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The Choko King


LP version; limited, numbered edition of 300 copies. The Choko King by Jono El Grande features recordings from the period between 1995 and 2008, some of which pre-dates his first album by four years. This album offers an open door into Jono's surrealistic musical universe and is a rare gift to his increasing number of fans and anyone interested in the workings of a truly eccentric and artistic mind. The album has been meticulously assembled from home recordings, demos, rehearsal tapes, live and studio recordings and made into a completely new work by Jono himself. Jono El Grande is a self-taught composer, musician, conductor and prankster and remains an outsider on the far margin of the Norwegian experimental music scene. He released his debut mini-album Utopian Dances in 1999, a collection of absurdist instrumentals recorded at home using not much more than a workstation synth. 2003 saw the release of Fevergreens (RCD 2031CD), an album that drew upon classic progressive rock, film music, easy listening and a variety of pop idioms and featured a nine-piece orchestra. The Wire noted that "the vitality of his writing keeps just the right uplifting balance between sweetness and acidity" and called it "a pleasant surprise." Next up was Neo Dada (RCD 2084CD/RLP 3084LP) in 2009, an album brimming with musical adventure, odd turns, weird combinations of sounds and instruments, complex signatures and a good portion of pure joy, all mysteriously sugared with infectious melodic hooks. Neo Dada represented something of an artistic breakthrough and received great reviews everywhere. This was followed by Phantom Stimulance (RCD 2106CD/RLP 3106LP) in late 2010. The sleeve paintings on The Choko King are by acknowledged Norwegian artist Christer Karlstad and show The Choko King, intentionally misspelled to point to the megalomaniac's hubris: to choke on what you desire the most. Printed innersleeve includes nerdy details about each track from Jono.