MAJA S.K. RATKJE & LASSE MARHAUG - MUSIC FOR FAKING
Released January 10th, 2005
From the team that brought you 'Music for Shopping' and 'Music for Loving' comes an aural experience so shocking that you'll need to hear it again and again and again.
Maja S.K. Ratkje & Lasse Marhaug: 'Music for Faking' - Get one! All the cool kids are doing it. You want to be cool, don't you? Of course you do.
Following their second CD 'Music For Loving' on Bottrop-boy, 'Music For Faking' is the third collaborative work between Norway's noise guru Lasse Marhaug and Norway's noise girl Maja S.K. Ratkje. The latter of Fe-Mail and Spunk fame and the first of Jazzkammer and solo fame. This album is the result of a day in the studio, with an all frenzy improvisation mood. No overdubs, just a bit of editing. Playing laptops, guitar effect pedals, theremin and god knows what else, the seven tracks are a pisstake at musical culture, at least in the titles of the pieces, such as 'Nihilist Ace Blues For Time Travel' or 'How Much Noise Can Make? (Let's Find Out)'. They thrown in sounds of popular culture in their blenders, and put the temperature all the way up. So, yes this is full blown noise, for at least 90% of the disc, but the two are capable to produce some noise that really matters. One in which something is happening, a dynamic field of sound, small stuff is enlarged and amplified, like a high pressure cooker. Noise as it should be. A lesson to study for many.
- Frans DeWaard, Vital Weekly
After their previous Music For Shopping and Music For Loving collaborations, Norwegian noise impresarios Maja SK Ratkje from SPUNK and Lasse Marhaug of Jazzkammer fame return with a third collaboration of icredibly strange sounds and fractured, chaotic sampling. Music For Faking is the equivalent of carelessly tossing a lighted match into an open box of cheap Korean fireworks. It goes off with a bang and sends a series of screaming noise rockets into the air, which plummet back to earth showering sparks and flaming debris. "How much noise can we make? (Let's find out" is one of the questions asked here, and they answer it with a Godzilla-sized blast of digital demolition that comes down hard and keeps pounding. Elsewhere what sounds like a William S Burroughs voice sample and blaxploitation TV clips are incorporated into the mix of intricately looped beats and crushed instrumentation. Faking it has never sounded so real.
- Edwin Pouncey, The Wire
Scavenging through sonic detritus and muck, Ratkje and Marhaug re-establish the authority of noise. Music For Faking might suggest chaos and anarchy, but it's so well structured and machine-honed that at times it sounds composed, even though it was recorded in real time with no overdubs at Maja's place. Almost everything is impregnated with distortion, even the "calmer" spots: just listen to the title track, where a deranged treatment of Popol Vuh's Aguirre becomes the excuse for a chorale of a million creatures from some sort of sonic underworld. In "The sad clown called the law", amidst a hellish mess of twisted saxophones, telephone signals and television voices, an oblique laugh is looped to create a pattern so absurd that you can't help laughing too. Once in a while the wreckage is interrupted by short outbursts of easy listening muzak and acoustic guitar arpeggios, but "How much noise can we make? (Let's find out)" is totally self-explanatory – pump up the volume at your own risk – and the initial riff of "Nihilist ace blues for time travel" begins a journey to the centre of the spin cycle of a demented washing machine full of chattering chipmunks. It's lively, funny and full of great ideas. I'll bet Maja's neighbours loved it too.
- MR, Paris Transatlantic
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