torsdag 25. november 2010

Narum, Ælt som vart søkk borte

Debutplata til søskengruppa Narum, ”Samma hen du fær” ga meg bakoversveis. Det var et nesten perfekt album og det handlet om rootsmusikk, levert på lyrisk Toten-dialekt. Oppfølgeren ”Ælt som vart søkk borte” er klar et drøyt år etter debuten. Hvis det er noe som er borte, så er det verken melodier, lyrikk eller arrangementer. Narum fortsetter på mange måter der den forrige skiva slapp. Uttrykket er om mulig enda mer fullendt og voksent. Lydbildet preges fortsatt av gullstrupen Benedikte Narum Jenssens stemme. Hellbillies faste gjeste-tangenttrollmann Lars Christian Narum legger fortsatt et teppe av vakre, dynamiske og nyanserte harmonier som fundament i lydbildet. Samme Lars Christian byr fortsatt på lyriske tekster, noen av de ypperste som er laget i 2010. Det er bare er å gi seg over og erkjenne at dette rett og slett er en fryktelig bra CD. Selv om de fortsetter der de slapp, byr de også på noen sanger som konseptuelt sett skiller seg ut. Det gjelder spesielt platas to avslutningsspor. ”Nattas kurèr” er en up-tempo kriminalfortelling, mens ”Åssen væg alt tok”, er lett jazz- inspirert. Med en litt annen vokal, kunne den uten videre passet inn på Dylans ”Modern Times”. De øvrige åtte sporene på platen holder alle høy kvalitet, og det er egentlig ingenting å utsette – og desto mer å glede seg over. Radiohiten ”En million mil” har for eksempel tekstlinjer som ”Ser tur glaset syns no blinker i det fjerne, men det æ’itte ei ordnlig stjerne, bærre et neonlys på’n vegg”. Det er en hel liten fortelling i seg selv. Alle sangene har elegante tekster, som på befriende måte både revitaliserer dialekten og språket. Lyden og produksjonen er direkte og ærlig, uten fiksfakserier og fjas.”Ælt som vart søkk borte” er definitivt en av 2010 beste, fineste og mest helstøpte utgivelser. Flotte poetiske tekster, nydelige melodier og klokkeklar sang. Roots på norsk som funker! Intet mindre enn strålende! Løp og kjøp!

Publiseres i Fidelity nr 49

tirsdag 19. oktober 2010

The brand new Elvis album: "Viva Elvis"

I never thought I was going to review a brand new Elvis release. Elvis was dead long before I started writing about music. The record industry cross every border. Time and space is not a limitation. The Viva Elvis is a kind of "what if" project. Someone has been toying with the idea of how a brand new Elvis album would have sounded if it had been recorded today.

Three months after Elvis could have celebrated his 75th anniversary a new album is on its way. The producer and the musicians have isolated Elvis vocal from old tapes. The vocal is then used as the basis for new and creative musical arrangements. The old songs are adapted to our modern musical language. We are talking about a pretty fundamental remake. The result is exciting. Elvis appears, despite his physical absence, as a very vital artist in 2010. The arrangements remind me of U2 with a new vocalist. The essence is floating guitars, lots of punch and a heavy and dynamic rhythmic foundation. The sound is also much more compact than the original Elvis Presley recordings. “Viva Elvis” feels like 100 percent 2010. And it is a very good 2010 production.

The album fully demonstrates Elvis excellent vocal. The strength and dynamics fully documents how timeless his expression is. Songs like “Blue Sued Shoes”, “King Creole”, “Love Me Tender” and most of the other songs on this album is already a part of the musical world heritage. The new versions are adding a new perspective. They are catchy and dynamic. The talented musicians and the brave producer have created one of the best remake retro albums t I can remember. The musicians have defined a clear distance to the original songs. Therefore they have managed to create a whole new sound. A good example is the remake of "Can` t help falling in love ". The new version is a beautiful duet. We're talking about a great version with significant hit potential. In a facinating way "Viva Elvis" is true to Elvis heritage but also to our time. I can however understand that hardcore fan see this project as grave robbery. But I disagree. These old songs, Elvis' amazing vocals and the new arrangements works together. The album has good sound and is well produced. Therefore "Viva Elvis" is a good and worthy album in my opinion.

Translated from Norwegian

torsdag 7. oktober 2010

Bob Dylan: The Witmark Demos & Mono recordings

Bob Dylan's record company beats the big drum this fall. The first eight Dylan albums are retrieved from the old master tapes and restored by all rules of the art. They are now released in mono on CD and vinyl - and a package including both. At the same time, Dylan releases a new chapter in his Bootleg Series. This time historical recordings from 1962 to 1964 - the so-called Witmark demos. They are pure acoustic recordings with guitar, harmonica and sometimes piano. Total of 47 tracks, including fifteen never-before-released. The witmark demos documents an artist in the frantic development. All the songs are recorded before the man was 24 It starts with demo recordings of classic traditional tunes and ends with classics like "Blowin 'In The Wind", "The Times They Are A Changin'," Masters of War "and the drug influenced, but yet so poetic" Mr. Tambourine Man. "

Sony also releases a limited bonus CD with a concert recording "Dylan in Concert Brandeis University, 1963. If you want to get it, you have to purchase one of the other releases at selected dealers. Check out or the various Amazon sites. (

In all, there is a wealth of offerings that include packages with all the releases, on CD, vinyl, both CD and vinyl t-shirts, posters, bonus CDs, etc. At there are six different products. If you include the bonus CDs, the number of product combinations are more than ten. It's expensive to be a Dylan fan and Sony Music have really understood how MP3 ghost should be avoided by developing must have products for fans.

It can of course be the question of whether such major initiatives like this are worth the money. Personally, I think the Witmark demos are the highlight. Sony Music has over time developed the knowledge on “how to” extract good sound from old master tapes. Witmark demos is not an exception. We meet a early version of rough and tough acoustic Dylan. Yet the digging so deep in the archive, is perhaps more for special interests than for the general public. Some of the tracks hold such a bad recording quality; technically they just appear to be bootlegs. On the other hand, there are tracs that fully demonstrates the complete Dylan was as an artist in 1964. It's pretty obvious that he had to develop a new musical direction. In 1964 he was at complete and perfect acoustic artist. In many ways he is the Picasso of music.

Mono releases, be it the Beatles or Dylan, is a new experience for stereo grownups. But the differences are quite marginal. It's a little more punch, a little less sense of space and a more logically sound. On the pure acoustic songs the voice and guitar are coming from the same point. I must however admit that the difference between the original CD releases and stereo remaster editions, released a few years ago is more stunning than the difference between the remaster and mono versions. On the other hand, the mono releases are true to original releases as they were meant to be. Therefore, they have a documentary value. They are now in my shelf and hence Sony Music has succeeded to sell the same old material to me at least five times. No matter. The mono box contains two of the ten best releases of all time according to Rolling Stone. It feels good to listen to the masterpieces "Blonde on Blonde" and "Highway 61" in mono - as they were released. The six others are masterpieces as well, so the box is worth buying.

To be published in Fidelity 48 by Stein Arne Nistad (translated from Norwegian)

torsdag 27. mai 2010

The music industry still don`t get it!

Yesterday I got following e-mail from Youtube

Dear BobbySenor:We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from Sony Music Entertainment claiming that this material is infringing: The Bob Dylan History

The video in question is a two minutes affair I made way back in 2002. It is a time travel through Dylan’s life based on his music and images of Dylan. It was pretty good and was actually shown on the Norwegian National TV channel NRK.

Sony Music has obviously the law on their side. From their perspective this is illegal use of Sony Music’s and Dylan’s material. However this video was made by a Dylan fan for fans and others interested. It is not a commercial video whatsoever!

Ten, fifteen thousand people did watch the video on their own initiative before it was stopped by Sony. They represented thousands of potential customers and buyers of Dylan's music. In other words, the video was a free promotion more than as a threat to Dylan's economic interests.

Youtube is for the music industry a free advertising channel. I can`t understand how they can miss this point. Without Youtube Susan Boyle would not be a phenomenon and last year's best-selling artists.

Sony Music Entertainment is committed to the important task to stop the fans - rather than creating new services and features that will help the industry to regain its position and credibility.

What if Sony Music instead of using energy to spot and disabling videos instead used their energy to build a portal with links to "approved" Dylan fan videos? What if they combined it with a store where one could buy CDs, fan effects, and music in high-resolution audio formats and not only in hopeless MP3. What if they used Dylan fans as a sales force instead of forbid them do expose their admiration and respect for Dylan and other artist on Youtube and in social media in general?

But they miss the point. They use their energy to conserve and protect old fashioned business models instead of creating new ones.

I will not upload the video again. That's Sonys loss – not mine. So far my Pink Floyd Roger Waters video is still available. Enjoy. It will soon disappear!

fredag 21. mai 2010

«Vitring på Twitter – kvitring eller tvitring?


Både tvitre og kvitre er brukbare, og begge er i bruk. Jeg tilrår kvitre, jamfør dette avsnittet som vi har skrevet for nettsidene våre (det har ikke blitt lagt ut ennå):

«Vitring på Twitter – kvitring eller tvitring?

Substantivet twitter tyder ’kvitter’ eller ’kvitring’, altså lydane småfuglane lagar. Språkrådet er førebels ikkje med på «nettfuglebrettet» Twitter, men somme i denne flokken spør oss korleis dei kan trille og syngje på norsk om stort og smått i verda og livet.

For det første: Vi set ikkje om sjølve firmanamnet til Kvitter (ev. også Kvidder på bokmål ) på norsk, med mindre selskapet sjølv skulle ønskje det. Men dei ulike aktivitetane på Twitter står vi fritt til å omtale på norsk. Verbet twitter (også tweet) har alt tilpassa seg norsk i form av tvitre og kvitre. Sjølv om tvitre må vera lånt frå engelsk, kan det sjå ut som eit «heimebaka» ord – det glid lett inn i norsk uttale, bøying og rettskriving. Men tvitre kan truleg berre brukast i den snevre tydinga ’sende melding på den sosiale nettstaden Twitter’. Det same gjeld ikkje-tilpassa variantar som tweete eller twit(t)re. Med ord som kvitre, kvitter og kvitring får vi med det vide tydingsinnhaldet og den same biletbruken som dei har i engelsk. Derfor held vi ein knapp på kvitringa.

Vi må òg nemne eit pussig samanfall på nynorsk: Frå før har vi verbet vitre ( ’orientere, gje melding’) og uttrykket til vitring (’til orientering’). Tvitring/kvitring er altså ei form for vitring

Vennlig hilsen

Daniel G. Ims