The Norwegian experimental-power trio MoE – bass player-vocalist Guro Skumsnes Moe, guitarist Håvard Skaset and drummer Joakim Heibø Johansen – and fellow-Norwegian noise magician Lasse Marhaug share a similar sonic vision. Both parties opt for brutal, monolithic slabs of sounds, tough and rough sonic textures that in their own special way reflect the soundtracks of our times.
MoE cooperated with Marhaug since its inception. Marhaug did the artwork for MoE four albums. This close collaboration tightened when Marhaug joined Skumsnes Moe and Skaset’s acoustic side project Sult («Harpoon», Conard Sound, 2017) and later worked with Skumsnes Moe on the soundtrack to the Mexican award-winning film «The Untamed» («La Región Salvaje, Música Original de la Película», Sploosh Records, 2018), directed by Amat Escalante.
«Capsaicin» was recorded during four occasions, live and in studio, in Oslo and in Marhaug’s hometown, Bodø, between 2016 and 2018, and later arranged and produced by Marhaug, who, obviously, also did the artwork. This album brings MoE’s high energy and intensity closer to the sonic universe of Marhaug, a noisy, chaotic and often merciless universe, but a sonic universe that is determined to voice its subversive opposition to the coming waves of global stupidity and the world’s greedy, gun-happy leaders.
«Capsaicin» – releases by the Mexican Substrata label, MoE’s own Conard Sound and the American Utech Records as a limited-edition of 60 double Cassette – offers four extended minimalist yet noisy, metal drones. The first part begins with sustained sludge bass, guitar and drums, that keep rippling and echoing, offering a claustrophobic web of low-end and deep-toned frequencies, incarnated into threatening waves. But these waves are only the introduction for the coming, massive tsunamis that flow stronger and mightier. Only at the brief coda these kind of sludgy sounds will return in their innocent form.
The following parts of «Capsaicin» – totaling in dense 78 minutes – add more layers to these psychedelic meltdowns. You may feel surrounded by sinister birds of prey made of futuristic metals, baptized by tribal rituals that involve icy, thorny waters and hallucinating about deafening nuances of noises or even imagine yourself as a prehistoric whale swimming navigating through these confusing, twisted songs. Marhaug crafted urgent and restless textures of mutated sounds and noises that have their own character, presence and hypnotic, tangible entity. Once you accommodate yourself with the terrifying wails wails of Moe and succumb to Marhaug recipe, his hot and spicy textures begin to grow on you. Just like the taste of burning hot chili peppers, but now you may experience the taste of hot peppers on noisy steroids and on fire.
But, hey, these are the sounds of our times and the signs of our times do not offer much hope for the ones who can not tolerate such a hyper sonic experience.
Håvard Skaset (g), Joakim Heibø (dr, perc), Guro Skumsnes Moe (b, v); Lasse Marhaug (elec)