Norway’s Rune Grammafon opened me up to huge cache of superbly inventive north European music. Alongside fascinating reissues of Arne Nordheim, strange left field jazz and electronic projects, cool graphic sleeves, the duo Alog were consistently dropping hugely interesting and creative electronic forms of music.
By the time Unemployed came out in 2011 (which remains their most recent release), I’d been caught up in other things but was happy to reacquaint my ears. Unemployed actually seemed like a bit of a mixed bag of recent project band members, Dag-Are Haugan and Espen Sommer Eide had been working on. Acoustic, electronic, handmade and experimental, the brief seemingly was to group together a huge range of approaches and strategies.
The album came as a both a double cd and also an even more expanded 4 lp version offering an additional 77 minutes of material. I never did manage to get the bigger version, but the cd version still conveys a hugely exhilarating sonic voyage like a fly through the duo’s bulging sketchbooks.
Bшmlo Brenn Om Natta’s chunky electronic groove punctuated by Jaap Blonk’s vocal delivery. The Norwegian lyrics filtered into superbly dynamic graphic sound blocks. The weird chorus revealing a new and untapped form of hyper pop.
Last Day At The Assembly Line draws out an immaculate precision based on sawing and clanking recordings straight from an industrial setting and carries you along for an immaculate, idea forming 17 minutes.
In amongst all the twisted samples and pure tone, the penultimate track Januar rises like a monster. Stereo rippling crystallised forms before peeking into a floating smudgy choir. Properly thumping electronic music that still feels beamed in from a Norway in the future…
Get Unemployed here