LP Edition of 350. Download included in Jacket. Available on Bandcamp.
The first American release by this wonderfully strange Norwegian musician, whose previous releases have been with labels such as Kjetil Brandsdal’s Drid Machine and Dennis Tyfus’s Ultra Eczema. This is enough to tell you that Gaute is a highly regarded twirler of unusual sonic inventions, but not much else.
The music on Monstersol is a bit more focused on Granli’s own voice work than some of his earlier releases, but it shares certain elements with them. Instrumentally it’s as hard to fathom as ever exactly what’s going on. The music has a brilliant way of interweaving obvious loops with what seem like they might be real time sound events. From what I understand this is an illusion — everything apart from some vocals is derived from samples, but the manner in which the pieces are assembled gives them a deviously weird heft. You want to believe Gaute has a choir tied up in his studio while he jumps around around the room hitting random instruments and blasting space lasers into the air, or that he has somehow entered the subconscious ping-pong chamber of Harmet Geerken’s brain. But facts argue against both these notions.
Somewhere, in a room in Stavanger Norway, Gaute Granli just sat his ass down and created a crazy, cartoony universe of avant garde mystery and hijinks. Maybe the keyboards are his. I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care. However he manages to conjure up these jungles of adventure, disguised as songs, I think it’s a pretty amazing trick. And who but a fucking dud really wants to know the details of how magic works?
Monstersol is a messy masterpiece of experimental psychedelia at its most mental. And if you can’t dig that, please get leave the planet, you goddamned square. And I mean right now.
-Byron Coley, 2023