Perfect Pop Records

Perfect Pop Records

POP40 – Luna Kafé

Perfect Pop is Norway’s utmost pusher of independent garage-pop and related music. The company has kept going for 10 years now as a small unity beside the mainstream big bad music industry. 40 albums, singles and EPs released in editions from a few hundred to a couple of thousands just for the hell of it is not bad. Not at all! “We’re not in it for the money or the fame, just the pure pleasure of releasing music we believe in, chasing the rainbow till the end”, as Perfect Pop godfather Bartleby tells in the booklet. The anniversary was celebrated with the release of Bestrummed and a party at a newly established music club in Oslo one long evening in May. We were entertained by Nutrition Facts, The Ethnobabes and The Loch Ness Mouse and on arriving were even handed an exclusive free 7 inch EP, limited to 200 copies. Too bad for those of you who couldn’t be there, though I won’t mention the vinyl goodie again.

Bestrummed! includes tracks off the Perfect Pop catalogue from 1995-2001 and picks up where A Perfect Pop Compilation 1991-1994 ended. Many of the same artists are also present on the Doggie Pound compilation and The Winter Report which you can read about elsewhere in today’s meenu. Also many of the artists ought to be familiar to regular visitors here at Luna Kafe. You can listen to songs by The Jessica Fletchers, The Tables, Astroburger, The Superman Can Flys, The Loch Ness Mouse and Arne Hansen And The Guitar Spellers from albums and EPs reviewed earlier. All highly recommended. Check out our archive. But we’re of course in for more. The Ethnobabes is an amusing little guitar-pop combo both live and on record. I especially enjoy The Odd Shopper about shopaholism with girlish vocals and harmonies and discreet glockenspiel. Big Sky by King Midas is a personal favourite; laid-back, lightweight and dominated by electric piano, Ray Davies sounding vocals and nice guitarwork. It’s the song of the album along with The Jessica Fletchers’ great Houses Burning Down that keep spinning in my head.

Bestrummed! also includes a few non-Norwegian bands. Music On My Mind by The Silly Pillows of New York has dirtier guitars than their average song and contrasts the sweet vocals. Watch Children’s (also of the US of A) Little Plastic Flowers is a garage rocker completely dominated by a distorted organ in the Seeds tradition. The Orange Alabaster Mushroom is a one-man Canadian band that (surprise surprise!) moves further into the 60s. Another Place is a melancholic track that sounds closer to British than US psychedelia with phased vocals and the organ sound of Pink Floyd’s earliest recordings. Robert Birdeye (of The Tables) is the Norwegian one-man psychedelic alibi. His Opium Tea is completely over the top, especially when he dives into the piano… The sampler fades out with three bonus tracks by The Superman Can Flys, The Tables (their version of Friends Of Mine off the Zombies’ homage EP reviewed a few moons back) and Haakon. The latter shows Perfect Pop moving into folkier fields. Peace Comes To Town is sweet and sentimental (“You thought that this must be the ending of the world/But suddenly, there’s a girl…”) with mandolin, bouzoki, flute, male and female vocals.

Bestrummed! gives an excellent overview of the Perfect Pop catalogue of the last six years. Check out the Perfect Pop home page if you want to dig deeper.

– JP

Perfect Pop Records, Postboks 783 Sentrum, 0106 Oslo •