Single Unit - "Family Of Forces"
(Jester Records 2001, TRICK 019)
From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)
This disc really took me by surprise. It opens with ambient electronics that are spacey but playful. But a pounding bass soon kicks in and the electronics goes wild sounding a bit like the Etron Fou Leloublon organ on speed. And once the grindcore guitars join in we find ourselves with an aggressive brain-bashing glom of industrial metal and fun space electronics. Actually much of this reminds me a bit of the more rocking moments from Massacre's Killing Time album. I'm going to guess Mokkelbost is a Fred Frith fan. So what we have here is an intriguing blend of heavy rock that recalls the avant-prog RIO bands, metallic hardcore, and spacey electronica hand delivered by aliens. In an instant the music will transform from swirling organs to frenzied grinding metal. Yet it's common to hear frolicsome organs playing alongside.
The only information I have about Single Unit is that it's a solo project from Are Mokkelbost, who is also a member of the Oslo, Norway based improvisational electronic trio, ARM. Family Of Forces is only 32 minutes long but this is a roller coaster ride that makes its point quickly and concisely. There are 16 tracks on the CD, but these have little meaning as many of them transition smoothly from one to the next, making it all sound like just a handful of tracks. Both whimsical and intense, Single Unit took me on a wild ride that left me reeling. I'll give Mokkelbost credit for producing something that's a little different and holds up well to multiple listens. Just be sure and catch your breath before diving in for more.
For more information you can visit the Jester Records web site at: http://www.jester-records.com.
Distributed by Voice Of Wonder; PB 2010 Grünerlokka; N-0505; Oslo; Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz