This is what Aslak Borgersrud has to say about his new album. A familiar figure from the Norwegian rap/hip hop band Gatas Parlament, he has now started to sing, and has made a recording with 11 songs he has written. His style is rough, with a skewed and off-beat accompaniment. But he sings. He doesn’t rap. His new album is called “Det er valgfritt å irritere seg” [Being annoyed is up to you]. Here is what he has to say about the project:
“I started writing these songs while I was still in the band, as far back as in 2008. But I wrote them in secret, not telling anybody in the band. I decided that I didn’t want to rap, and that was a difficult choice. I decided that I would go really organic, and that was another hard choice, if only in purely practical terms. And then I decided I wanted to work with Jester as the producer. Why Jester? Not really a matter of changing pastures then; Jester has always been one of the most important producers for Gatas Parlament over the years. I have always felt that Jester has more to him than the straight hip-hop beat with four to the bar, 16 bars and the verse-refrain-done approach.
Jester is the one who has put together his new backing band, including Olav Bakke (clarinet) Asle Gauteplass (trumpet), Kriss Stemland (accordion/pump organ/piano), Ole Marius Melhuus (double bass), Nicolai Hængsle Eilertsen (electric bass), Mari Ystanes Fjeldstad (violin) and Arne Fjeld Rasmussen (harmonica).
The themes touch on the many trivialities and complications of day-to-day life and love, with some political over- and undertones. Humour is always cheekily lurking around every second line or so.
In Aslak’s words: “The lyrics are also different from anything else I had been a part of before. By recording in secret, with no connection to the universe of Gatas Parlament, or their rules, I found stories I’ve never dared to write before. And I wrote them in ways I’ve never done before. The result is songs about love, children, life and myself.”
Recordings started with the vocals, and then the music was built around them, while at other times sampling was the point of departure. What you will hear when you play this album is definitively folk music, and for the first time in his recording career, Aslak sings clear and distinct melodies.
The publisher, even though there may have been some theological disagreements along the way, is KKV.