Highasakite — Camp Echo (20 May 2016) ♦ο♦ Často se mluví o obtížnosti třetího alba. Znamená udržet kariéru kapely do budoucnosti. Co uslyšíme zde? Vzácné hudební krajiny, místo dlouhých tmavých stínů náhlé záblesky třpytivého světla, napjatého ticha a nečekané exploze divokých bicích. Album “Camp Echo” vyžaduje jistou práci od posluchače, ale bude bohatě odměněn. Všemu dominuje nádherný hlas Ingrid Helene Håvik. Písně jsou postavené na osobitých a odvážných vokálech, přičemž v organizmu písní je jasná vazba mezi nástrojovou texturou poskytovanou ostatními čtyřmi členy, kteří přinášejí bicí, syntezátory a kytary do mixu. Pevné kořeny dodává bubeník Trond Bersu (vystudován v Trondheim Jazz Conservatory), tím se dostávají do centra pozornosti kypící rytmy a vrstvené vokály v “My Mind Is A Bad Neighborhood,” zatímco skandinávské vlivy jsou nepopiratelné na celém albu. Album má kouzlo i kvůli různorodostí kolekce skladeb. Tak jako u lepších bonboniér, chápeš.
♦ο♦ Rare musical landscapes, a place of long dark shadows, sudden flashes of glittering light, brooding silences and unexpected explosions of fierce percussion. ♦ο♦ Krever litt arbeid av lytteren, men man vil bli rikelig belønnet.Formed: 2011 in Oslo, Norway
Location: Oslo, Norway
Album release: 20 May 2016
Record Label: Propeller Recordings
01. My Name Is Liar
02. Samurai Swords
03. Someone Who’ll Get It
04. My Mind Is A Bad Neighborhood
05. God Dont Leave Me
06. I Am My Own Disease
07. Golden Ticket
08. Deep Sea Diver
℗ 2016 Propeller RecordingsBY PRYOR STROUD, 1 June 2016 / Score: 6
THANKS TO INGRID HÅVIK’S VERSATILE AND CHARMINGLY ECCENTRIC VOICE, HIGHASAKITE’S CAMP ECHO STANDS APART FROM THE GLUT OF OTHER INDIE SYNTH~ROCK RECORDS VYING FOR ATTENTION.
Ξ In 2013, Norwegian synth~rockers Highasakite burst onto the scene with a single forged from firestorm energy and sheer, eyes~to~the~horizon brawn. “Indian Summer” a mix of Florence and the Machine anthemics and shimmering electro~pop à la Chvrches was an explosive declaration of the band’s sound, difficult to ignore and nearly impossible to dislike. Sonically, it launched skyward with a chest~thumping amalgam of genre additives that still remains fundamental to the band’s approach today: indie~rock melodrama, frostbitten synth textures, and, of course, soaring, unstoppably propulsive chorus melodies that almost seem to tear out of the songs themselves and enter a different physical space altogether.
Ξ In the album that bears this image, Camp Echo, Håvik remains centerstage. Without her dynamic presence and idiosyncratic vocal delivery, the LP would be a largely forgettable collection of mood~heavy, danceable synth~rock. With her, though, it’s something else, a work of restless imagination and emotional complexity. Throughout, the spotlight stays firmly fixed on her and the various smoke~figures and fire~formations issuing from her lips.
Ξ Take “Deep Sea Diver”: it clips along at a lightning~fast tempo, allowing Håvik to test the elasticity of her voice against a relentless gear~straining beat. Each time she utters the title phrase, she seems to find a new pocket of meaning within it ~ another bit of depth, another impulse to go deeper. “My Mind Is a Bad Neighborhood”, while shadowed in a darker tone, similarly deploys a mile~a~minute synth jitter that seems to prod Håvik until she confesses her most personal vices.
Ξ “Someone Who’ll Get It”, the sprawling lead single, wields a comparable sonic formula but tells a different story. Here, the singer has an added element of desperation in her voice; the heat in her chest has now reached a nearly unbearable apogee. Across the track’s duration, she beseeches someone — some amorphous divinity or perhaps an abstracted version of herself — to send her a life~saving companion. “Send a soldier / Someone who’ll get it / Someone who’ll get it,” she sings, a cascade of synth washes whirling behind her, drum blasts testing her balance, and as her words become echoes, her real desires crystallize before you: she wants someone to burn inside like her, to burn with her, for her, someone who “will run like an Indian tomorrow” straight into her red~hot marrow.
Ξ Even in the album’s most euphoric moments, there is a current of desperation like this, when Håvik seems to be on the verge of a self~destructive meltdown but forges on regardless. “I Am My Own Disease” is a prime example of this phenomenon. It sounds nothing like you would expect it to: its lyric foregrounds a self~loathing ex~lover, but its melody is boundlessly heroic, its pace confident, and Håvik’s voice brims with hopeful conviction. While often left ambiguous, it’s this type of emotional nuance that turns Camp Echo into an active listening experience — hich is to say, it’s never clear if you should read more into Håvik’s words, or simply let them flicker and burn out in front of you. Ξ http://www.popmatters.com/AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger; Score: ***½
Ξ Norwegian pop eccentrics Highasakite follow up their breakout debut album with Camp Echo, a nine~song set named after one of Guantanamo Bay’s seven controversial detention camps. After setting the record for the most consecutive weeks on Norway’s pop charts with 2014’s Silent Treatment, the Oslo~based quintet’s sophomore disc arrives with a much higher profile and, at least from a lyrical standpoint, it’s a much darker affair than its predecessor. At the center of Highasakite is frontwoman and primary songwriter Ingrid Helene Håvik, whose enigmatic vocals once again provide plenty of the band’s allure. A somewhat moodier affair, Camp Echo’s tracks deal with themes as heavy as the ravages of war, nuclear disasters, and global warming, often painting a bleak, if somewhat obscure, picture, even as the music shimmers and heats up. Songs like “My Name Is Liar,” “My Name Is a Bad Neighborhood,” and “I Am My Own Disease” don’t come across nearly as desolate as their titles would suggest. On the contrary, the latter of those three is one the album’s most overtly pop~minded tracks, with a lush rhythmic feel and a strong melodic hook. “Golden Ticket” is another late~album highlight with a bright melody and a big, propulsive chorus. In fact, Camp Echo’s most beguiling tracks seem backloaded onto its more dynamic second half, with the skittering “Deep Sea Diver” proving to be another prime cut. Overall, it feels a bit uneven in places, but when they hit the right spots, Highasakite dazzle with their creativity. Ξ http://www.allmusic.com/
Hogne Bø Pettersen, 15.05.2016, Score: 9/10
Press: // Also: STEIN ØSTBØ: http://www.vg.no/rampelys/musikk/highasakite-vant-100-000-kroner/a/10123851/ΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞ