Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 20 - 06/10/98
The Del Trio
If You've Got To Fight ... Fight Dirty!
The Del Trio, or simply Del, is seated in Trondheim, from where they release
this "improv-rock-holocaust" debut album (after releasing a split 7" with Green
Monkey containing Sonic Youth cover songs - with linernotes by number one fan
Thurston Moore! - earlier this year). Actually the release party was to take
place under the full moon on May 11th (at SoWhat, Oslo), but it was postponed
till May 25th. Del is: Lasse Marhaug on guitar, electronic noise, etc. (who
has been releasing lots of home-recorded tapes and records over the last years,
on his kitchen-sink label Jazzassin, as a solo artist, with Origami Replika,
but also collaborating with other noise-mongers from around the world), Per G.
Galaaen on gitar (one of the men behind the Apartment Records label, with
experience from various bands over the years, such as Jellikit/Noodle and
Slowburn), and "bikercinemaniac" Kjell R. Jenssen on drums (who has been
skin&stick-man for bands such as Motorpsycho and Swamiis plus others). And,
just so that you're warned; this record isn't un-progged.
This LP is a two-part album. Side one ("play dirty at 33.3 rpm"), the
studio side, is called Improv (or improv-rock-holocaust),
and side two ("play safely at 33.3 rpm") bears the title Live At LoFi-café .
(A secret club, or dare I say "speak-easy", at the Lademoen area of Trondheim,
also known as Svartlamon.) Del are working
inside the experimental, improvisational (and, of course, instrumental)
territories of free-rock (as in free-jazz). They seem to like jumping in at
the deep end of the pool. The whirling-noise-pool, that is. An they're not
drowning, but rather droning.
Improv (yes, it's one piece, 20-something minutes long, improvised onto
a DAT on March 7th last year) starts almost being conventional, with a sort of
straight beat underneath the guitar-patterns. It feels like jumping onboard a
slowly running underground-train. Soon Del start their journey, going from
smoother parts to somewhat being sheer noise terror. They seem to drift through
various phases, entering different levels, but most of all they cultivate the
monotonous and the repetitive. I really don't hang on to their track all the way.
Some parts I do like, others I've got big problems to follow. 23 minutes of Del
really challenge your stamina and interest. Fragments of their music could have
been taken from the soundtrack of a film by, say, David Lynch back in his student
days. Or maybe this music is the real elevator music? Might be.
After the turnover we get presented to the live side, which was performed in front
of a small (hence the applause at the end) audience, and taped to a DAT-recorder
during last summer's Eat The Rich "festival". Live at LoFi... isn't
exactly Last Night of the Proms, well, maybe "Last Night of the Progs"? With
its noisy "pomp" and drony circumstance. The whole show is pretty low-toned and lo-fi,
being sort of eccentric prog-ambience. They're not thundering, but rather constructing
discreet layers of feedback and distortion. In some parts Del sounds like being Capt.
Beefheart's sick and twisted cousin. Towards the end of the 25-minute (ca) piece,
there is suddenly "vocals" from a choir of dolphins and other sea-creatures. The
whirlpool in the sea of green slows down and turns peaceful at last? To finally
make a conclusion, I'll simply repeat what I said earlier: Del sure know how to
challenge your patience. But if you're kool with the pro-noise-dronery, you can
just hop inside. If you're quick enough to grab one copy of this strictly limited
edition (210 only!).
The evening when the live-side was recorded wasn't in lack of action: during
Del's concert a guy from the audience freaked-out (maybe not to keen on the musical
performance, eh?), jumped the stage, and physically attacked, threatning to kill
Mr. Jenssen! Listen closely and you might notice this event.
Copyright © 1998 Håvard Oppøyen