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Hemmelig Tempo - 2011 - "Who Put John Cage On The Guest List?"

(47:03, Musea Records)



1.  Professor Waffel Arrival by Aeroplane 6:03
2.  Triangular Institutionalized Transformations 4:22
3.  Who Put John Cage on the Guest List 9:09
4.  First Report from the Temporary Laboratory of Buddha Pavilion 5:52
5.  Doktor Dovs Research on the Last Sound You'll Ever Hear 9:51
6.  How to Wear a Lab Coat 7:41
7.  Notes from Professor Fokuda’s Mountain Seminar 8:45
8.  A Study Dedicated to Arne Nordheim 0:06


Professor Fokuda-san – keyboards, effects
Professor Waffel – keyboards, effects
Doctor Div – keyboards, effects

Prolusion. The Norwegian project HEMMELIG TEMPO is a unit that apparently has been active for quite some time, best known for live, improvised performances, frequently performed within a multimedia context. "Who Put John Cage on the Guest List?" is their debut album, and was released through Musea Records’ sub-label Gazul in 2011.

Analysis. The realms of electronic music are rather diverse, and even within a progressive music oriented context you'll find more variety than you can shake a stick at. The experimental parts of this type of music can be among the most challenging musical constructions you'll ever encounter, and at the core of this part of the progressive electronic music universe is where you'll find Hemmelig Tempo. The three performers, using the pseudonyms Professor Fokuda-san, Professor Waffel and Doctor Div (Doctor Deaf in English), have made themselves a CD filled to the brim of some of the most uncompromising electronic music I've ever encountered. These are sound constructions where melody and harmony are mostly tossed aside to be disregarded, and those who need fixed rhythm patterns will have to look long and hard to encounter any of these as well. Noise effects, chirps, bleeps, surging textures and various kinds of electronic percussion details are the building blocks utilized, but not in a random or haphazard fashion. The constructions are cohesive and fluent, and while structures, themes or arrangements mostly are missing in action, the sound effects segue into on another in a nifty and effective manner. To add some stability to the rather chaotic landscape explored Hemmelig Tempo does utilize a few recurring effects: downmixed organ and piano textures, circulating surging synth textures or machine-like sounds, floating light toned keyboard textures occasionally floating on top, small details providing a fixed pattern or basic melodic dimension to the proceedings that help the listener to find his or her way among the plethora of sounds and samples. Personally I found First Report from the Temporary Laboratory of Buddha Pavilion and Notes from Professor Fokuda’s Mountain Seminar to be the most interesting, challenging constructions both of them but arguably slightly more accessible than the rest of the material at hand. Most accessible of all is A Study Dedicated to Arne Nordheim, but the brief click followed by six seconds of silence appears to be more of a comment about Nordheim as a composer than a musical statement as such.

Conclusion. Highly experimental and uncompromising electronic soundscapes are what Hemmelig Tempo provides on their debut album "Who Put John Cage on the Guest List". A production that I suspect will have a narrowly defined audience; those fond of electronic noise productions perhaps the key part of their target crowd. A very well made disc for the especially interested, those unaccustomed to music of this kind better approach with some caution however.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 9, 2012
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Musea Records
Hemmelig Tempo


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