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BILLY MEIER

«Sounds From Erra»
ØRA FONOGRAM, OF142

When the Swiss Eduard Albert «Billy» Meier launched his theories on space flight and extraterrestrial activity, as well as his claims about contacting beings from outer space and visiting faraway planets back in the seventies, he could not have guessed that a young Norwegian and would make music in his name more than forty years later. The band Billy Meier offers a sonic insight into the fantasies-theories-stories of the historic figure of billy Meier, imagining sounds from another universe and different planet, of mysterious creatures, magical nature and bizarre animals.

«Sounds From Erra» is the sophomore album of the Billy Meier quintet, titled after one the planets that the real Billy Meier claimed to have visited, and following the debut album, «Introducing… Billy Meier» (Just For The Records, 2017). The new album tells the story of the journey from Earth to the planet Erra, about life in the futurist cities and magical forests of this colorful and romantic planet. Surprisingly, Billy Meier draws inspiration from David Attenborough’s way of narrating a story in his nature documentaries for BBC, and, obviously, from space-rock, psychedelic culture, producer Joe Meek’s classic «I Hear A New World» (Triumph, 1960), the cosmic phase of John Coltrane and even some Norwegian folk music.

The performances of the Oslo-based Billy Meier are quite visual as the band wears disco ball helmets and gold pants and surrounded by inflatable inflatable green aliens on stage, often compared to iconic, colorful performances of such bands as DEVO and The Residents. But when orbiting into outer space super-sonic jazz the inevitable comparisons are to the seminal and massive body of work of Sun Ra and his Arkestra (a direct influence on another Norwegian space-jazz band, Dr. Kay & His Interstellar Tone Scientists) or the even higher, far more psychedelic stories of early Gong’s Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy about the flying teapot and the pot head pixies. In comparison, Billy Meier music sounds much more well-mannered and too cautious, lacks the inner conviction of experienced space travellers like Sun Ra and his comrades, or the wild and urgent imagination of Gong’s Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth. But no worries, Billy Meier just began their journey and have tracked a promising course. It is about time to set their controls to the heart of hyperspace.

Eyal Haruveni

Henriette Eilertsen (fl, synth, v), Hans Kjorstad (vio), Martin Morland (b), Sander Eriksen Nordahl (g), Ivar Myrset Asheim (dr, sample pad)