romanglass (romanglass) wrote in magne_f,
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romanglass
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Hermetic

The other day someone sent me a tip that 'Hermetic' is listed on Amazon.de with a release date of April 29, 2011. I don't know if this is a re-issue or why it is now being offered on Amazon in Germany, but if you have been looking for the CD for a while like I have, this is good news.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with 'Hermetic', here are some useful sources of info on it:

a-ha Discography | Norwegian Film Institute | AllMusic

Having only heard the tracks piecemeal over the years via random, indirect sources, I found this review by François Couture really interesting:

This collaboration between A-Ha's Magne Furuholmen, Kjetil Bjerkestrand, and singer Freddie Wadling is to be filed under strange. Odd tracks are atmospheric instrumental pieces, even tracks are twisted songs, and all are untitled sections of "Solve et Coagula." The trio's first achievement is to make the songs sound stranger than the instrumentals -- usually when it comes to avant-garde, a song equals meat, something to cling to. But Wadling's psychotic impression of The The's Matt Johnson singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" will send shivers down listeners' spines. The album is constructed as a suite where a handful of themes meet in various combinations. Parts one and 12 feature the same text interpreted in very different ways. Parts two and 11 are two incarnations of the aforementioned classic, first in a warped electro-jazz rendition, later a cappella. The whole album follows a mellow, slightly chilled mood typical to the label Rune Grammofon's releases, but track four shatters the ambience with an electro-pop song the likes of Nine Inch Nails' most commercial hits. Thankfully it is only an interlude, as things quickly come back to strange multi-tracked vocal experiments (parts six and eight). Part ten is only a delicate, romantic piano melody recorded with lots of echo. It is brought back for the conclusion, accompanied by singing saw and the text first heard at the beginning of the disc. Disturbingly beautiful and yet surprisingly empty. (Source and song samples)


The album has been available for digital download in the UK, Germany and Norway at least, and sometime in the last few months was added to US iTunes. However as far as I know, this is the first time the physical CD has turned up as a new (meaning not used) product in standard online shops in a very long time. Well worth checking out, especially part ten, which some of you may remember from the Magne related bonus material on the a-ha Vallhall DVD.

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