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«Iddy Umpty»

The Norwegian quartet Moon Relay has been working for almost 15 years in the Oslo underground institution, keeping its stubborn, loud and adventurous identity. Its sixth album Iddy Umpty keeps its aggressive aesthetics, but it is also surprisingly relentless and surprisingly beautiful.

The title of the album, Iddy Umpty, refers to a card game that quickly teaches you Morse code. But the phrase, obviously, resembles Humpty Dumpty, the nursery rhyme character that falls and can’t be put back together, even by all the king’s horses and all the king’s men. This captures the spirit of the album perfectly: a subversive association game. Moon Relay marvels at taking everything apart: Language, song titles, genre, everything that is encoded in a music release, has fallen and smashed to pieces that re-create beautiful, angular and addictive art, and with this quartet the songs are named by Morse-code-like titles, and the bands keep the surreal cover design of Espen Friberg.

Guitarists-bassists-multi-instrumentalists Daniel Meyer Grønvold and Håvard Volden (of Lost Girls) and the rhythm section of double bass player Ola Høyer (of Cortex and Honest John) and drummer Christian Næss are inspired by the philosophy and politics of 90s underground music, and bands that put their sound before their image. Moon Relay’s music owes much to post-rock, noise rock, electronic beats, repetitive forms and electroacoustic music. It is not about being innovative, but about being explorative and flowing naturally by its own inner logic, augmented by delicate and suggestive layers of sounds, all the way until it reaches unchartered territories, And there, in the deep unknown, the real fun begins. Iddy Umpty repeats and perfects this flexible and infectious recipe in all seven pieces in a unique and commanding manner.

Eyal Hareuveni

Daniel Meyer Grønvold (guitar, 12 string guitar, bass, synth, organ, percussion, recorder, drum machine, clapping), Håvard Volden (guitar, 12 string guitar, bass, synth, organ, acoustic guitar, percussion, Revox B77, drum machine), Ola Høyer (double bass), Christian Næss (drums, percussion, clapping), Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard (clapping)