May 26, 2007

Tunes For Tron!

This is gonna be old news for the Norwegians who've been visiting Fire on the Mountain since we carried a tribute to Tron Øgrim. Sorry. This, I guess, is for the other folks, from all over the world who've been checking in here as well. It's a look at another side of Tron, and a quick taste of Norwegian revolutionary art.

Tron had a sharp eye for revolutionary culture from his early days. In the '70s, he was in the leadership of a record label called MAI (an AKP-run outfit, I assume), which cut a record on a band called Vømmøl Spellemannslag. Featuring a tune called "Det e Itno som kjem ta sæ sjølv," it soon became the best-selling record Norway had seen!

I couldn't find any video of this group, but don't despair. The chorus of the hit song was lifted for a brand new song by a new Norwegian band, Samvirkelaget (which translates as Workers' Cooperative). Samvirkelaget is a joint project by one of Norway's leading hiphop crews, and definitely the reddest one, the splendid Gatas Parlament, and a ska band with the fetching name Hopalong Knut. Here's their "Itjnå":

Now to deepen the Tron connection. I asked Elling Borgersrud, a vocalist with Gatas Parlament and Samvirkelaget, who lived at Tron's house for several years what his favorite GP and Samsvirkelaget songs were:

Samvirkelaget is easier, because I tried out all the material on him before we released it, and he was also at our release party the 1st of May. His favourite was the song "Itno". That song also has a good video.
Elling also let me down a bit:
When it comes to Gatas Parlament, I think that Tron's favourite was actually the song "Biblotekar", but we never made any video for that one. Leftwing americans in general seems to prefer the "Antiamerikans Dans" or "Bombefly", because of the relevance to American foreign politics.

So here, without further ado, is Gatas Parlament with Swedish rapper Promoe doing "Antiamerikans Dans."

If you like hiphop, I urge you to check out the website of Gatas Parlament (The Parliament of the Streets, in English), chock full of free downloads and other great stuff. I had been planning to blog this whole posse anyway as soon as I could find a video of Samvirkelaget's brand new and intensely controversial "Stopp Volden," which protests a Sean Bell-style police murder in Norway, but instead, here they are now, in memory of Tron.

I'll leave the closing word to the rising generation. Elling recalls sitting in the kitchen talking with Tron into the wee hours of the night, while Tron would drink and spin favorites from his younger days.
So we usually listened to Kanda Bongo Man, or perhaps I just played rap music and he kept talking about me being a true modernist.

(But I don't know what that means!

You are still a modernist! Extremely so!)

So I'm probably a modernist. Still don't really know what it means, tho.

[Closing note to any Norwegians who have made it this far--corrections, translations and amplification are more than welcome.]


Magnus said...

It might interest your readers that Samvirkelaget is the most sold record by a Norwegian artist this week, and the fifth most sold in Norway overall.
Pic here:

Jimmy Higgins said...

Most excellent! I think the closest thing in the US would be if Ozomatli's fabulous new album were to top the SoundScan charts. Hell, I'd be happy as a clam, two clams, a whole damn bushel of bivalves, if it got to number 5.