New Music
02.02.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

Last great track: John Twells

John Twells is the man behind Type Records, the label responsible for some of last years best noise by the likes of Altar Eagles and Rene Hell. He is also responsible for his own dark, psychedelic noise, releasing under the name Xela. This month, he tells us about his discovery of Norwegian artist Bjorn Torske.

02 Bryggesjau by Republic of Music

Bjorn Torske – Bryggesjau [‘Kokning’, Smalltown Supersound, 2010]

“I can always rely on Other Music in Manhattan when I’m after some new tunes. Admittedly I worked there for a while, so I’m hardly a stranger, but I feel like every time I go I come away with a handful of records I probably would have missed otherwise. This time I left with the very odd ‘Kokning’ 2LP from Norwegian artist Bjorn Torske, and I was assured by store manager Mikey ‘IQ’ Jones that it would be something I’d like. “It’s sort of dance music with gamelan instruments and that kinda stuff” – a good enough explanation (and the fact that he’s never steered me wrong) meant that I went home with a couple of new slabs of wax. It wasn’t a bad pointer actually, this is a record that even as a music reviewer I’d struggle to explain without coming across like a total bell-end. There are plenty of nods to the greater Norwegian scene – the electronic glacial qualities of Phonophani and the slo-mo disco of Lindstrom for instance, but ‘Kokning’ is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Bryggesjau is the track I’ve found myself playing again and again – there is a sense of almost Reich-ian repetition, a splash of Turkish psychedelia, and yet there is still something oh so Scandinavian binding it together (see I’m already sounding like a tosser). I was cooking dinner when the track emerged from the record and I had to stop what I was doing, bumble into the front room and double-check the title so I knew exactly what it was – isn’t it nice when music does that?”


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