Norway - Full Moon 206 - 06/23/13
It's a label showdown!
Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records - Round 49
(2010 Metronomicon Audio: MEAU.0049.MINI KOPP)
Ulver: Childhood's End
(2012 Jester Records TRICK-049)
Welcome to round 49 in the label showdown series between Metronomicon Audio and Jester Records!
Since we've more or less totally missed out on reviewing the output of these two great labels, we are going
through their entire catalogues, matching the releases from each label consecutively against each other.
Humorously counting goals
and giving out yellow
and red cards, soccer style -
but first of all reviewing the music. For more introductory information on this label match, see
Objectified is is presented in a nice mug!
The Ulver comes as a digipack CD.
Continuing the imaginative physical packaging for their releases, it seems only logical to follow up
a soda bottle with a cup! Especially when the artist name is Koppen,
"The Cup" in Norwegian. This is actually a solid mug, accompanied with a mini-CDr containing
four Koppen tracks. Funnily the mug is whimsically decorated with ... cups and mugs! It is designed by Espen Friberg
of Yokoland, and it certainly
is a fine creation. A very clean design, in rich blue & red colours, and it has become my favourite
drinking mug at home. Only 150 were made, making this an attractive item in
Metronomicon's catalogue. Koppen's music is certainly not my cup of tea though. I will easily admit that I really
have no ear for this kind of synthetic, blip-blop, toy-disco mishmash, it's all just annoying. Sorry!
Childhood's End is released by Kscope, but licensed from Jester Records, who list it as TRICK049, so we
allow for this team to enter the field. The album is Ulver's tribute to some of the 60's psychedelic music that
inspired them early on, a collection of cover versions of their 16 favourite tracks. It was reviewed
here by JP last year. He seemed more impressed with the song selection than with Ulver's interpretations, and I'll have to agree. The vocals are
about the only way to recognize that this is indeed Ulver, but the gloomy, sulky voice seems to give all the songs
the same glum and lackluster mood. I also agree with JP about the overuse of echo, reverb & tremolo and in sum this is like
time-travelling back to Woodstock, taking some bad acid and falling
headfirst into a pool of brown mud.
Well, it's not that terrible, but the kaleidoscopic joy that these songs should be able to spike is all but gone.
Giving the cover shows a heartbreaking Vietnam war photo it was perhaps Ulver's goal to create dark and de-hippified versions
of these songs, and I like music with a dark side, but this album is all too one-dimensional and, frankly, boring. Still, it will make some
Ulver fans seek out the originals and spike a general interest in 60's psychedelia, which of course is a good thing.
It even got JP to take a thorough look at the 16 originals.
Match result: Metronomicon Audio 2 () - Jester Records 2 ()
Next head-to-head meeting is the 5.0 compilation from Metronomicon Audio which is up against
the When release Whensday from Jester Records.
Copyright © 2013 Knut Tore Breivik