Ulver - _1993-2003: 1st Decade in the Machines_
(Jester Records, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (4.5 out of 10)
Take a painting you find highly inspirational away from the comfort of its wall in some museum and drag it to an old slaughterhouse. Rip the painting out of its frame and casually crumple it into an irregular mess. Thoroughly bathe it in a bucket of moderately coagulated bovine blood, then run it through a meat processor. I believe the result would be as valuable and interesting compared to the original as some of the tracks on _1st Decade in the Machines_ compared to their original versions. Of course it can be questioned whether that is a negative factor per se; whether a remix album that bears virtually no resemblance to the sound, structure or spirit of the originals should necessarily be seen as a waste of the buyer's money or a commendable effort. But whatever one's view on that subject, the quality of the actual efforts should be the most decisive factor in determining the final result.

There is much in this disc that sounds anonymous and devoid both of context and interest -- not to mention the ridiculous track by Bogdan Raczynski. Even Ulver's own opening track fails to stand out from the collection, but there are still some very good tracks amidst all this, unrelated as they may sound. The Alexander Rishaug ambient/noise track is not bad, nor is the more tranquil ambience of The Third Foundation's effort. Martin Horntveth and Stars of the Lid both add some very welcome strings to the mix later on and remain the best contributions, while Merzbow's finishing noise track (which even begins with a recognizable passage from _Bergtatt_, a true rarity in this disc) is by far the best noise remix. Less than half a dozen good tracks in a fourteen track compilation cannot make a good average, especially when most of those 'other' tracks might as well not even be there for all they add to the overall result. Those more deeply into the noise genre are likely to extract some more enjoyment than this from the disc, though surely not as Ulver remixes.

Perhaps the purpose of this collection has been achieved; perhaps some people other than the fourteen authors of these remixes will find considerable interest in the entirety of this disc, instead of less than half of it -- but for this listener, this compilation as a whole presents insufficient aesthetic and musical value.

Contact: http://www.jester-records.com/ulver/

(article published 14/10/2003)

12/9/2007 K Sarampalis 8 Ulver - Shadows of the Sun
9/19/2005 P Azevedo 8 Ulver - Blood Inside
5/27/2004 Q Kalis 10 Ulver - A Quick Fix of Melancholy
9/6/2003 A Wee 9 Ulver - Lyckantropen Themes
4/12/2002 Q Kalis 9.5 Ulver - Silencing the Singing
10/19/2001 A Wee 8.5 Ulver - Silence Teaches You How To Sing
6/7/1997 S Hoeltzel 8 Ulver - Nattens Madrigal
4/19/2011 K Sarampalis Ulver / Virus / Zweizz The Wolves Appear on Stage
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