make Jack Kerouac proud. Nobody’s wife (never gonna, ever wanna be, etc) and certainly no man’s property, she’s the self made noveau gypsie mystic.

These two tracks were recorded in her caravan and stands as a testament to the life of one of God’s own prototypes. I wish I could promise you more of her material, but this lady is hard to pin down. Artwork by Morten.

Tracklist
01. All The Fish In My Life (Somewhere)
02. Miss Andrew Smith (feat. Harvey Steel)

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MMx078 Electric Teepee – s/t

Back at the salon, the pianist takes a break (whiskey, in abundance), a stranger sits himself at a bar stool while a well-dressed woman walks restlessly back and forth outside. The town sheriff and his deputy are sitting in the bar observing the stranger with watchful eyes. The sun is like a piercing dagger outside, welding dust to crisp on people’s clothes. It smells of rotten rats, dried up snake skin and rancid cow’s milk. The deputy’s lip twitches. The stranger sends a nonchalant look towards him, gesturing towards his belt – gun is drawn, two guns drawn – bad situation for the stranger – two booming shots, courtesy of one finely dressed woman on front porch with musk. The stranger and the woman takes the sheriff’s keys, proceeds to free their companion, Dr K (accused of selling quackery – a socalled ‘ST’, sinus tachycardia), and the travelling medicine show continues further south.

These are some incredibly good studio recordings from Electric Teepee, who released their first EP on MarsMelons a few years back (release #13, no less). It’s a true privilege to release them! Produced by Electric Teepee and Peder Jørgensen. The excellent artwork comes courtesy of Thomas Bergsten.

Tracklist
01. Bag Full
02. Blues In Major Bob
03. Country Songs
04. Dr K
05. Hunting Sounds
06. It’s All Gone
07. Lunary Jig

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MMx073 Duelling Ants – Phones

‘Phones’ comes courtesy of one Hans Marius Jacobsen, aka Duelling Ants – incidentally one of the founding members of the legendary Elektrofisk (one of the first, if not, the first, websites in Norway covering electronic music).

The ground work on ‘Phones’ was made back in 2002. Working as a supervisor at my old elementary school, I used to sneak down to the basement and play the instruments of the school’s marching band and record sounds to my DAT-player. Focusing on percussion instruments, one particular recording session caught my interest over 10 years later after an annual basement clear-out. This short record evolves around sounds of the vibraphone and xylophone as the harmonic foundation, with various rhythmic elements as a constant backbone.

‘Phones’ are three beautifully crafted recordings I’ve been nagging Hans for for a couple of years now – the sound I personally find so exquisite it’d be a downright shame if we didn’t get to hear more at some point. Reminds me of early Thomas Knak, who is somewhat of a God in my book. In a time and age of compressors killing the organic dynamics of a lot of tracks, these three are just a joy to listen to, brilliantly mixed. Artwork by Hans Marius himself. Raw talent – enjoy!

Tracklist
01. Stretched Vibraphone
02. Xylophone and Drums
03. Distorted Xylophones

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MMx063 The Secret Sound – Dealing With National Feelings

Kristine Marie Aasvang, aka The Secret Sound, comes floating on stage with a mesmerizing 4-piece EP titled ‘Dealing With National Feelings’. Having recently been dubbed ‘The Norwegian Laurel Halo’ by DJ Indiana Ross, Kristine dares venturing into Halo’s mystical musical territory, albeit with a completely different set of binoculars and a vocal range far beyond her American counterpart. There is also a distinct folk-ish feeling to these tracks that create visual images of large timeless landscapes, glances into the primordial state of the human being and its place in the universe. Multitudes of generations of species scattered through time, carrying the same song deep within – the DNA, or the secret sound within every living thing. The quietness and almost tactile sense in these tracks are simply stunning, and if the word ‘epic’ is ever to be used to describe a piece of art, I think it will be promptly used for this particular one. Literally earth shattering.

Kristine’s own sentiments on ‘Dealing With National Feelings’;

Dealing with national feelings while I listen to the sounds from the other room, the room I can’t see. The sounds happened somewhere in the past. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I can sense it. And I’m afraid it will effect me in the future. I can already feel that the sound is changing me. The transformation has begun. What will happen when I get access to the other room? Will I disappear? Artwork by Kristine herself.

Tracklist
01. Ja, Vi Elsker
02. Enter Into And Out
03. Desert Queen
04. True Story From My Head

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MMx059 The Society of Poor Academics – Negative Polarity

He came. He shouldn’t have, but he still came. Looking around, he knew immediately that it had been a mistake. This wasn’t his sort of place, and these weren’t his sort of people. But there he was, and there was nothing to do about it now. He might as well make the most of it.

Now and then, you just need to forget what you’ve learned, get back to basics, and have some unpretentious, unadulturated, unarticulated fun.

A brand new, free of charge EP from the as of yet fairly uncontroversial one-man non-band the Society of Poor Academics, containing both old and future classics.

All songs and tunes were performed on a Casio PT-80, recorded on a Cowon iAUDIO U2 digital audio player. All songs written by Eivind Kirkeby, except for “California Song” which was originally written by John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. Album cover art by Pål Gauslaa Sivertzen. If your hunger is not sated, you can consult bandcamp.

Tracklist
01. With You
02. Excess Overflow
03. Mysteriumssangen
04. Occupy My Heart
05. California Song (The Mountain Goats)
06. Skal Det Være Mere Te Til Kaffen?
07. Så Smil!
08. Jonas Alaska: Drømmeknuser

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MMx050 Gunerius Quack Och Dom Andra – På Hjernebølger Til Jotunheimen

This absolute gem just in from Thomas to celebrate half a century of releases on MarsMelons;

Back in 2000 there were some guys fooling around with this acoustic music as a side project. We called ourself ‘Gunerius Quack And The Jonas Joffers’. We recorded some tracks on a 4-track cassette portastudio and kept meeting up for jams and explorations in this genre we had given the catchy klitch name greengrass. Some more years went by, and in 2005 Mr. Ali Parandian heard our first recordings and was intrigued, he booked us for his festivals ‘Den Store Påskefesten‘ and ‘Den Store Juletrefesten‘. We had also recorded a new 12 minute piece incorporating an adaptation of the repeating vocal line from a Japanese folk song (picked up from an Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.-adaptation of the same folk song). The group started to expand in numbers and the songs got longer and longer. We played some concerts and at one time we were doing a 30 to 50 minute rendition of the Beyonce song ‘Naughty Girl‘ featuring a single repeating riff and a repeated vocal phrase not in Beyonce’s original song going ‘Feel my body, feel my body’. It was weird, it was nice, and we were waiting for something.

Ali got a studio setup in the basement where some of us were living. At this point some of the group’s members had moved away but the core were still jamming and they stuck with it and recorded the six songs that are ‘På Hjernebølger Til Jotunheimen‘. The first track recorded was a version of ‘La Lo Le‘ called ‘Vargen Gjeng I Natta‘. It started as a ten minute piece and got longer and longer each take. The 9th (and last) take (used here) was longer than the maximum limit set on the recording equipment and the recording suddenly stopped, but it was the take so we had to use it. Some say sadly, some say nicely we decided to fade out the track and not include the sudden death of the track. After that we did ‘Mors Vise‘ which was a version of a song my mother knew how to play when I was a little boy. I think it’s a variation on the Swedish song ‘Vem Kan Segla‘. I think we nailed it in a take or two. The next song to be recorded was ‘Storbora‘, a song we had played a few times already, a song with two parts, the Storbora part, and a harder faster part. We decided on using only the Storbora part. The lyrics are;

Michael: Eg får ikkje sove, for eg høyrer ikkje storbora
Iva: Han får ikkje sova, for han høyrer ikkje storbora

Which translates to;

I can’t sleep because i can’t hear the sound of the big waves hitting the mountains
He can’t sleep because he can’t hear the sound of the big waves hitting the mountains

One late night Ali and me wrote a song together and went down and recorded it, it became ‘Betraktning‘. We recorded ‘Nattergalen‘ outside one Sunday morning. ‘God Natt‘ was recorded later that night. Over the next weeks we invited people to come and do overdubs while we simultaneously started the mixing/arranging process. This part was mostly me and Ali and whoever was doing the overdubs.

When the overdubs where done we moved the mixing process to Notam, where Ali mixed and mastered the album. I came in and listened to some button twistings and said, “that’s nice” or “hmmm, don’t hear the difference” but mostly I was happy with how it sounded. It was a long journey, but finally we we’re going to release it! But alas! Some complication with the label and arguing between another band and the whole label died, and our album was never released (all of this was back in 2007). Untill now! 12 years after the journey began we’re proud to bring you; ‘På hjernebølger til Jotunheimen‘ (Roughly translates to; ‘Brainwaves to Jotunheimen‘).

Enjoy!

All songs by Gunerius Quack och dom andra (Part of Vargen Gjeng I Natta Trad.Arr.), who consisted of;

Thomas Bergsten
Andreas Eri Myhre
Anders Eddie Jacobsen
Asbjørn Brekke
Michael Goksøyr
Iva Thorarinsdottir
Tryggve Lund
Bendik Knapstad
Ali Parandian

Featuring:
Bendik Brænne
Tuva Synnevåg
Anders Wasserfall

All tracks arranged by Thomas Bergsten and Ali Parandian. Recorded by Ali Parandian at Big Heart Studios. Mixed by Ali Parandian at Notam. The artwork depicts Gunerius, Thomas’s legendary great great grandfather.

Tracklist
01. Vargen Gjeng I Natta
02. Mors Vise
03. Betraktning
04. Nattergalen
05. Storbora
06. God Natt

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MMx042 Stegan – Basement Sessions

Martin ‘Stegan’ Brostigen (of No Torso, Yoga Grossist, The Phantoms, Knoklene) tunes into his very own calm and charismatic folk-ish style for this solo-EP, ‘Basement Sessions’. Here are Martin’s stories behind the tracks on the EP;

‘No One Forced James’ occured when the whole Mohammed drawing thing was going on. I wondered why many people were so afraid and sceptical to muslims so I wanted to challenge myself in that sense. I found James. James is basically a 85 year old man from Britain with middleclass background who chose to become a muslim in his later years and probably will be until he´s dead. After telling his life story James underlined that he “was not forced” to become a muslim, but that it is his choice. I wondered why he had to underline that. The whole idea of James and his choice made me want to make a piece about it.

‘Remembering Garrincha’ – After watching a VHS of the old Brazilian football team of the 50’ies, I read alot about Garrincha and how he eventually died of alcholism in an early age. In one way football was his only chance to survive from social disgrace, crime and poverty but at the same time money and fame killed him slowly. What saved him also killed him. To me, Garrincha represented every good feeling I had playing football myself, but now no one seems to remember him and the kids want to earn money and become celebrities instead of focusing on the art of football. I think it went the other way with Garrincha and I wanted to make some music reflecting upon my images of him dancing around on the field.

‘Television Tales From The Gym Threadmill’ is a song I made in a few hours after coming home from the gym where I ran side by side other people while watching TV. To be honest I felt quite stupid running for my life not moving even a meter while staring intenseley at different talkshows and programs on tv. I wanted to make something out of it and recorded sound from different channels that night. I think the song represents my own feeling coming home from the gym that night. Swapping between the channels advicing me to live like this and this and think this and this, well, this tune is my little musical answer to all this.

Honest, warm, welcoming, inquiring and genuine, just like Martin himself. Artwork by Morten.

Tracklist
1. No One Forced James
2. Remembering Garrincha
3. Television Tales From The Gym Threadmill

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MMx035 Harvey Steel – Sketches EP

Harvey Steel was left on the doorstep of an Amish family in October 1977. He was raised as a real family member, and they didn’t tell him about were he came from until he was fifteen. He then left his Amish family following a calling. A few years later, he met a musician in Mississippi claiming to be Jim Ford. Jim thaught him how to play the guitar. After finding out that the man claiming to be Jim Ford was just a cocaine addicted ex-hippie (he had planted a kilo heroin in his guitar on the way home from a gig in Mexico), Harvey Steel quit music and moved to Norway in 1997 and has lived in a small cabin in the woods just outside of the ski jump hill in Vikersund. He hadn’t even touched a guitar until one day he came home from a walk in the woods and someone had set up a small studio with a small amp and a few guitars with a note;

– I’m sorry, Harvey, hope this makes up for something.

– Buck
PS! It took me ten years to find you.

Harvey Steel then recorded ‘Turn On Your Lovelight’ right away (after figuring out how to use the equipment) and used the two more days to write and record the rest of the album. Harvey Steel has now put together a band and we are waiting for the comeback concert! All songs by Harvey Steel except ‘Turn On Your Lovelight’ written by Joseph Wade Scott and Deadric Malone aka Don Robey, ‘I Told You A Lie’ written by Harvey Steel and Jan Fredrik Bjerk. Artwork by Åse & Morten.

Tracklist
1. Turn On Your Lovelight
2. Standing On The Corner
3. Dead Ahead
4. Outer Space (Part 1)
5. 1969
6. Outer Space (Part 2)
7. I Told You A Lie

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MMx031 Big Chief – Murder EP

This EP just in from an alcoholic cowboy who thinks he’s an indian (The Native American kind); Big Chief. His first release, a cassette called New adventures in love-fi (released on the Big Chiefs Traveling Medicine show label) was a lo-fi folk record, but this EP takes a strange new path. The singing is inspired by people like Frank Sinatra and Scott Walker, but that really doesn’t shine through. The songs are about murder, and the simple instrumental melodies are fronted by reverb soaked drunken crooner vocals.

Murder EP is a taste of what’s to come from Big Chief. These seven tracks are written, recorded, performed and produced by Big Chief (unless otherwise noted), but the coming full length have contributions by (amongst others); Frank Benjamin Finger, Children and Corpse Playing in The Streets, Stefan Remen, Jakob Myhre and Andreas Lande to name but a few. Artwork by Morten.

[Download Full Release]

Tracklist
1. I Want To Murder You (*1)
2. I’ll Be Running From The Law (Feat. Red Velvet)
3. Jingle Jangle Murder (*2)
4. Bohemian Friend
5. I Knew It Was Tomorrow
6. Paralyzed
7. God Came In Through My Window

*1 The bassline is co-written with Ace of Spades.
*2 Words and melody by Eri Myhrebonus and Big Chief, synth by Ace of Spades and Big Chief.

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MMx025 The Southern Halos – If Pigs Could Fly

This year’s summer hit comes from The Southern Halos, who begs you to hop on the chillwave-train and let your worries fly away along with the passing pigs. The music is in the vein of the relatively recent musical phenomenon called ‘chillwave’. Half droopy juicy electronic beats over some warm organic guitar melody. And obviously the kind of high poetry and vocal performance by the dudes that made that music.

If you think you’re free, there’s no escape possible. Something, something, naked mass. You know the drill. It’s the vibe you’re after, learning the words aren’t too important. The Southern Halos are Ulf (Seminole Bingo), Steinar (Nebbb and Stjerna) and Thomas (most of the bands on the label). Cover art by Ulf.

Tracklist
01. If Pigs Could Fly

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MMx023 Stjerna – I Have Come, I Have Destroyed Evil

From Steinar Raanaa, aka Stjerna, comes this year’s early x-mas present, a three piece EP to make you dream away to warmer locations. Stjerna is one of the two beat smiths from the new Nebbb-setup (the other one being Anders/Snared) – he possesses a natural gift for coming up with that extra quirky drum beat or melody to crank a tune up the few notches it needs.

Over the years I’ve come to associate most of his productions with a harder and darker sound, but on ‘I Have Come, I Have Destroyed Evil’ Stjerna turns on the summery lights and let you slide down into a comfortable hammock hovering just above the warm ocean with all kinds of cloudy dreamery going on above you. It’s a short lived dream, at only 8 minutes and 33 seconds, but it’s enough to get you out of that cold winter freeze for a few moments.

Tracklist
01. Addicts of Drugs Not Yet Synthesized
02. Bureaucrats of Spectral Departments
03. I Have Purified Myself

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MMx013 Electric Teepee – Junkie?

The cowboys have left territory. Remaining are the survivors; the shamans. The desert sun is burning and the sand storm blowing relentlessly. The vision quest is about to begin when a travelling set of hippies come rolling by. Together, they share what’s left of smoke, while the Big Chief of the indians, ponders the sign on one of the hippies’ shirt. “Junkie?”, he grunts. Taking it as a command, the hippies begin to play. The indians join them. And the rain is summoned. And peace is restored.

‘Junky?’ is a collection of demo recordings made by the band sometime in 2009. The band, consisting of Kristine Marie, Thomas and Stefan, promises to give you “the chills in both a good and bad way”. That sounds pretty good. And these tracks sure do too. Cover drawing by Kristine Marie, photoshopping by Morten.

Tracklist
01. Hunting Sound
02. Blues Bob
03. Sovna Gitt
04. Bagful

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MMx005 Ganjibiri – You!

Ganjibiri started at the end of the 90’s/start of the 00’s as a prog-rock band but quickly lost all structure and became an improvising monster! Drony, psychedelic, free, prog, improv, noise, rock are all words fitting Ganjibiri. Some day you might see them killing your organ with an axe, or gazing at their shoes playing the same riff for three hours on end.

This massive jam fest, entitled ‘You!’, clocks in at 82 minutes, a proper evening feast for a prog-head. It was recorded live somewhere in 2005. Artwork by Morten & Anders.

Tracklist
01. Rød Tom/E
02. A Jam
03. Løpende Lovløs
04. Progglåta
05. Ajaoee

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