Kingblind Ticket Giveaway (SERENA MANEESH)
Kingblind.com is happy to be giving a pair of tickets away to the SERENA MANEESH show in Seattle, WA at Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room on Tues. Sept 19th 2006. Want to win? It’s so easy! Just send an email with SERENA MANEESH in the Subject line and your name & address in the body of the message to kingblind(at)gmail.com And we will randomly pick a winner. This show is 21+ only. You must show photo ID at door for entry.
Serena Maneesh Media:
Download a remix of “Sapphire Eyes”
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Link to their video for Drain Cosmetics:
CLICK TO VIEW
About Serena Maneesh:
Emil Nikolaisen, frontman of Serena-Maneesh, can recall the moment as a child, when the germ of the notion of the group first appeared in his head. “It was when my music teacher played “Heroin” by The Velvet Underground to a class of innocent, ignorant little kids. A very rare thing to do in a small village in the Norwegian countryside. I was caught in a moment, completely captured, with no reservation. I had no idea whether I was fascinated or scared. The only thing I knew was that I felt it was very dark, but EXTREMELY real. It was like reality caught to tape.”
Serena-Maneesh are on an undoubted quest for difference, yet they could be considered an attempt of Nikolaisen to return through the mists to that original moment of awestruck epiphany in that Norwegian classroom at the hands of that improbably enlightened schoolteacher. Their ethereal yet blistering, self-titled debut album suggests, among many other things, a journey back into the black hole centre of rock music itself – backward to the Stooges and the Velvets, yet via, among others, Krautrock and Umagumma-period Pink Floyd.
These are subtly alluded to, however, rather than merely regurgitated. This is music that takes in a great deal – add to the list early blues, Norwegian folk music and Sun Ra among others, yet is a wonderfully mobile, weightless affair, all wisps, veils, webs and miasmas.
Despite Nikolaisen’s undoubted status as Maneesh’s head musician, and the personalized, impassioned compositions and soundworld that make up the album, this is no private, bedroom concoction. Serena-Maneesh have seen the world. The record was completed over the course of six months in Chicago, New York, Oslo and Stockholm. The fingerprints of fellow collaborators are all over it, including remixer Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth), Nikolaisen’s sisters Elvira and Hilma, friends such as Sufjan Stevens and Daniel Smith of the Danielson Famile. Lina Holström supplies female vocals, Eivind Schou plays violin, Sondre Tristan Mittun on guitar and Tommy Akerholt on drums. There are guest contributions too from Mental Destruction’s Samuel Durling (Indian samples) and Harald Froland of Jaga Jazzist (guitar), plus a host of others providing tambourine, distortion, harmonica, all bobbing about half-submerged in the rock’n’roll of the cauldron’s mix.
The album starts off with the impressive single “Drain Cosmetics”. Amid, bittersweet, black crushed velvet and dungeon reverb, Nikolaisen can be heard calling out to the chink of sky visible through a chink in the wall to “break my chains”. It’s typically paradoxical, all bright blue Promethean energy and splendid, gothic gloom. “I’ve always loved tension,” explains Nikolaisen. “’Opposites’ battle each other. Within harmony in melody and chord, between the sexes, the dry and the liquid, the dynamics, at obvious or subtle levels. I love the constant danger of things falling apart.”
That’s Serena-Maneesh in a crumbling nutshell – richly woven yet constantly courting the danger of coming undone, of disintegration. The rich musical mix, guided by Nikolaisen’s instinctive sleight of hand makes for a constant shadowplay of distortion and revelations.
Serena-Maneesh are picking up on ideas only touched on and too quickly discarded back in the Eighties, with the advantage of new twists, turns and technology – and, of course, a multiple approach which is applied to every last track of the album. “There’s lots of ways to deliver a certain note or notes,” observes Nikolaisen. “It could be the distorted violin wailing, it could be guitars, organ, cello, voice… the context and possibilities are endless.”
The album ends with a blistering 12 minute finale, “Your Blood In Mine”, the realization of all Serena-Maneesh’s ambitions, a wailing, gigantic tide of guitar and processed noise, a backward, dirty, foaming river of rock history and psychedelia, Faust, Floyd and back to the blues source where it’s swallowed up, with a solo piano resounding in a stunned, meandering fashion at the wake, seeing the album out.
First released only in Norway in August 2005, the self-titled Serena-Maneesh album made an immediate impact, outshining Franz Ferdinand in Pitchfork’s top 50 albums of the year, earning them a Norwegian Grammy nomination and a Full European tour supporting The Dandy Warhols. Serena-Maneesh have just recently returned from a hugely successful month long headlining tour of the US including three mind-blowing sets at SXSW, which only added to the buzz that has continually grown around the band.
For those looking for a giant step beyond the nearly done-to-death post punk revival, the magnificent Serena-Maneesh are timeless and timely. But they’re also out of time. “We’re with the nomads, gypsies and Indians”, says Nikolaisen. “We find ourselves somehow as strangers to our place and era.“
They will not, however, be strangers for long….
“Serena-Maneesh really does sound a bit like a new rock manifesto, something Marx would have written had he gone into psychedelics instead of politics. The emotions are fiery, the logic is muddy and each musical statement made by the five-piece group…is grandiose.”
-Under the Radar
“Norway’s Serena Maneesh make strangely beautiful and lushly noisy pop using guitars that are alternately washed out or shrieking, distorted samples, and breathy female vocals singing lyrics in broken english”
“a Norwegian psychedelic, distortion heavy, weaving, undulating, oscillating fiesta of ethereal noise.”