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ARTIST
TITLE
The Black Death
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
SOMA 022LP SOMA 022LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
6/9/2015

Originally released in 1992 on CD by Tatra; never previously reissued. "Coming out of the 1980s Norwegian post-punk scene, When is the solo project of Lars Pedersen. The first albums were in a similar landscape as what he was doing with industrial art-rock band Holy Toy, and his later works have veered into a wide range of territories, but in between all this we find his fourth album from 1992 -- The Black Death (titled Svartedauen in Norwegian) -- a decidedly darker creation. Inspired by Theodor Kittelsen's 1900 series of grim drawings depicting The Black Death's 1349 ravaging of Norway, The Black Death is a highly sophisticated 38-minute musique concrète sound-collage that mixes elements of manipulated traditional Norwegian folk music (such as the eerie Hardanger fiddle) with sounds of horses whining, rats gnawing, wood grinding, and people moaning. Musically, it fits somewhere between Nurse With Wound's Dadaist studio experiments and Luc Ferrari's dramatic narrative environmental sound poems. Fans of Norwegian black metal will recognize the Kittelsen art from several Burzum album covers. The Black Death's release just happened to coincide with the church-burnings of the 1992 black metal summer, and Varg Vikernes, and a generation of young metal artists who would radically change the musical landscape of extreme metal forever, were big fans of this album. The Black Death incomparably evokes that feeling of doom and medieval dread that the black metal bands were attempting with croaked screams and distorted guitars around the same time. So if you're looking for the missing link between Arne Nordheim and Mayhem -- this is it. Pristine vinyl cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering in January 2015 and packaged in a gatefold sleeve featuring texts and interviews with and about Pedersen as well as a 12-page booklet of Kittelsen's drawings for Svartedauen. The rats would be pleased" --Lasse Marhaug, Oslo, March 2015. Composed by Lars Pedersen: programming, keyboards, harp, cello, percussion, sounds, and voices. Recorded summer 1992 at Sound Sector, Oslo, with engineer Bernt Kanstad. Mastered 2011 at Livingroom, Oslo, by Morten Lund. Produced by When. The Black Death is based on Svartedauen (1900) by Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914). All drawings by Theodor Kittelsen. Liner notes by Bjarne Riiser Gundersen and Bård Torgersen. Assistance and consultation on this edition: Kristoffer Rygg. Ideologic Organ curation and art direction by Stephen O'Malley; manufactured and distributed by Editions Mego.