Exposé Online banner

Kong Klang — Kong Klang
(Apollon Records APR009, 1999/2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-25

Kong Klang Cover art

A melodic rock song featuring both slide guitar and harpsichord… Who would do such a thing? Norwegian songwriter Lasse Myrvold and his cohorts in Kong Klang would. And it works. This kind of inventiveness is the norm on this excellent album that was originally released in 1999. The story behind its reissue is a sad one, however. Myrvold was a well-known figure in Norwegian pop in the 80s, leading such New Wave bands as The Aller Værste, Stilleben, Göbbels A-Go-Go, and The Beste. By the end of the 80s, he decided to take a break from the music business, then put Kong Klang together a few years later. They finally released this album in 1999, but it appears to have generated little attention at the time. Then Myrvold was diagnosed with cancer, and his 2006 death prompted fellow Norwegian musicians to produce a tribute album covering his songs. Over the years, the Kong Klang record attained a kind of cult status, prompting this new release, which contains a number of bonus tracks that were recorded in the same sessions but not included on the original album. For readers outside of Norway, I would give musical comparisons to respected songwriters like Paul Kelly, Elvis Costello, and Neil Finn, though Kong Klang exhibits more stylistic variety on a single album than any of them ever has. In this respect I’m reminded of Ramona Falls — not exactly a widely known reference, I’ll admit. As for the individual songs, I don’t know where to start. Although I understand none of the lyrics, between the great melodies and Myrvold’s emotive singing and the clever arrangements, every song is a winner. And the bonus tracks are excellent as well — if Myrvold had lived (and a label like Apollon had existed to take interest) this band could have easily continued to produce great albums. But the past has passed, and this is what we’ve got: 75 minutes of wonderful music and speculation about what might have been.


Filed under: Reissues, 2018 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Kong Klang

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gentle Giant - 2005 DRT Remasters – [Note: This review was written upon the release of the albums on DRT in 2005.]DRT is Derek Shulman’s US based label, which has taken ownership of the band’s North America CD distribution. His push...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues