Kenneth Lien & Center of the Universe – Snu hver stein

Kenneth Lien & Center of the Universe – “Snu hver stein”
Album release: June 2. 2023

Why are there so few combinations between Norwegian folk music and electronic music? Is it because the traditional music is too obscured in Norwegian culture or because the scenes are too different? The last years something new has happened; folk music has taken new previously unknown forms. Maybe the road is short from traditional dance to a night out clubbing? But how can this be done without ending up as a parody of both genres?

On this album Lien and Center tries to answer this question by digging deep into the material. The title means “turn each stone”, and the duo does just that in the search for something common between the two genres. That was not as difficult as expected! The hypnotic pulse, mysterious vibes and a tempo you can dance to is common, also both musics often drones along without any changes of key.
The duo also quickly found that their combination set fire to dancefloors, with people going crazy at their live gigs.

For this album Kenneth played and producer Jørgen harvested the samples of the over and understrings of the traditional hardanger-fiddle, they sampled mouth harps, and they made drum machines play “springar” (a Norwegian traditional asynchronous rhythm and dance). It would be easy to water out traditions using electronic instruments since the technology tends to decide. Lien and Center refuse to do this, instead they go for amplifying the traditions to hopefully lay the ground for something new. Following this logic, the synths are tuned to natural scales, leaving the drum machines tumbling away to follow the steps of old folk dances.

All the tunes and rhythms are traditional, but can we say this about the
808 drums and 303 basslines of house and techno? Maybe club music is just a more recent type of folk music after all?

Kenneth Lien is a multiinstrumentalist with his roots in black metal and improvised rock. He plays a variety of traditional instruments such as fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, willows flute and last but not least mouth harp. He is most known from the trio Ævestaden, but has also put his mark on the Norwegian Kappleik (a traditional music contest) with a number of victories in the mouth harp category.

Jørgen Skjulstad is a musician and DJ, also known as Center of the Universe or DJ Sissyfus. Jørgen has released around 20 records under his own name and contributed on maybe around a hundred as a remixer and producer and also started the collective and studio Metronomicon Audio.

Kenneth Lien: Hardanger fiddle, fiddle, mouth harp, willow flute
Jørgen Skjulstad: drum machine, synth, sampler, recording and mixing
All tunes trad, except Kivlemøyan by Eivind Groven
Recorded at Metronomicon Audio
Mastered by Christian Obermayer, Strype Audio
Cover art and graphic design by Julia Stenberg


Summing up the year with a video and single!
A song about the year 2022, obviously not a good year for everyone! Maybe we are all hoping for a better 2023? The track sums up the year knowing it is an impossible task: the post pandemic reality, the attempts at a Metaverse, the ominous feeling that time flies by. The track also hints to the sound of modern (hyper) pop and (mumble) rap with a bass-heavy beat and shimmering synths. It’s an outlier in the catalouge of the artist, yet it might prove as a good intro for the modern pop listener. If anyone wants to sing or rap on this go download the instrumental! And please release it or send us the result!

Center of the Universe – COU

Center of the Universe – COU
(Metronomicon Audio/Diger)
DL/Stream 7th october

Center of the Universe presents eight songs named from abbreviations, ranging from the modern NFT to the more old school ones like DVD. The sound is electronic and inspired by funk, boogie and even hiphop on the tracks featuring canadian rapper Motëm og norways own WHALESHARKATTACKS.
What would easily turn into a concept album (the track MP3 contains a sample of the worlds first MP3) at some point turns into something more beautiful; The melancholy of obsolete technology, and also some nostalgy of a bygone age where these digital techologies had promises of a brighter future.