Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 18 - 04/12/98
Greatest SHiTs From Silicon City, Volume 3
The first compilation of great SHiTs from Silicon City was released in 1980
and are by now only recommended to madhat collectors, the saying goes. The
second volume hit the backstreets in 1982. Now finally, some 15 or 16 years
later, here's volume 3!
SHiT Tapes is one of
Norway's oldest and by far longest lasting cassette entities. The three
original directors of the SHiT corporation - Brt, Lumpy Davy and Cool Kat
- have been involved since the beginning in 1979. Chrisph, Zetlitz and
Ernie Chung came along a few years later, and at least one or two of them
are heavily involved in almost each track on this sampler. The 22 recordings
span from 1978 to 1996. The earliest are simple and home-made, marked to some
extent by tape hiss and distortion. I guess there was some turning point
around 1984/85 when the people involved gathered their savings and invested
in eight track recording equipment. The most well-known bands in this bag are
probably the psychedelic The Smell of Incense,
and the experimental/noise chums of
Famlende Forsøk. The two offerings by The Smell
of Incense are taken from their first demo recording from 1991. We get a pleasant
early version of Christopher's Journey (the mate of Winnie The Pooh, that is)
which was later recorded anew for the band's first album All Mimsy Were The Borogoves.
(I Wanna Live In The) Golden State is a sort of longing for California with some
dubious vocal harmonies and probably their weakest song to this day.
The Headcleaners (1980-83) were a kind of new wave and neo synth band and a
predecessor to the Smelly Innocents. Five old and previously unreleased recordings
from the Headcleaner vaults have found their way to this compilation. I'm especially
impressed by Et Blankt Farvel which starts with some haunting bass- and guitar-lines
somewhere in between Siouxsie And The Banshees and Tuxedomoon at their best. Unfortunately
the sound gets blurred when the keyboards and vocals come along (which go for most of the
Headcleaners songs here, alas!). A re-recording please!
Famlende Forsøk also offers five tracks. Gruppereisen Til Etnia is a spooky
electro-etno mellotron something and easily one of the best efforts here. While Famlende
Forsøk often imply spoken Norwegian words with lots of electric and electronic experimental
backing, Coalmine: 5 are usually spoken Norwegian words with acoustic experimental
backing. Of their three recordings here, Klovn På Panser is an out of the blue harsh
anti-fascist message with electric hard-rocking guitar. Chrisph of Famlende Forsøk has made
Groovin' At The B Moovie on his own, a blend of heavy techno, free jazz and some
Robert Fripp sounding guitar thrown in for good measure. Great! It's a long way from the
folky vibrations of Alfses' Back From Somewhere. Light and airy, the Byrds
are not far away. Almost the same line-up as Alfses constitutes Ernie Chung's Plotution.
Their Truck is experimental funk with light truck-distortion. Very funny! It even
includes the metal-rap-guitar-hero Bård Torstensen of Clawfinger, on bass.
Døve Munker (Deaf Monks) treat old traditional Norwegian folk and religious songs their
own way, dominated by harmonium, viola and great vocal harmonies. Both Jeg Arme Synder
and Lyut Lyut Låvamand have been available on CD-compilations earlier. Anyway, those
monks ought to reach a much wider audience and their two songs alone make sense to invest
in this cassette.
Anyway, 90 minutes in company of this bucketfull of Norwegian weirdoes and wide span of
musical styles might be too much at a time. There are rumours of a limited and edited 75
minute CD version of this cassette, which seems to be a very good idea.
The tape (C-90) will cost you about 50 Norwegian kroner/8 USD/5 British pounds from:
The Crawling Chaos, Boks 5, N-4810 Eydehavn, Norway.
Copyright © 1998 JP