Exposé Online banner

Tusmørke — Osloborgerlig Tusmørke: Vardøger og Utburder, Vol. 1
(Karisma KAR152, 2018, CD / DL)

Tusmørke — Leker for Barn, Ritualer for Voksne
(Karisma KAR178, 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-09-12

Osloborgerlig Tusmørke: Vardøger og Utburder, Vol. 1 Cover artLeker for Barn, Ritualer for Voksne Cover art

If you’ve been paying attention to the progressive rock coming out of Norway, likely you’ve noticed that Tusmørke is a busy group of musicians. But even their steady stream of albums can’t keep up with all the music they write, hence this collection of demos and outtakes called Osloborgerlig Tusmørke: Vardøger og Utburder, Vol. 1. And while some of these tracks are somewhat less elaborately arranged as what’s appeared on their studio albums, none of the eight tracks is a throwaway. There are folky songs that sound like Jethro Tull crossed with a Scandinavian traditional group, electronic diversions, acid-folk singalongs, Camel-esque romps, and more, culminating with “Gaml Aker Kjerke,” an eleven-minute mini-epic that could easily act as a centerpiece for another band’s album. It’s testimony to Tusmørke’s standards that it was relegated to this collection. In short, any fan of the band will find nothing disappointing here, and while it’s probably not the best place for a newbie to start (which would be Fjernsyn i Farver), Vardøger og Utburder, Vol. 1 isn’t likely to turn off a potential fan.

Leker for Barn, Ritualer for Voksne can be seen as the second “children’s album” from Tusmørke, after Bydyra (2017), and like that record, only the voices of kids singing will clue in a non-Norwegian speaker as to what’s going on. The album’s title in English would be Toys for Children, Rituals for Adults, and it presents two folk tales told as rock musicals featuring traditional children’s songs and original pieces. Judging by the recording at hand, “The Bridge to the Other Side” and “The Root of All Evil” must have been surrealistic plays, but Alice in Wonderland is pretty surrealistic too, so it’s safe to assume that adults can also be sucked into their oddball world of anthropomorphized animals and supernatural creatures. In general, the music has Nordic folk music at its base, with references to English folk-rock like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span and touches of progressive rock in the use of synthesizers, bass, and drums. The general tactic is to start a song with a catchy singsong melody featuring the children’s chorus singing, then bring in the band, and sometimes veer off into a folk-rock instrumental at the end. It’s all good fun, and I’m sure the stage presentations were quite enjoyable, but again, progressive rock fans who aren’t already into Tusmørke’s take on the genre would be better starting elsewhere in their catalog.

Filed under: Archives, 2018 releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Alwanzatar (Kristoffer Momrak), Tusmørke

More info

Latest news

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

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

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

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

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...

Circa - Circa: 2007 – The continuing saga of Billy Sherwood finds him following up his efforts on Yes albums like Open Your Eyes and his collaboration with Chris Squire (Conspiracy) with an album of songs that sounds a lot...  (2009) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues