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Kim Hiorthoy
(Smalltown Supersound)

In addition to being an in-demand graphic designer (he did the minimal series of covers for Supersilent), Kim Hiorthoy is an oddball electronic musician. Mixing leftfield beats and playful melodies with ocassional vocals, his work at times calls to mind artists on the Morr label, yet at others goes in completely different directions. Melke is the second album he's released, and unlike his first album Hei, it isn't really a disc that was conceived all at once. Instead, it's more of a collection of tracks that he's done from singles and compilation releases. There are remixes and original tracks and alternate versions of tracks, but a light touch keeps everything strung together, no matter how loose it seems at times.

The disc actually opens with a trio of tracks that have a similar feel. "Door Opens Both Ways" opens the disc with all kinds of found-sound percussion and programmed clicks while jaunty keyboard melodies and arpeggios jump around. About halfway through, a super chunky beat drops in and takes things to the close. "Doktor Watson-Trikset" mixes more found-sound noises with odd horn samples and some kitchen-sink percussion while "Evil House, Evil Day" runs ragged through hip-hop-esque beats and more filtered keyboard melodies. The latter track is an epic, stretching on for almost 11 minutes while cycling through different beats while the melodies break down and are replaced with new ones that bloom like flowers on a spring day.

"Ting Som Virker" goes in a different route, mixing more found-sound samples of someone talking with a repetitive melody that ocassionally crops up in the background. At just over 2 minutes, it feels kind of tossed-off, but acts as a bridge to the slightly-different sounds of the remaining tracks. "Det Blev Fel" makes great use of near-silence, starting out with a sample of someone leaving or entering an apartment before some piano and vocal melodies wind up and a jangly beat drops over it all. "Ready 4 Love" is a remix of a Kevin Blechdom track and sounds accordingly hopped-up and tinny, as a 4/4 beat thumps away towards the dancefloor.

"As If" continues the slightly dancier feel, burying a skronky melody in layers of feedback while a clipped dance beat thumps away. Just when it seems like it's going to keep stepping it up a notch, the album comes back with an invigorated remix of the Norwegian slowcore artists Monopot. Hiorthoy loops a lazy guitar melody, speeding it up and adding a drum and bass beat, turning the track into something completely different. Jaga Jazzist also gets the remix treatment as Hiorthoy pumps things up into an almost old-school rave track complete with a sped-up keyboard melody and some crunchy dance beats. Over 68 minutes, the 13 tracks sometimes feel a bit haphazard and disjointed, but that's part of the charm of the disc as well. Can't wait to see what happens when he focuses his output a little more (or maybe I'll just have to go back and check out his debut Hei).

Rating: 7.25