Ugress - newcomer of the year?

Who could have guessed it? A fresh independent label hitting no. 2 on the national charts with their first signing? Label Port Azur and their prodigy Ugress have achieved what most aspiring artists and small record companies strive for; commercial success at first try. On the Norwegian market, "Resound" is one of this autumn’s biggest surprises.

Ugress, Gisle Morten Meyers

A year ago few had heard much of Gisle Martens Meyers bedroom project Ugress. A demo submitted to national radio station NRK PeTre led to airplay, and soon his first single “Loungemeister” entered the A-list, being played several times a day.

His radio success notwithstanding, record companies were reluctant to sign the Bergen producer. The reason lay in the sample rich tracks; none of the samples were cleared and the artists subjected to Meyers’ Akai-manipulation were big, very big names. Sample clearance would have set back the unfortunate label multi-digit figures. Enter fresh label Port Azur, which were intent on releasing the Ugress tracks. After re-editing and omitting of some obvious audio theft, Resound was ready to hit the shelves of the shops. And hit it did – more than 10 000 copies sold in one week was more than many had expected. Sales figures for most Norwegian electronica releases lie somewhere well below 2000 – selling five times as much in a single week is nothing short of a sensation.

Ugress’ second single “Spider Man Theme” is already seeing airplay on national radio while the album maintains a top-ten position on the charts.

Accompanying Meyers’ infectious beats and catchy samples is vocalist Therese Vadem, and the energetic live version of the band also includes a bassist and drummer. This outfit is now set to tour Norway, following up on their sales with what the band and record label hope will be an enduring success.

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