Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time – ROCKBITES (Review)


Norwegian avant-gardist Kaada releases debut for US

24 February 2003


American Doo-wop and gospel re-factored for the Oh’s (’00s), by way of Norway

Say what you will about the cultural toxicity of the major labels and the ongoing consolidation of the entertainment industry (I’ll probably agree), but over the past several years those of us in the Christina Aguilera-infested backwaters of America have been blessed with a truly decent amount of exposure to some of the more interesting music from other parts of the world—thanks, in many cases, to independent record companies.


The story of 27 year old Norwegian composer/programmer John Erik Kaada—stage name simply Kaada—is a case in point. In Europe, heavyweight EMI relased his solo debut last spring, and then promptly dropped him. But Kaada had previously been in contact with Mike Patton (of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle/Fantomas) and his Alameda, California indie Ipecac Recordings. Kaada, who co-founded the avant-garde trio Cloroform in 1996, had sent Patton a Cloroform album and Patton loved it. When EMI freed Kaada from his contract, he and Patton immediately got together for a US release of the Kaada solo LP.


That album, which sees its domestic US debut tomorrow, is the bizarre, fascinating, and utterly amusing Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time. On it, Kaada cruises the forties, fifties, and sixties like some time-traveling musical bounty hunter. He seamlessly melds a dazzling constellation of antiquated styles by employing a wild musique-concrète approach, all the while mixing it up with his synthetic beats and programmed soundscapes. The result—encompassing doo-wop, ’60s funk and R&B, Afrobeat, spy-TV themes, surf music, vocal blues, rockabilly, and gospel—is as vertigo-inducing as it is engaging.


Ipecac’s Patton, whose jazz-punk band Mr. Bungle navigated similar territory to Kaada’s Cloroform, is now working with Kaada on material that may become Kaada’s second solo release. And Patton, apparently, hopes to provide some vocals for Kaada’s next record. Meanwhile, Ipecac says they plan to release the Thank You… LP worldwide, and Kaada’s Cloroform are on hiatus while their star pursues his career.


Kaada last year received a Norwegian Amanda award (like an Oscar) for his soundtrack work, and, also in 2002, won an Alarm-ZTV award for best music video. The Steffan Strandberg documentary film 7. Himmel (English: Seventh Heaven) debuted in Norway last week, featuring a Kaada soundtrack.


Copyright © 1998 – 2001 M. Jason. All Rights Reserved.