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 Catch That Totem! (1998-2005) (Melektronikk) CD

 I’ll admit it: I’m a late convert to Alog. The Norwegian duo of multi-instrumentalists Espen Sommer Heide and Dag-Are Heiden has put out a bunch of releases on Rune Grammofon in recent years that have been acclaimed by both friends and critics, but I have only caught the Alog-bug with this collection of the duo’s sonic scraps, remixes and hard-to-find tracks on Melektronikk. In their liner notes, Espen and Dag-Ore describe the thirteen tracks collected here as a kind of Alog memory bank and it does have the hazy, non-linear quality of memory, with light thematic threads running loosely through this beguiling mix of odds ‘n’ ends. Whereas Alog’s most recent “proper” album Miniatures is a fluid and pristine blend of electronic and traditional instrumentation, Hide that Totem! is a more ragged and playful beast. At times, the music wriggles and grooves like mid-period Mouse on Mars, as krautrock and hip-hop influences rear up and butt heads. At others, half-sung, half-spoken/chanted vocals mix with delicate guitar and keyboards. It’s an unpredictable, occasionally cheeky (see the “Hej, Vart Blev Det Av Dat’en, Kim?” remix of Kim Hiorthøy), exceedingly enjoyable record. I’m convinced.


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