Fe-mail – Skylubb Fra Haelvete (Important) 2003


I’ve had the  review for this record sitting as a draft since early August. I’ve wrestled with it and to be honest I’ve flogged the fucker to death trying to figure out something intelligent to write about it. I could go easy on myself and say that the  very satisfying racket these two create remind me of a cross between early Nurse with Wound and analog  Merzbow (yeah like I know the difference between analog Merzbow and digital Merzbow), but it’s lazy  and no excuse for the  writers block I’ve had for the  last couple of weeks. 

Fe-mail are themselves a rather intriguing beast. An all female band in a genre, that if one regards Whitehouse and early Merzbow, can be a rather misogynist art form, is something of a rarity. Fe-mail hail from Norway and are a duo consisting of Maja Ratkje and Hild Sofie Tajford. Together they are one half of the all female improv band, Spunk. The cover itself is a classic fake out, a dayglo, cheesecake photo does not prepare the  listener for  the blasts of power electronics, disembodied voice, twisted instrument manipulations and electro-nastiness which make up this record. But what it does do is hint at the clear impression that they certainly aren’t taking themselves too seriously. At the moment barring some of those incredible Merzbow records, this may be as perfect a noise record as I’ve heard. There is so much going on in the sonic maelstrom that in-between some goofy grins I can’t help but marvel at just how good Fe-mail are. At times they recall late era Merzbow but the next minute reminded me of Pita and Birchville Cat Motel. It embodies everything that is interesting and challenging about noise.  It is an extraordinary record, pure and simple.

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4 Responses to “Fe-mail – Skylubb Fra Haelvete (Important) 2003”

  1. Have you heard Maja Ratkje’s great “Voice” album? It closes with a track called “Insomnia” which features one of the greatest tracks of mindfuck noise I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear.

  2. noisenoisenoise Says:

    I hear great things about “Voice” but alas haven’t tracked down a copy as yet. I did track down a Spunk record which is serious amounts of fun. I’m also trying to track down the CD’s she did with Lasse (Can’t remember his last name) from Jazzkammer.

  3. In retrospect, “it closes with a track which features one of the greatest tracks” is not exactly what I meant to say. But in any case…

    The name you’re looking for is Lasse “Marhaug.” He works on “Voice” too, as a producer or something, I forget the exact credit, but his fingerprint is definitely on this record.

  4. i have fe-mail feat lasse marhaug “all men are pig” , few marhaug’s and ratkje’s solo works, sounds very interesting! norge noise is amazing!

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