EL/NeUe: ‘KRANK’ – an album 34 years in the making

By Jun 2,2021

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(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange / Kampenkontor press release) EL/NeUe from Norway released their album ‘KRANK’ June 1st on CD and digital platforms – their first physical release in 34 years! 11 songs in various styles, yet all still typically EL/NeUe: A powerful sound of picturesque, magical guitars (often performed with bow), swirling synths, deep, laid-back vocals and an old, battered Roland SH 2000, and a very liberal use of upper- and lowercase letters in their song titles.

EL/NeUe are Askild Hagen (vocals, synth, bass) og Håkon Johnson (guitars, bass, synth), with invaluable help from ELLADY (Liv Anna Hagen), contributing vocals on two songs – the dreamy ‘Prosopagnosia’ and the darkly beautiful ‘Når er det på tide’. The guys also both work as writers for the Norwegian comedy show ‘Nytt På Nytt’ (Norwegian version of ‘Have I got news for you’), and have created many musical comedy projects, notably the legendary Oslo International Playback Free Jazz Festival.

‘KRANK’, the CD, is the first physical release by EL/NeUe in 34 years, but they have contributed on several releases through the years. It all started with the classic ‘Et hvilested’ 7″ EP in 1987 (while the band were just called EL …). EL contributed to several cassette compilations in the Eighties, and performed a few, memorable concerts before disbanding in 1988.

2009 saw the release of the compilation CD ‘MASKINDANS’, with Norwegian electronic music of the 80’s, where EL’s ‘Visshet’ was included. Five years later, in 2014 Spain’s Domestica Records put out their «Domestic Landscape» compilation, featuring a track from EL’s ‘Demo 85’ cassette; the darkly poetic ‘Og Tilslutt’.
In 2020, EL returned as EL/NeUe, releasing the EP ‘LYKKeØNSKNINGeR 2020’ and several singles via streaming services (see their Spotify artist page).

‘KRANK’ contains 11 songs, somewhere between 80’s new wave/cold wave and modern electronic alternative music. At times, it may sound like Rammstein meets Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, elsewhere it may envoke the feeling of Ulver growing up in 1987.

Listen to the album at Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, deezer or Tidal!

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