The Great Escape

Four Norwegian acts will feature at this year’s The Great Escape festival in Brighton. Self-labelled as “Europe’s leading international new music festival,” The Great Escape is indeed a hugely diverse and truly international event. More than a hundred and fifty bands will perform at over twenty different venues, covering the full range of geography end genre. But all acts share one thing; they are excitingly fresh and highly “discoverable”.

Rockettothesky

The four Norwegian acts to appear are 120 Days, Lionheart Brothers, Rockettothesky and Adjagás. Of these 120 days are probably the biggest band after more than a year of very intensive playing and hyping and not least a clean sweep of sanguine reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. After focusing on America for most of the cold season, due to their association with Vice Records of NYC, it is now the British glitz their after. And their eponymous album, UK released on April 23rd, was immediately labelled “the happening thing in electro-rock dance music.” NME feigned surprise at Norway having “a space program of its own” (where did they think our oily dollars went?) and DJ magazine related that “The album is chock-full of melodious guitar epics, but drenched in iced-out reverb and swathed in curtains of psychedelic machine trickery that will appeal to any electronica head"

The Lionheart Brothers have been recently and thoroughly portrayed on this site. They are a band of dreamy escapists; also they space bound, but on a ship of green-sleeved sixties pop, rather than the robotically surging futurism of 120 days.

Rockettothesky, in Norway this artist was first thought to be a certain Madame Rockettothesky (a Russian noblewoman with a history of Rasputinian liaisons) until we learned to cut up the name into its “Rocket to the sky” parts.
A newcomer on the Norwegian scene -as she spent her years of musical formation is Australia- the amazingly precise enchantment of her songs –they are like perfect visibility in a landscape usually draped in haze- constituted a huge and welcome surprise in Norwegian pop music. Her voice, the lyrics, melody and structure; all elements reveal a natural independence and audacity. Here are songs tantamount to an elite expeditionary force certain of its mission.

Adjagás is the duo that made seasoned British critics exclaim that they had experienced a musical UFO-sighting. The otherworldliness is not extra terrestrial however; rather it is intra- terrestrial to a transcendental degree. Adjagás are Sámi singers that make use of the age-old shamanistic vocal tradition called Joik and mix it with modern musical conceptions such as elements of electronica and indy-folk. Their music is like a play with consciousness itself; straddling the boundaries of sleep and wakefulness, dream and sensation, real and imagined. It is hypnotic and empowering; it is like an inward journey to a secret, a journey lit by the benevolent eyes of things alive.

Thus there is no question that the Norwegian acts in Brighton will contribute to the great escape in definite manner; be it into space or back to the mystery of the earth. The festival kicks off on May 17th and lasts for three days. In addition to its plethora of concerts it also features a parallel music industry convention presenting current topics, eye-opening debates and hot interviews.

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