Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Ole. G. Nilssen's World of Dreams from 1976 Norway
Of course a lot has been written already about this record, but it really bothers me I don't have a back scan to share. Instead I am just reiterating the old mp3 rip from years ago that someone long ago did as a favour for all of us. Yet that record is not so expensive, so perhaps one day I will buy it when there is more of a surplus in the joint shopping account that, as I said before, is predicated on the mathematical equation of 2 shoes for wife = 10 records for me (depending on sale seasons in which case a qualifying multiplier for the first term would be about 1.3).
Anyways, I personally adore this record, and even after hearing it so many times could still listen more. It has a very dark and melancholy undercurrent and the image of the children, presumably his own, over a mushroom cloud that looks like an H bomb to me, pretty much brings to us the themes.
Some short quotes:
Future Solaris member Nilssen put out this one incredibly obscure album before he himself disappeared into the ether. I've had this one on a curiosity list for well over 10 years, and finally in 2009 I had a chance to hear it, due to a good friend of this site. So was it worth the effort? Rarely is the answer yes in these cases, and "World of Dreams" is no exception, but this is a mighty fine album for certain. Light years better than the subpar Solaris "Misty Morning" album. At its core, "World of Dreams" is a soft rock vocal album. But there are long sections dedicated to instrumentals, and its these sections that are clearly progressive rock influenced, with 1970s era instrumentation. Like a lot of soft rock, the songwriting is better than average, and Nilssen possesses a fine voice, and so the combination is highly appealing, even if not consistent. One I'm glad I finally heard.
From cd reissue wishlist.
From apps on rateyourmusic:
''World of dreams'' is a great work, somewhere between Melodic Rock and CAMEL-esque Progressive Rock with obvious elements of the Singer/Songwriter style in the shorter pieces. But the long tracks contain some excellent vocal harmonies by Nilssen, whose voice is just pure poetry, very sensitive and ethereal, while the instrumental parts remind of a slower CAMEL circa-''Snow goose'' with some slight jazzy influences and plenty of melancholic soundscapes, and the combination of melodic vocals with smooth electric guitars has a CARAVAN-like mood, although this is not close to the Canterbury scene. Nilssen combined an expressive lyricism and accesible vocal parts with multi-influenced instrumental sections, fronted by his KERRS PINK-like guitar work and the discreet presence of other instruments like the keyboards or the jazzy sax and horn parts. The shorter tracks are just narrow versions of the already presented style with sentimental guitar soloing, doubled by acoustic passages in a slightly MIKE OLDFIELD-like atmosphere, with strong jazzy inspirations and some orchestral passages. The music is still very melodic and dreamy with superb structures and background CAMEL nuances, albeit more accesible in nature.
After his stint with Solaris his traces have been lost, although it appears he remained tightly linked to the local music scene of his hometown Harstad. In 2001 he released another album, ''Memories of a lifetime'', which was only locally distributed, and he still performed live next to Esdor Jensen, who also played acoustic guitar on this album.
Beautiful, lyrical Art Rock with progressive touches in the vein of CAMEL and KERRS PINK.Extremely melodic with a couple of standout pieces and strongly recommended.
All I can add is that I've listened so many times to this record, and I could listen to it again and again... it's that kind of record. I'm not sure if the original ripper just did a terrible job, or recorded it in mono, but surely we will have to find an upgrade for this little treasure.
One further note, Ole sings in a vibrato that conveys a kind of nostalgic crooner quality to some tracks, an unusual performance for rock, although it can be heard from Paul McCartney from time to time to the utter consternation and disgust of John Lennon I remember, who felt it had no place in rock music, and he was right-- except this record where as I said, it adds an otherworldly dimension to the songs:
At times, he even sings in a falsetto a la French Atlantide.