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This is the full album stream for Runhild Gammelsæter’s Amplicon.
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Runhild Gammelsæter – Amplicon [full album stream]
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It came out on CD in 2008 on Utech. (We reviewed it here.) Now Little Black Cloud is releasing it on vinyl. The first pressing of 100 is a bit unusual. It’s clear vinyl, which comes in a sleeve that’s an autographed self-portrait by Gammelsæter. To get at it, you have to break through a “soft cotton webbing”. Then you have to use your turntable’s spindle to break a hole in the clear label. Clear vinyl, clear label, wrapped in cotton webbing and a polybag – you can see a photo here.
Such willfully difficult packaging is appropriate for the music, which, oddly, reminds me of a round-table interview in Guitar World‘s June 1992 issue with Kim Thayil, Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill of Skid Row, and Diamond Darrell (before he was called Dimebag). When asked about multi-effects units for guitar, Darrell replied,
I never really understood people who were into those things. I mean, just what I need — 30 different choruses and 75 watery reverbs. I think those boxes were designed for people that either play New Age music or sit in their room, shoot crank and go, “Wow! Far out!”
Now, Gammelsæter does not sit in her room, shoot crank, and go, “Wow! Far out!” As one of the most accomplished women in the world, she does not have time for that. She is the only person whose CV includes a PhD, a Fulbright Scholarship, a Female Entrepreneurial Ambassador position for the EU, presidency of a biotech (is godzilla?) company, Thorr’s Hammer, Khlyst, and Sunn O))). That really is the most impressive résumé I’ve ever seen.
But on Amplicon, Gammelsæter certainly sounds like she sits in her room, shoots crank, and goes, “Wow! Far out!”
The record’s press blurb says:
Amplicons are pieces of DNA formed as the products of natural or artificial amplification events. Amplifying from a minute non-tangible idea creates something larger which may be experienced with the auditory sense. Amplicon sees Gammelsæter as a creation operator, increasing the number of particles in a given state, undertaking the operation necessary to amplify ideas to sound.
Something to do with mutations, maybe? Turning ideas into sound? This is not a work constrained by genre. In fact, it is not constrained by anything. It has guitars both violent and gentle, voices both violent and gentle, shoot-crank-go-wow-far-out synths, and absolutely no conventional song structure (that I can hear, anyway). Don’t expect metal. Expect to be annoyed, surprised, scared, bored, baffled, and, yes, entertained.
My guess is that when Gammelsæter gets home after scientist-ing, entrepreneur-ing, modeling, painting, and generally kicking ass, she has one hell of a dark side. She could probably fry us all Carrie-style. Instead she just makes charmingly challenging music.
Photo by Brian Sweeney
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