Nordheim Transformed


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Nordheim Transformed Review

by Fran├žois Couture

Arne Nordheim has enjoyed relative success, at least in his native Norway, as a composer, but his early electronic music remained largely ignored. One of Rune Grammofon's first projects upon its inception was to release a collection of his electronic works from the late '60s under the title Electric. The release triggered a rediscovery of the music and had an immediate influence on the young generation of experimental electronica artists. Working as a tribute and a testimony, Nordheim Transformed combines remixes by Geir Jenssen, aka Biosphere, and Helge Sten, aka Deathprod (a solo producer and member of the quartet Supersilent). The key word is in the title: transformed. Biosphere and Deathprod don't merely remix pieces like "Colorazione" and "Warszawa"; they have dusted them down and given them a whole new treatment. Early electronic music wears its age on its face: the sound of early tone generators and the crude reverb and editing technique are all unmistakable. But under the hands of these two they fade away completely. Both artists have a penchant for dreamy tunes that allow a minimal, leitmotiv-like fragment to repeat and become a melody while noise-peppered textures evolve in the background. Deathprod has produced the most ambient tracks. A bit warmer and finely detailed, they offer a nice alternative to the light melancholia of Biosphere's music. This is all very remote from Arne Nordheim's sound world, but it makes a pleasant album in its own right, an album fans of Hazard, Oren Ambarchi, and the lighter side of Fennesz will enjoy.

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