2011: Lasse Marhaug

2011: Lasse Marhaug

2011: Lasse Marhaug

Publicerad: tors, 2011-12-15 13:51

In terms of music 2011 was an absolute blast. I didn’t record much this year. No doubt the 2010 Jazkamer series left me needing to take a break in my studio time. It felt natural and I’m sure those of you with a shelf full of my records (all three or four of you…) don’t mind having a chance to catch up on things.

If studio time was meager I did play a lot of gigs this year. Several solo shows (of which Copenhagen, Seoul and Bologna were highlights). Also did duos with Maja Ratkje, Joke Lanz, Paal Nilssen-Love, Jojo Hiroshige, Merzbow, Otomo Yoshihide; and trios with Børre Mølstad/Ketil Gutvik, Jim O’Rourke/Paal Nilssen-Love and Massimo Pupillo/Paal Nilssen-Love. (Yes, quite a lot with Paal). Also the Fire Room and Frode Gjerstad Circulasion Totale Orchestra-tours were a blast. Another unexpected but pleasurable connection was playing with the Norwegian pop musician Lars Lillo Stenberg. I don’t think anyone saw that one coming.

In october we held a special Jazkamer festival in Bergen. Three versions of Jazkamer played (I was in two of them) + we had friends like Astro, Reiko A, Ambulthue, Hair Stylistics, Anla Courtis and Robert Piotrowicz play. It was a fantastic time and a fitting end to that chapter of Jazkamer. I saw a lot of good gigs this year. Some that springs to mind: Ravi Shankar (the best, easily). Iron Maiden (second best). Chris Corsano (third best). Umpio. Sudden Infant. Ambolthue/Sten Ove Toft. Swans. Judas Priest. Oren Ambarchi/Stephen O’Malley/Keiji Haino. The Thing. The Observatory. Jerome Noetinger/Lionell Marchetti. Robert Piortowicz. Hair Stylistics. Lean Left. Cut Hands. Phill Niblock. Moe. These were just off the top of my head. I’m sure there were many more.

Oslo continues to be an inspiring town for music. There’s several interesting gigs every week, with new young musicians popping up and older ones keeping active. The Blow Out festival in August has established itself as good arena for this new breed of noise, jazz and improv-musicians.

Starting my own publishing venture – Marhaug Forlag – was one of the year’s highlights. Going deep into the world of Joke Lanz and his Sudden Infant project and coming out on the other side with the Noise In My Head book was long journey, but nothing but an absolute pleasure. It’s made me an even bigger fan of his work. Ditto making my fanzine Personal Best. Issue 1 was released only two weeks ago, but already half the edition is sold, which shows that there is a need for printed matter. I promise at least one new issue in 2012.

Pica Disk wasn’t very active in 2011. A few vinyls, but nothing spectacular. On Prisma Records we did four new releases; including previously unreleased Kåre Kolberg and Rolf Aamot material. That this incredible experimental music has been unreleased since the 70’s is something of a mystery to me. I’m glad to be helping them finally find an audience.

As for new releases I haven’t heard many 2011 albums yet. It remains to be explored. I bought tons of records this year, but it was mostly older stuff.

I don’t really applaud the so-called death of the CD. I think the format has its place, but I’m glad to see vinyl making its comeback. Walking into mainstream stores and seeing CD-shelves replaced with bins of LP’s brings a smile to my face, but at the same time I can’t help but think ”you people were idiots for 20 years, about time you woke up”. Hopefully more people will continue to wake up and make 2012 an even better year for music.

Oh, and everyone must read the Ace Frehley biography. It rocks.

Lasse Marhaug, Oslo

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