Music Reviews

Artist: Stine Janvin Motland
Title: OK, Wow
Format: CD
Label: +3db (@)
Distributor: Musikkoperatørene
Rated: *****
The very first time I listened this amazing Norwegian vocal performer occurred almost by accident as while I was looking something odd in a small music shop in Berlin, I wrongly thought "VC/DC", a release she made with other three outlandish musicians from her hometown Stavanger, was a sort of a "thrash" parody of something that could be somehow considered as "thrash" as well. I could consider it as a proper lucky mistake, which makes me savour this solo release by vocalist Stine Janvin Motland, who recorded this funny realease in a couple of days in a wooden church outside Bergen. The most interesting aspect of her vocal performances is the way she manages to combine an impressive range of vocal techniques and a certain sense of humour, which shines through many tracks of this recording: for instance, the initial one clearly refers to Mongolian throating that she seems to adapt in a funnily histrionic manner by a sort of suffocated sinewy syllabication, sudden neighs and possible vocal emulations of Mongolian instruments, the high pitched scream on "Herz", which could smash glasses to smithereens, the gradual burn-out of "Alt det overflodige renner ut" (Norwegian for "all the excess runs out"), the meaningful alternation of afflicted weeping and stillness on "Fanfare", the transfiguration on "Monk", where you can sometimes imagine a Buddhist monk in the act of learning Tyrolese yodel (!). You can imagine that Kroken could be some back-country village nearby polar circle where you could die for frostbite while taking a nap after listening to the congealing snore by Motland or have pity on anyone who could experience Motland's disdain after undeservedly claiming to be a talented soprano while listening to the final "Nicht Jeder Kann Ein Dramatischer Koloratursopran Sein" or you could repeat the album title "Ok, wow" while commenting upon deeply emotional moments like "I" or "II".

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