Thursday, 2 May 2013
Band: URUK HAI
Title: Natt Skogen (A Dark Jubileum)
Format: Cassette-only release on the Wulfrune Worxx label, cat ref WW189, released in 2011. As is usual for this label, the tape has a black and white copied inlay and a standard C60 style tape. This copy (#1) has been signed by Hugin on the cover.
Edition: 166 hand-numbered copies only
Side A: The 1999-2001 CC Remixes
Side B: The 2009-2010 WW Remixes
This release is a rather special one, as it celebrates the 66th tape release over the past twelve years in the ongoing collaboration between Hugin and Chanteloup Creations/Wulfrune Worxx mainstay Skogen, hence the title of the piece.
What you have here is the ultimate Uruk Hai mash-up! Nearly half an hour of original songs are re-mixed into two extended uber-epics, of around 30 minutes each. Side A gives the re-mix treatment to a selection of older Uruk Hai songs from the Chanteloup releases (circa 1999-2000), whilst the feat is repeated on Side B with re-mixes of Uruk Hai songs from later Wulfrune Worxx releases!
An intriguing idea, and one that creates some fascinating material to listen to as the two lengthy tracks go whistling by as your ears strain to pick out familiar refrains. It's a roller-coaster of sound, with great fun to be had trying to 'pick the song' from the assembled sounds: One minute you're listening to some familiar instrumental keyboard refrains and the next the roaring vocals of 'Dragonslayer' from 2000s "Orcish Battle Hymns" assault your senses!
Both pieces are unique to this tape, so it's only here that you'll experience an Uruk Hai styled Frankenstein's monster of sewn-together musical [body] parts!
Now, Skogen is a very private person and for this reason no interview is likely to be forthcoming on Honour and Darkness with the man behind many of the early Hrossharsgrani and Uruk Hai releases. Nazgul respects this stance, no matter how the masses clamour for news of this enigmatic figure. However, you can join in with this celebration of his unerring underground support for Hugin by purchasing this very unusual release. Sadly, the original Chanteloup Creations label disappeared from the scene in the early 2000's but much celebration was to be had with the re-emergence of Wulfrune Worxx circa 2008, and many quality releases from Hugin's bands and many others have appeared on the label since.
The difference from one side to the other of this tape is quite pronounced, which is per expectation given the different eras from whence the music derives. Consequently, the early years sound very much like a slightly more refined Hrossharsgrani battle-party, with various growls and guitar bursts punctuating the keyboards. The second side, however, revels in those more lush and luxuriant songs that the Uruk Hai project evolved into, and as a result is a lot more relaxing to listen to. The upside of this is that you can pick a side to suit your mood: the downside, fans of one period may not always appreciate the other. Still, you pay your money you take your choice.
Other Wulfrune Worxx releases have followed this one, of course, most recently the tape version of "Demo 1" from Guts For Dinner, so there's life in the beast yet.
Here's to the 100th release party...!