Sometimes a band appears that has twisted and turned so much on a musical material that it sounds brand new. Though, no one can invent something completely new, it is usually clear that it comes from one place, but just as clear that it is on its way to another. In the middle of this point in the transformation, on this mountain transition between dusty wax roll recordings and a strobe-lit nightclub PA, we stand when we hear the debut album of the duo Naaljos Ljom. They are known from noisy bands like MoHa! and Ultralyd with which they have toured over large parts of Europe, as well as parts of the USA, Asia and Australia. Now they have dived into the tonality and rhythm in traditional Norwegian folk music and dressed it up in an electronic dance music costume.
Was it unforeseen that the genre "traditional Norwegian microtonal electronic dance music" would appear right now? For followers of new interpretations of Norwegian folk music in recent years, the answer is probably no. The tradition is very much alive and never have there been so many practitioners of it as today. And with such a rich musical tradition, it is inevitable that the genre will be the subject of experimentation and further exploration. Had someone who lived in the folk music scene in the 1920s or 1820s made a time travel and ended up at a stereo here in the 2020s with Naaljos Ljom playing loud, the person in question would probably have shown interest. For the tones and rhythms are largely the same.
The main intention of the series "Perspektiv på norsk folkemusikk" is to invite new listeners into the warmth of the Norwegian folk music tradition. The archives are full of goodies and around the country there are strong performers in centuries-old lines of tradition. This is also Naaljos Ljom aware of:
We have tried to see the music from other angles by using other registers, playing the melody at a much slower tempo or from a different subdivision. This is then mixed with elements from electronic dance music, an idea based on the fact that traditional music was primarily played for dance in the old days.
These are our interpretations based on our musical preferences and there are probably as many ways to do this as there are tones and scales. We hope that it can be an inspiration to others who have thought similar thoughts. If you want to hear the living tradition, then you just have to take a trip to one of the many valleys and fjords where people are keeping the tradition alive.
A new perspective on Norwegian folk music here. Traditional Norwegian microtonal electronic dance music. Or "proper acid folk" as someone said. We give you: Naaljos Ljom!
1. Gorrlaus - 06:28 (NORX92113010)
2. Langeleikslått - 04:50 (NORX92113020)
3. Homslien - 07:03 (NORX92113030)
4. Galne Visten - 05:04 (NORX92113040)
5. Uppstaden - 08:32 (NORX92113050)
6. En venn jeg havde meg en tid - 03:31 (NORX92113060)