Strømmen Gamelan City


2 x CD (2009) - Metronomicon Audio / Musikkoperatørene

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Funk / Casiopop / Blues / Elektronika / Alternativ

For Those About to Gamelan...
Ethiopian Juice
Phd in Vhs
Get It in the Van
Free Willy Nelson Mandela
We Salute You!
Bendit! (Like Uri!)
Sittin' on a Bucket

Tentisk Rural Remix
Sittin' on a Bucket
Free Willy Nelson Mandela Meta Mix
Bendit! (Like Uri!)
Phd In Vhs (Producer Chair Remix)
We Salute You!
Ethiopian Juice

Captain Credible

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(4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7)

For those about to Gamelan...

Remixers are at the rescue when Koppen's cartoon beats start rolling on repeat.

Koppen is one of the veterans on the Oslo-based CD-R label Metronomicon Audio. Always with a crazy concept in tow, his fourth full-length effort is a fictional take on the history of Strømmen. Stevie Wonder, Uri Geller and Santa Claus are all linked to the small industrial town outside Oslo "run by everyone except for the police". Already it sounds like a more attractive place to live.

The music is as far-out as the theme. Together with beatmeister and partner-in-crime Sissyfus (aka Center Of The Universe), Koppen picks up where he left it with 2007's Let's Eat Crazyroom!! It's Time To Be Cool Like A Boy!! To describe his style as computer game hip hop mixed with synths and cut-up samples would only be scraping the surface – on Strømmen... he's surfing genres like there's no tomorrow. With an 11-man orchestra in tow, Koppen dishes up a concoction of 80s pop, folk, funk and blues, bounced around by cartoon samples and wild saxophone solos. Bendit! (Like Uri!) sounds like Super Mario eating mushrooms in Arabia, Corncob contains a brief drum'n'bass flirtation, while Zingone's French rap on top of Pachinko's staccato beats is a baguette-and-beret breed of baile funk.

As the album concept reveals, Koppen's not short on amusing rhymes or nostalgic referencing. Hidden track Robbers is his version of Casper, Jasper and Jonathan's song from Thorbjørn Egner's Cardemon Town. On 90210, his ode to the American teen series with the same name, he raps about the "90210 ho" who "didn't fall for that David Silver keyboard shit". It's worth a chuckle, for a Beverly Hills fan at least.

It's hard not to be infatuated with Koppen's no-frills vigour. Nevertheless, the squeaky cartoon voices and general craziness feel like a pick'n'mix OD after a while. The busy beats start running on repeat halfway through, and Koppen's monotonous semi-rap lacks the spark to make up for it.

The nuggets, however, are on the bonus remix disc. On Strømmen Cosylan City you'll find a lo-fi banjo version of Corncob from Täppas Strepens, Easy's Baltimore club-tinged Bendit! (Uri!), and a handful of reworks from Japanese electro outfit Satanicpornocultshop. In true Koppen style, the latter have a tendency of being utterly nonsensical – their version of We Salute You! sounds like it's played by a toddler orchestra – but overall they bring a certain refinement to the tunes that's lacking in the originals.

Strømmen Gamelan City might not be brilliant, but it's brazen, bizarre and most importantly, a big kick up conventionality's arse.

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