Mungolian Jetset

AUGUST, 2009

In a genre like electronic dance music - where "faceless" is often used as a criticism - some of the sharpest minds make sure to have an image as arresting as their songs: Think Daft Punk’s featureless robots or Justice’s iconic glowing cross. Norwegian duo Mungolian Jet Set, however, more closely resemble the cast of U.K. TV cult hit The Mighty Boosh, given to elaborate robes and headdresses, not to mention a full complement of dancers in equally striking gear.

If they were only about the clothes, then Mungolian Jet Set could be dismissed as another bunch of chancers, but their sophomore full-length release makes clear why dance mavens worldwide have been going nuts for them. A double-CD of remixes plus some original efforts, it’s an astonishingly coherent and well-sequenced collection of three years of work that manages the trick of pulling a listener fully into its own exciting world.

In recent ...

posted by THE MUNGOLIAN WEB GNOME  August 18, 2009 23:00  Reviews  comments (0)

New York City presented itself from its best side with sunshine and warm summer weather as a crowd of over 4,000 people gathered at the P.S.1 in Long Island City, on Saturday August 9, to witness the psychedelic Norsemen in Mungolian Jet Set perform their unique blend of electronica and jazz.

Mungolian Jet Set was hosted by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General and performed as part of the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center’s critically acclaimed music series Warm Up. The Warm Up series has become one of the most anticipated summer events in New York City and has been voted best club by the Time Out New York readers, and named one of the ten hottest beach parties in  the world by British newspaper The Observer.

The band, fronted by Pål Nyhus aka DJ Strangefruit, entered the stage dressed in a mix of traditional Mongolian costumes and something resembling the white protective suits ...

posted by THE MUNGOLIAN WEB GNOME  August 13, 2008 23:00  Concerts  comments (0)

Travel in dance music is a mostly dying metaphor: Shorter sets and more DJs mean that fewer jocks can effectively sequence their sounds to take dancers on a night-long trip, and disco acts long ago stopped generating LP-length impressions of faraway lands synched to human drums and tremulous strings. Yet as its name suggests, Norway's Mungolian Jetset revives the dancefloor travelogue. DJ Pål "Strangefruit" Nyhus and his keyboardist partner Knut Sævik wear capes and headgear reminiscent of traditional Mongolian garb, but their boldest alliance to remote locales is in their globetrotting, time-traveling grooves.

Their first compilation blurs the distinctions between self-composed tracks and their extraordinarily idiosyncratic remixes. Two continuous 59-minute suites integrate the ersatz Asian exotica of '50s bachelor pad safaris, the LSD-fed epiphanies of '60s psychedelia, the lurid extravagance of progressive '70s rock, the quirkiest bits of '80s club, the dubby undulations of early '90s ambient house, and the aural ...

posted by THE MUNGOLIAN WEB GNOME  August 16, 2009 23:00  Reviews  comments (0)

Score: 4.5/5.0

If you've heard anything about these psychedelic Norwegian disco oddballs, you've probably heard that their music is an eclectic mixing pot of influences. Pop sensibilities, funk, postrock, and '70s cop show soundtracks rear their heads at different times throughout We Gave It All Away, Now We Are Taking It Back. However, the flavour of We Gave It can (very roughly) be described as disco, filled largely (more or less) with Asian/world music instrumentals and keys, and progressive rock structures.

When I realised the extent to which the latter point was explored on We Gave It, I was one excited guy. As a fairly obsessive prog fan, and after years of listening to albums like Dark Side of the Moon, there's nothing like listening to an album that takes you on a journey: When it takes you up, teaches you a few lessons and then leaves you with a sense of ...

posted by THE MUNGOLIAN WEB GNOME  August 16, 2009 23:00  Reviews  comments (0)

APRIL, 2008

It's only in performance, that Paal "Strangefruit" Nyhus's true value can truly be appreciated. Yes, he's a turntablist (purists can prefix that with "dreaded," though they'd be grossly mistaken), but he's also much more. He's a sound sculptor who, like Brian Eno and John Cage, finds music around every corner. He possesses an extensive record library, from which to source some of his sounds, which would shame even the most pathological collector. Over the past decade, this Norwegian sonic explorer and manipulator has provided real-time soundscaping, enriching projects including guitarist Eivind Aarset's Connected (Jazzland, 2004), and trumpeter/Nu Jazz progenitor Nils Petter Molvaer's Streamer: Live (Sula, 2004).

An integral part of the extended Punkt family, Nyhus makes it clear that music comes from many sources, and not only conventional instruments. He's also demonstrated that real-time sonic manipulation can be an improvisational premise as exciting as any other. The debut of Mungolian Jet ...

posted by THE MUNGOLIAN WEB GNOME  April 23, 2008 23:00  Reviews  comments (0)

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