- Mono Hum
- Will Goes Hunting
- Conditions For A Piece Of Music II
- Stuck 26
- Leaves And Smoke
- The Atlantic
- A Dream For Ted Greene
- Ashes To Ashes
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The second volume in Rune Grammophon's Money Will Ruin Everything compilation series is, despite tough economic times for indies as well as majors, more elaborate and thoughtfully considered than the first. While this collection follows the same hardbound book/double-CD format of its predecessor, it is actually far more than simply a showcase for the imprint's offerings: it is a completely redesigned art/fetish object in its own right. The book is 152 pages; 10" x 7" contained in a half-length, wraparound jacket that is printed on both sides. Inside front and back covers, on each leaf of the sleeves, is a pocket for a CD housed in its own individually designed jacket. The book contains beautifully -- if sometimes chaotically -- designed photographs of the tiny one-man office and operation of Rune Kristoffersen's label. There are also photographs of its Norwegian surroundings as well as designs for the covers of its releases, live artist photos, and more. There are short testimonials from Rough Trade's founder Geoff Travis, who knows something of running an indie label, and Rolling Stone's ubiquitous senior editor David Fricke, and essays by the Wire's esteemed editor Rob Young and design critic Adrian Shaughnessy There is also a long interview with Kristoffersen by journalist Kim Hiorthøy. The most wondrous aspect of this set, naturally, is the music. For those who've been fans of Rune Grammophon thus far, this collection will delight: over the two discs are spread 25 exclusive tracks by artists who've either become synonymous with the imprint, or have been added recently: Supersilent, Scorch Trio, Arve Henricksen, Shining, Maja Rathke, Humcrush, Susanna & the Magical Orchestra, Skyphone, Svalastog, Deathprod, and others. This is an adventurous set rooted in density as well as silence, dynamic tension and ambience, improvisation as well strategy, and even composition. None of these are simple throwaways, or dead dog cuts tossed into the mix to fill it out. What's here is excellent throughout. Beautifully conceived and recorded, this tiny label offers so much in terms of vision, ambition, and sheer substance. In a relatively few years, Kristoffersen's project has become synonymous with the richness of independent music in Norway. While it's true that looking at and listening to individual albums offers startling proof of Rune Grammophon's aesthetic accomplishments; this package, taken as a whole, reveals that the sum of its parts are staggering in their scope. This is highly recommended for anyone interested in the very best independent labels have to offer. We may relegate this to the "electronic" category, but there is so much here, from electronic music to mutant improvisational jazz to darkly gothic pop to fringe rock experimentalism, that there is something for everyone.
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