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Bjørn Hatterud and André Hardang Borgen – Dalstrøka Bortafor


Bjørn Hatterud andAndré Hardang Borgen - Dalstrøka BortaforBeing part of the Norwegian experimental underground scene for more than twenty years, Bjørn Hatterud and André Hardang Borgen have finally released an album together. They started collaborative work as a duo some thirteen years ago, recording stuff on and off over the years, never intending it to become an album. Now it has all come together.

Dalstrøka Bortafor feels like a whole from beginning to end, although some development is evident over the years of recording. This sort of sounds like an electronic investigation of space and Norwegian folklore. It is noisy at times, but not in your face. More like it is floating, slowly, carefully, but also intensely pushing a bit. One might consider it being a nod to German electronic music from the ’70s, as Hatterud collaborated with Conrad Schnitzler for a while.

They use effects like loops and tape-manipulation, and there are some guitars and synths. Also, I can hear some samples from TV or radio broadcasts. Some other parts might not be that easy to detect. They manage to create some strange soundscapes, which gives me, at least, some kind of imagery when listening to it. “Hardingfelelåta” is quite obviously heavily manipulated folk music, as they bend some recordings of the Norwegian fiddle or hardingfela (my guess, although the name of the track kind of gives it away). The sound is manipulated almost to resemble reeds on drugs. A little slow beat increases the effect of this track.

So they are inspired by Norwegian folk, and clearly the track “Men Kva Gjer Romeline No?” gives more evidence to that. Naïve synth-like sounds create moods that takes me to the lonesome valleys or deep fjords of our vast country (that is Norway, obviously), and made me look for the little people coming out of the woods in the even deeper valleys. It contains some radio recordings and spoken words in Norwegian as well.

Borgen and Hatterud are a bit spaced out, especially in the following track. The inspiration is unclear, but the name is quite fitting – “Houston Vi Har Ingen Problemer”, as it translates to “Houston, we have no problems” (sic). The intensity is turned up and down during the track, so it might be the ironic / fun part, and I get the feeling that they are surrounded by aliens or species like insects, trying to communicate on another level.

The album is filled with fun and good frequencies that ring well in my ear. I think I hear loops, tape jams, guitars, field recordings or found sounds, suddenly a voice on repeat, and all sorts of instruments. I am especially enjoying the rumbles here and there, various spaced-out sounds and the feedback, of course. When I find myself waiting for where it is going next, I hear engines, manipulated into some strangeness, and an eerie feeling of going even deeper into space.

-Ronny Wærnes-

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