Label Profile
Rune Grammofon
Norway

emerging from out of its home country into international prominence due to its 2000 distribution deal with ECM, the Norwegian Rune Grammofon label has produced some of the finest experimental records since its inception in 1998. Dedicated exclusively to releasing work by only Norwegian composers, the label has attracted the best of the best in the nation.

The first and second releases by the label illustrate the possibilities of such an undertaking. The first, Supersilent’s 1-3 is a blast of improv jazz noise skronk that defies simple categorization. Garnering a huge amount of acclaim for their recent release, 6, this earlier work reflects the group at a more abrasive and rock-tinged stage of their career making it as equally as interesting, but definitely less subtle. Arne Nordheim’s Electric (Grammofon’s second release), however, is a collection of subtle works recorded over thirty years ago. Deciding to re-release the entirety of the Norwegian composers electronic work, the label has become just as important for new releases by the avant-garde as for archival material.

But it isn’t just the first two releases that have earned accolades in experimental listening circles. In fact, nearly the entire catalogue of the label is flawless. Specifically, Arve Henriksen’s solo outing Sakuteiki is a delicate masterpiece of Zen-like ambience, evoking Henriksen’s attraction to Japanese culture and music; while Maja Ratjke received a great deal of praise for her vocal experiments on Voice which was recorded in her time away from her other Rune Grammofon band SPUNK.

The label does not just release experimental music anymore, however. In a recent move, Grammofon has began a sub-label entitled Rune Arkiv “to release material from Fra Lippo Lippi, the pop duo that was led by Rune Grammofon´s founder and had some international success back in the eighties.” True to form, the band’s releases were classic pop music, making the label’s forays into the less adventurous a success. This willingness to expand, while focusing exclusively on Norwegian artists makes this a label to watch in the future- as the artists that have already established working relationships continue to mature even further.

Website: http://www.runegrammofon.com/

Essential Releases:
Supersilent- 6
Maja Ratjke- Voice
Tore Elgarøy - The Sound of the Sun
Arne Nordheim – Electric
SPUNK- Det eneste jeg vet er at det ikke er en støvsuger
Arve Henriksen- Sakuteiki
Monolight- Free Music


By: Todd Burns
Published on: 2003-09-01
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