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In the Kingdon of Kitsch...

Artist: Shining
In The Kingdom of Kitsch - Shining In CD
Label: Rune Grammofon
Regular Price: $16.95
On Sale For: $8.48 
Year: 2005
Format: CD


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Brand new album from young quartet counting two former Jaga Jazzist members and writers in their ranks, giving new meaning to the concept of progressive art rock and marking a change in musical direction from their two previous jazz albums. For the first time they use a number of guitars, vintage keyboards, horns and percussion instruments, but forget about endless synth soloing and long symphonic excursions leading nowhere. This is young, fresh and vital music with a strong sense of direction, bridging the gap between classic King Crimson and ECM lyricism.

Strikingly original Norwegian art-rock combo makes its debut for the prestigious experimental label Rune Grammofon, piling clattering drum machines, moaning synths and samplers, swooning vocal harmonies, and thunderous, window-rattling cathedral organs atop an alternately creeping and brutally visceral brass foundation. Colossal. Shining keep things brief, subtle, tight, and aesthetically on-the-mark, suggesting progness (or at least, jazz kids spreading their rock wings) is often less about duration and bombast than complexity, invention, and the rigorous interplay of its players. Pitchforkmedia (US)

In the Kingdom of Kitsch is a strong, fresh statement; where other bands that draw on similar histories fall into habits of being aggressively weird (often, seemingly for its own sake), Shining's music bears a somber austerity, never forsaking emotional tone for a musical circus, reinvigorating the music of their predecessors with a reverent, tense energy. Stylusmagazine (US)

Opener ”Goretex Weather Report” had me crying with laughter at its Death Metal riffing, although this is Death Metal with the technique of classic Mahavishnu Orchestra. Oddly time-signatured jazz rock of the Henry Cow school mixes with electronics, neoclassicism and free jazz in one unholy blizzard of noise. There´s also some harmolodic Ornette Coleman in here too. Munkeby and his accomplices also create beautiful, almost Ligeti-like soundscapes. The Wire (UK)

A band from Norway whose members have jumped from jazz to something much bigger - not the millionth dopey, clinical fusion of jazz and rock, but a mushrooming that's harder to figure out. Through brilliant use of the recording studio, "In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster" (Rune Grammofon) crisscrosses between acoustic and electric, small band and large band, vocal choir and instruments, a close-miked sound and a distant, reverbed-up one, clanking drums and careful snare-brushing, soft woodwinds and dirty, overdriven synthesizers, quiet and penetratingly loud, live-in-the-studio and and musique concrète. New York Times (US)

Jorgen Munkeby (saxophones, flutes, clarinet, akai ewi, electric and acoustic guitars, electirc bass, rhodes, synths, piano, accordion, meelotron, harmonium, church organ, celesta, vocals, string and drums programming, editing); Aslak Hartberg (acoustic and electric bass, drum machine, percussion, handclaps); Torstein Loftus (drums, percussion); Morten Qvenild (rhodes, synths, clavinet, piano, celesta, casio sampler, drum machine, mellotron); Andreas Hessen Schei (synth)
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